How fast has this year flown by??? Where did all the time go? But I am not complaining, this is one of my favorite months of the year. I just find it so beautiful. The bewitchingly hypnotic hum of rain falling outside is beautiful. Warm socks, cosy nights in, indulgent food at hand is a beautiful experience on its own. Gun-metal grey of pregnant rain clouds is beautiful. The last of jacaranda blossoms and carpets of purple once they fall off is beautiful. Thigh-high boot friendly weather is beautiful. Cool, crisp, humid air is beautiful. Everything about November is absolutely beautiful!
And for the first recipe for this amazing month is one I really really enjoyed. Not only it it easy to make, but the flavors will make you scream out of sheer ecstasy. My orange chili beer battered fish fingers will become your new favorite if not you ultimate addiction! <3
PREP TIME: 1 HR COOK TIME: 15 MIN SERVES: 2
Beer Battered Fish Fingers Ingredients
1 tilapia fish fillet, 400g
1 orange, zest and juice
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
½ a teaspoon of chili flakes
1 tablespoon of thyme
½ a tablespoon of dried rosemary
¾ cup of all-purpose flour
1 cup of beer
½ a tablespoon of black pepper
Salt to taste
Vegetable oil for frying
In a bowl, place your fish together with the chili flakes, soy sauce, orange zest, thyme and orange juice and then let this marinate for 30 min to an hour. I usually use lemon for my fish marination but using a sweeter citrus fruit, with sufficient acidity still brought the flavor through and softened the flesh a great deal. Remember, when using citrus fruit to marinate fish, especially lemon, do not marinate it for longer than 2 hours as it will break down the flesh making your fish stringy. We definitely don’t want that!
Once done, slice them up into your fingers. You can also cut your fish into fingers then marinate them that way for deeper flavor penetration and also to shorten marination time.
The fingers look a bit browned because of the soy sauce, not because they are pre-cooked.
For the batter, add the dry ingredients first (flour, thyme, orange zest, pepper, salt) mix it all until completely combined then add your beer bit by bit until you attain the consistency of pancake batter. Do not make the batter too light as it will slide right off once the fish hits the oil, and also not too dense as it will not cook all the way through.
I used guinness stout hence the batter got the dark color the beer itself has too. You can use any other beer you prefer, I just went with my personal choice. Check out my other A.M.A.Z.I.N.G beer recipes here, here, here and here. The lighter the color of your beer, the lighter the color of you batter and the milder the beer taste.
Add the fish fingers and gently mix them in until completely coated.
Proceed to fry in some oil for 5-8 minutes until the coating turns crispy brown and it cooks through. Yes, that is enough time to get the fish cooked. Trust me my (Kenyan) darlings! Do not pre-cook your fish before coating since it will just come apart.
Be careful not to overcook them since the fish will become really dry and tough. Add a couple at a time in the hot oil so that they cook evenly, do not overcrowd, and to ensure the oil temperature remains stable. Lastly, make sure your oil is not too hot since the outside will cook too fast with the inside staying raw and make sure the oil is not cold as well as your fingers will become soggy.
I also made tartar sauce to accompany my spectacular fish fingers. It follows the EXACT concept as the one I made last year for this post ( check out that post for ingredient portions), only difference being I added orange zest for more symphony and cohesion with the fish fingers. Both this tartar sauce and the fish fingers have orange notes so everything came together so so soooooo well! <3
Once the beer batter fish fingers are done, remove from the heat and serve.
How easy was that?? *waves pompoms in the air*
The heat of the fish as a result of the chili flakes used in the marination was perfectly tempered by the creaminess of the tartar sauce. The crust was mildly crusty coating and the super tender moist fish made every bite an experience. The beer flavor was present but mild and complimented all the other flavors instead of overpowering them. The time and rosemary also really came through and the crown jewel, the orange, present in both the fish and the tartar sauce tied it all together.
You have to try this out guys! You just have to!!!!
Get your downloadable recipe here :))