Fish and chips may be a quintessentially British dish but its key component - namely cod or haddock - is often sourced from beyond British shores. In fact, a third of all fish consumed in Britain’s beloved fish and chip shops comes from Norway’s clear waters, where the fish is frozen at sea quickly once caught to lock in the freshness and then delivered to restaurants pre boned and filleted ready to be battered, deep fried and served alongside chips as well as sometimes mushy peas and gravy.
Simon Hulstone, chef-patron at Michelin-starred restaurant The Elephant in Torquay, uses frozen at sea Norwegian haddock in his recipe for deep-fried battered fish, but it doesn’t come with gravy or mushy peas. Instead, his dish is inspired by another well loved chippy condiment, curry sauce, which he had made to accompany his haddock.
Another difference with Hulstone’s dish is the batter, which is made using panko breadcrumbs mixed with dried chicken skin to give an additional crunch, he says. Hulstone crumbs each fillet twice in his recipe to ensure maximum crispiness before frying it and then serves it atop diced mango and curry sauce made from fish stock, curry powder and coconut milk.
Frozen at sea
As with his previous Downtime Development dish of Norwegian cod, pea sauce, asparagus and gnocchi, Hulstone is using Norwegian frozen at sea fish, which he says gives him the quality he needs but also the flexibility during these uncertain times when fish supplies and customer numbers are likely to be more erratic and unpredictable than usual.
The haddock comes already portioned, filleted and boned and all the Michelin-starred chef has to do is select the number of fillets he needs a day in advance and then defrost them in the fridge overnight.
The fish quality is guaranteed because of the rigorous standards of the Norwegian seafood industry, where only the best quality fish are quick frozen on board trawlers. All fish is sustainable and traceable.
“The fish is quick frozen at sea within hours of it being caught so it is fantastically fresh", he says. "The quicker it’s frozen the less ice particles get into the fish. For me, having a bit of frozen fish in my freezer is common sense."
Like many restaurateurs, Hulstone hopes to reopen the doors of his restaurant on 4 July, providing the Government gives the hospitality sector the green light to do so. But once open, he says he will continue the takeaway side of the business he started during lockdown to cater for people who might not have the confidence to come out to eat in the short term.
As for the reopening menu, Hulstone says it will follow the same principles as before the pandemic, with the restaurant using both expensive and lesser-used cuts and produce from the restaurant's own farm to create an excellent value for money Michelin starred dining experience.
For more information on Seafood From Norway click here
Chicken skin crusted Norwegian haddock, curry sauce and mango
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
2 fillets Frozen at sea Norwegian haddock, pin boned and scaled
75g Kerala curry powder
150ml fish or mussel stock
400ml Coconut milk
100g chicken skin, chopped
200g panko breadcrumbs, slightly blended
1 Temper the fish. Place the frozen fish fillets onto a tray and place in the fridge and leave overnight or for 12 hours. Do not run the fish under water.
2 Take the defrosted fish and remove any bones. Slice it into four good sized portions with the skin on.
3 Beat the eggs and milk together in a bowl. Mix the breadcrumbs and chicken skin together in another bowl. Place the flour in another bowl. Season a fish fillet on both sides and then place it into the flour, then into the milk and egg mixture and then into the breadcrumb mixture until it is well covered. Then place the fillet back into the egg mix and then back into the breadcrumb mix for a second coating.
4 Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 190 Degrees Celcius and place the fish into the basket and cook for about four to five minutes until crispy and brown on the outside. Remove and drain on paper.
5 Make a curry sauce by heating the coconut milk, fish stock and curry powder in a pan. Blitz quickly the sauce with a hand blender to give it some aeration.
6 Dice the mango into small cubes and place around 12 pieces in a dish. Cover the mango with the curry sauce. Add a few squirts of rapeseed oil and then place the cooked haddock fillet on top and serve.