Tuesday, 11 September 2012

A close encounter of the fishy kind: Baked turbot with chili sweetcorn fritters and spicy potato salad

I got terribly excited when I managed to pick up a whole turbot for a fiver in Sainsburys on Sunday (always go half an hour before they close - brilliant bargains.) I had a great idea for a steamed white fish Malaysian curry I saw in one of Rick Stein's books a while back. Got home and happily unwrapped the fish from the bag.

Hi. I'm your dinner.
The problem is, he kind of just looks at you, doesn't he. I have to admit, having never cooked a whole flat fish before, I hadn't realised he would have two eyes on one side of his head, and that the whole of his insides are also on one side of him, like some kind of Star Trek fish. He was the most weird creature I have EVER TRIED TO COOK, and I have to admit I got a little freaked out handling him. Maybe the fact I'd already attributed a personality to my dinner didn't help, but I once cooked a whole salmon on a campfire and called him Fred, so it can't have been quite that bad.

Fred's the one in the silver foil. I'm the other one.

Anyway, I chickened out of trying to fillet him and had run out of time to make curry paste (was watching George and The Fish in a stare-out contest. Had to declare a draw in the end). Instead, I went for the following:

Baked turbot

Douse Mr Fish with olive oil, salt, pepper and chili flakes and pop him in the oven for 20 minutes at 200c. He turns out soft, meaty and delicious, with easy-to-remove fillets (once cooked!) and a little bit of spice on the skin. I served him with a spicy potato salad and chili sweetcorn fritters.

Spicy Potato Salad

Boil new potatoes until cooked through. Combine with (all raw and chopped finely) half a  shallot, half a chili, a clove of garlic, two sticks of celery, coriander, olive oil and salt & pepper. The garlic burns your face off but as long as there's two of you it doesn't matter...

Chili sweetcorn fritters (gluten-free)

Make a thick batter with 100g of rice flour, two eggs and enough milk to make it drop off a spoon but not fall off it. Stir in a tin of drained sweetcorn, a chopped chili and seasoning. The mixture may look like it's going to be too wet to fry, but don't worry - it's rice flour and it needs more moisture than wheat flour. Fry tablespoons full in groundnut or vegetable oil for around a minute or two each side, until golden brown.

Lovely yummy dinner, and not at all scary. At least I now know where the bones lie - I WILL fillet him next time...



  1. Love the picture captions. Recipes are much more fun written like this.

  2. Sounds yummy. I always chicken out (ha, ha, see what I did there?)and just cook the fish whole too. Nicer that way anyway.

    P bought me two plaice fillets this week and I had them simply pan-fried one night with roasted veg and last night with chilli, ginger and honey stir-fried veg. I can't stand the way all these cheffy peeps put sauces over delicious fish and drown out the fishy taste. Yum.

    Just made walnut, banana and chocolate cake with walnut butter, pecan flour and coconut oil, now grains or dairy in sight of course. Wish it would hurry up and cool down. Want some.

    1. Ew. I'd love that if it weren't for the banana... bleugh... but I like the idea of the pecan flour! xx