This fish’s light and crunchy batter is perfectly complemented by the earthy and nutty parsnips.
Cider-battered hake with parsnip chips and crushed peas
- 350g frozen peas, defrosted
- zest and juice of 1/2 lemon + extra lemon wedges, to serve
- 50ml fresh cream
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 5 large parsnips
- oil, to deep-fry
- small handful fresh thyme leaves + extra, to garnish
- 200g Asian tempura flour (available at select Pick n Pay and Woolworths stores and Asian supermarkets)
- 230ml cider, well chilled
- 2 small hake sides, deboned and skins on
- fresh dill, roughly chopped, to garnish
- good-quality mayonnaise, to serve (optional)
For the crushed peas, place all of the ingredients in a blender and blitz until almost smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Just before serving, heat in a pot over medium heat or in the microwave on high.
For the parsnip chips, heat the oil in a large, deep pan or deepfryer to 180°C. Slice each parsnip into quarters lengthways. Fry the chips in batches until crispy and golden, about 10 minutes. Drain the chips on paper towel, sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves and season well to taste. Turn the heat down to allow the oil to reach 160°C to fry the fish.
For the fish, whisk together the tempura flour and cider in a large bowl until almost smooth, but retaining a few lumps. In batches, gently dip each fillet into the batter to coat and fry in the hot oil until the batter is crispy and golden and the fish is cooked through, about 4 – 6 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towel and season well to taste.
Serve the fish with the parsnip chips and crushed peas. Garnish with fresh dill, thyme sprigs, lemon wedges for squeezing and mayonnaise for dipping, if desired.