Fish and chips with mushy peas

Jul 02, 2021
Fish and chips with mushy peas, perfect for a Friday night. Source: Getty Images

I’ve never been convinced that mushy peas goes with fish and chips. Not even when I spent some time in the United Kingdom could I bring myself to order what I know is quintessentially British. But when the cupboards (or in this case, freezer) were looking bare and only a packet of Australian baby green peas lay within one of the drawers, I got desperate.

Now, I’m not going to say I’m a convert, but I will admit that the mushy peas did add an element of sweet and tender to my deliciously crunchy and salty fish and chips. Here’s how I got it done.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup (50g) plain flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups (210g) fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 4 skinless snapper fillets (order from your local fish shop and/or speak with your fishmonger for an alternative), cut into 4cm-wide strips
  • Sunflower oil, to shallow-fry

FOR THE CHIPS

  • 1kg sebago potatoes, scrubbed (unpeeled), cut into 1cm-thick chips
  • 3 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

FOR THE MUSHY PEAS

  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 400g fresh peas (or frozen, thawed)
  • 1 small bunch tarragon, leaves finely chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon, plus lemon wedges to serve

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200C. For the chips, par-boil the potatoes in a saucepan of boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes. Drain, then set aside to cool and dry.
  2. Place chips on a baking tray and toss with rosemary, oil and a pinch of salt. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the tray from oven and add garlic, stirring to combine. Bake for a further 15-20 minutes until crisp and golden.
  3. For mushy peas, melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Add fresh peas and tarragon, and cook, covered, for 10 minutes (3 minutes for frozen) or until soft. Add lemon juice and season. Mash until mushy. Cover to keep warm.
  4. Place flour, egg and breadcrumbs in three separate bowls. Season the crumbs with the chilli flakes, salt and pepper. Dust fish in flour, then dip in the egg, shaking off any excess, and finally coat with the breadcrumbs. Season, set aside and repeat with remaining fish.
  5. Heat 2cm oil in a large, deep frying pan over medium heat (a cube of bread will turn golden in 30 seconds when the oil is hot enough). In batches, add the fish and cook for 2-3 minutes each side until just cooked and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
  6. Serve fish with chips and mushy peas, add lemon wedges if desired.

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