“Ever since I was little, fish fingers were a go-to rainy-day no-groceries kind of comfort meal that would be served up with home fries and buttery peas.” says says Finn Ní Fhaoláin.
While gluten-free ones are available now, it’s always fun to make your own, and you get to decide the quality of the fish for yourself.
Classic fish fingers are made with cod or pollock – known as Tom Collins in the UK because someone thought pollock sounded too much like bollocks!
Generally a non-oily fish is better – I tried mackerel: it was gross.
SERVES TWO HUNGRY HUMANS ON A RAINY DAY
3 large Rooster potatoes
2 tbsps olive oil
salt, to taste
250g sustainably caught
white-fleshed fish e .g. cod
½ cup (60g) GF plain flour
lots of salt and pepper, to
1 egg, beaten
1 cup (100g) GF oats,
crumbled up with your fingers
1 tsp sweet paprika
sunflower oil, for frying
optional flavours to add some
extra kick to the oat crumbs y ou could
add some dill, lemon zest , chilli flakes
or even some seaweed flakes
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
2. Scrub your Roosters and leave the skin on – lots of nutrients in the skin, don’t you know! Cut them into 1cm or less slices to get that classic circular home-fries shape. Chuck them in a big bowl, pour in your olive oil and crack in your salt. Swoosh it all
around with your hand so the potato has a light coating of oil. This way you still get the crispy texture of home fries, without the artery clogging. Pop them on a baking tray and into the oven. Reduce oven heat to 180°C.
3. In the meantime, let’s make some fish fingers! Cut your fish into 4cm-thick strips. When I’m ‘breading’, I like to put the individual ingredients out in dishes and set up a little station in this order:
• raw fish for breading
• flour seasoned with salt and pepper for dipping
• beaten egg for dipping
• oat crumbs seasoned with paprika for final dip
• plate for piling up breaded fish
• hot pan ready to go!
4. So just follow the steps above: dip the fish pieces in the flour, then egg, then crumbs – some people repeat the egg and crumbs bit, but I find one go is enough or the fish gets a bit soggy!
5. Have your pan on a medium to high heat. Pour in a tablespoon or so of sunflower oil. I don’t cook the fish the whole way in the pan – pan time is just to seal the flavour in and get the breaded part nice and crispy.
Cook each piece for about 2 minutes on either side. When all the pieces are ready, pop them on a baking tray covered in baking parchment and then into the oven.
6. Mix the home fries around while you’re down there so they brown evenly.
7 The fish will only need a maximum of 10 minutes and should be done at the same time as the home fries. Use this time well, young grasshopper. I usually steam or boil up some peas, make a cup of tea and get out the ketchup for the chips and apple cider vinegar for the fish fingers!
Plate it all up and tuck in! My good friends from Mayo love to have these fries with ‘burger sauce’ – mayo and ketchup mixed together.
Finn Ní Fhaoláin’s food journey began when she was diagnosed as a coeliac and became determined to recreate all her favourite dishes – this time without gluten. She lives, surfs and cooks in Bundoran on Ireland’s northwest coast. Her brand new book, Finn’s World is packed with incredible recipes such as Danish Breakfast Brød, Mother Hubbard’s Bare Cupboard Granola, Moroccan Surfer’s Breakfast and Disco Barbie Beetroot Soup.