Dreaming of the seaside?
We can't give you sunshine, sea or salty air, but we can give you the most epic vegan fish and chips you have tasted, using marinated banana blossom cooked in a light and crisp beer batter.
There's many a debate over how fish & chips became one of the nation's favourite dishes. Whether it's eaten on your lap in front of the TV or to the sound of crashing waves, it probably wasn't vegan. Until now.
Having a best of British meal for the Jubilee? Be sure to check out our other tasty recipes that are perfect for a Jubilee feast!
We've done away with the fish in this recipe and used banana blossom instead. Banana blossom is a large, purple-skinned flower that grows at the end of a bunch of bananas. Its tightly packed petals are neutral in flavour but mimic the flaky texture of fish, making it an ideal whole-food substitute.
This recipe is delicious served with a bag of Strong Roots fries and some peas, follow on for the recipe...
For the marinated banana blossom:
- 2 tablespoon rapeseed or sunflower oil
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 lemon
- 2 cloves garlic
- 5 g seaweed thins / crisps or 1 sheet nori (sushi wrapper)
- 1 tin banana blossom (400, or 250g drained weight)
For the batter:
- 75 g self-raising flour plus a little extra for coating the fillets
- 2 teaspoon cornflour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 135 ml beer (check it is vegan) or sparkling water if you prefer
- oil for frying
To marinate the banana blossom:
- In an airtight container with a lid (such as a tub or tupperware box), mix the oil, soy sauce and juice of the lemon. Peel the garlic cloves and give them a bash with the flat side of your knife. Add a generous seasoning of salt and black pepper.
- Take the seaweed thins or nori sheets and crush them into small flakes or a powder - either in a pestle and mortar or a mini-chopper / small blender. Add them to the marinade.
- Drain the tin of banana blossom and rinse thoroughly under a cold tap. Dry out as much as possible with kitchen paper then put it into the tub and use your hands to mix it around until it is fully coated with the marinade. Put in the fridge for 3-4 hours or ideally overnight.
To make the batter:
- Weigh the flour, cornflour and salt in a large jug or bowl.
- Add the beer and whisk until it is a smooth batter. It should be a pouring consistency, a bit like double cream. If it is too thin, add a little more flour, and if too thick add more beer or water.
- Pour oil into a wide pan until it is 1-2cm deep. Heat it until it reaches 180°C (or if you don't have a thermometer, stick the end of a wooden spoon or chopstick into the oil. If you see lots of bubbles form around the wood, your oil is ready for frying. If it is bubbling hard, the oil is too hot; let it cool a bit and check the temperature again).
- Whilst the oil is heating, get your marinated banana blossom out of the fridge, and remove the garlic cloves. Tip some extra flour onto a small plate. Pour the batter into another shallow bowl or plate.
- Dust your hands with a little flour, then pick up half of the banana blossom. Push the pieces together firmly, squeezing out as much liquid as possible. Squash it into roughly the shape of a fish fillet.
- Dip one floured fillet into the beer batter, turning over a few times until it is fully coated.
- Thoroughly coat the banana blossom fillet with flour. Repeat with the remaining banana blossom to make a second fillet.
- Use a pair of tongs to put your fillet into the oil. Repeat for the second fillet.
- Cook the banana blossom fillets for 4-5 minutes on each side, turning regularly.
- Remove them with tongs onto a piece of kitchen paper to drain excess oil.
We love ours with some peas and some fries from Strong Roots. We love the Mixed Root Veg Fries, Sweet Potato Fries & Skinny Fries equally, don't make us choose!
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