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Vegan ‘Fish’ & Chips
- 2 x 510 g 1 lb 2 oz tins banana blossoms (in brine, drained)
- pinch of sea salt
- canola oil for deep (frying)
- lemon wedges to serve
- 2 spring onions scallions, finely chopped
- 1 –2 nori sheets finely chopped
- 2 cm 3/4 in knob of ginger, minced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 80 ml 21/2 fl oz/1/3 cup vegan white wine
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 150 g 51/2 oz/1 cup self (raising flour)
- 250 ml 81/2 fl oz/1 cup beer or soda water
- 230 g 8 oz dill pickles (gherkins), finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped dill fronds finely chopped
- 250 g 9 oz/1 cup Mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice or to taste
- 1 teaspoon Dijon or American mustard or to taste
- 1 teaspoon caper brine or to taste
- Rinse the banana blossom under running water, squeezing as much brine as possible from the banana blossom, then place in a bowl.
- Combine the marinade ingredients in a separate bowl, then add to the banana blossom and massage through, separating the pieces as you go. Cover the banana blossom with cold water, then cover in plastic wrap and marinate from 2 to 24 hours in the fridge, tossing occasionally.
- Season the flour with salt and pepper, then place it in the freezer with the beer or soda water to get super cold ahead of frying.
- Remove the marinated banana blossom from the fridge, scoop out one-quarter and squeeze together. The goal is to wring out the majority of the liquid, but keep just a little moistness and flavor. This action should also bring the blossoms together into a ‘fillet’. Coat in a little of your seasoned flour to create a dry exterior. Repeat with the remaining banana blossom to make four ‘fillets’.
- Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium–high heat. Test if the oil is ready by inserting a wooden skewer or the handle of a wooden spoon into the oil; if it begins to bubble quickly then you’re ready to go. Alternatively, use an oil thermometer to ensure the heat is at 180c.
- Now it’s time to prepare your batter. Slowly pour the cold beer or soda into the flour, stopping intermittently to fully incorporate the liquid before adding more until the batter just comes together. Use immediately while cold and the beer or water is still bubbly.
- Dip each ‘fillet’ into the batter, scooping the batter around it. Slide two battered ‘fillets’ into the oil in a fluid motion and cook for 2–4 minutes or until golden and crisp. Drain on a plate lined with paper towel and repeat with the remaining ‘fillets’.
- Serve your banana blossom ‘fish’ with freshly fried chips and lemon wedges. To make the matching tartar sauce, combine the dill pickle and dill in a small bowl. Stir through the mayonnaise until well combined. Gradually add the remaining ingredients, tasting and adjusting the flavor as you go until you reach a balance you are happy with.