When we were trying to come up with an alternative to the same-old-same-old “let’s have a braai on Heritage Day” thing (we had a braai too, but that’s another story), we chatted about what food we all grew up with. For the Joburgers, it was during the summer holidays at the coast, for the Durbanites and the Capetonians, it was a Sunday treat. What was it? Beer Battered Fish and Chips.
So, for Heritage Month, we decided to see if we could replicate that sunshine’y feeling in our kitchen. And after a bunch of flops, let’s just say that at one point, there was batter everywhere, we got it real good.
- We used Hake because it’s affordable and it’s not boney. You can also use Snoek, which is delicious and even more affordable, we just aren’t a fan of all the bones.
- Corn starch, don’t forget the cornstarch.
- Use self-raising flour for all the puffiness.
- Make sure that your Windhoek Beer is cold. The trick is to have cold batter and hot oil. Just be very, very careful, because it does splatter. Voila!
- 5 pieces of deboned hake fillets
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 2 cups self-raising flour
- 440ml Windhoek Lager
- 1 tsp Garlic Power
- 1 tsp Paprika
- Salt to taste
- Black Pepper to taste
- Oil for deep frying
- Make sure your pieces of fish are deboned and roughly the same size.
- On a plate, mix your cornstarch, paprika and garlic powder.
- To make the batter, gently mix the cold beer, flour, salt and pepper in a bowl. You don’t need to overwork the batter, if there are a few tiny lumps, it’s ok.
- Heat up your oil, there must be enough that the fish can float and not touch the bottom.
- Coat each piece of fish with the cornstarch mix, this is what will stop the batter from sliding off.
- Gently immerse the fish in the cold batter and place in the oil carefully.
- Fry until golden! It doesn’t take long. 5 – 8 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.
- Remove fish and place on paper towel to absorb oil.
We served this with a fresh green salad, slapchips, and tartare sauce.
There are more complex recipes, but a simple tartare is so easy to make:
Into two cups of your favourite mayo, add ½ a table spoon of chopped parsley, 1 tablespoon of chopped pickles (and 1 tablespoon of chopped capers if you’re feeling fancy), a squeeze of lemon juice, salt and black pepper to taste. And you’re done!
Enjoy with a chilled Windhoek Lager!