Weekend Herb Blogging is approaching its second birthday. The grand event will be next week, so stay tune for any update from Kalyn, WHB founder… This week, our guest host is the lovely Haalo of Cook Almost Anything At Least Once. And for this, I have prepared a dish inspired from Ezard, a restaurant in Melbourne, to participate.
At Ezard, the dish is called Tempura-Fried Fish & Chips with lime, soy and sesame. This reflects the Ezard´s focus on contemporary Australian food with some Asian flair. The idea itself is lovely, presenting a new take on the traditional fish and chips. To prepare the dish at home, I have used Ezard´s recipe with some personal modifications. I know tempura fish will be lovely, but it´s hard to let go the crunchiness that beer batter produced. So I replaced the tempura batter with the traditional beer batter (hence the name almost contemporary!).
I, however, really like the idea of Taro & Lotus Root Chips. These two ingredients, taro and lotus root, are used widely in Asian cuisines. And pairing them with fried fish is such a great idea… One note though, you need to get fresh taro and lotus root. The frozen ones, which are easy to find in Asian groceries, will not do.
To accompany the crunchy fried fish with taro and lotus root chips is the sweet soy dressing, sesame salt and some lime juice. Serve it with a salad; it is a perfect meal indeed.
Fish with Taro and Lotus Root Chips
Recipe from Ezard´s book with some modifications. This recipe serves 6 people.
Oil for frying
1 taro, cut into julienne strips
1 fresh lotus root, peeled, sliced finely at 45 degree angle
½ fine sea salt
6 large flathead fillets, skinned and boned
Some plain flour
250g self-rising flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp oil
2 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp sea salt
Sweet Soy Dressing
100ml sweet soy sauce (ketjap manis)
50ml light soy sauce
1-2 tbsp filtered water
Some icing sugar
Limes, to serve
For the beer batter: whisk half of the beer with the flour and oil. Make sure there is no lump. Then, whisk in the rest of the beer. Chilled 20 mins before using.
Heat the oil until hot. Deep fry the taro roots and then lotus roots. Drain on absorbent paper. Sprinkle some salt and icing sugar. Keep warm until ready to serve.
For the sweet soy dressing: whisk everything together. Taste then set aside.
Sesame salt: toast the sesame in hot pans until just brown. Cool. Grind the sesame seeds and salt together using a mortar ad pestle.
Close to serving, prepare the fish. Slice the fillet into long fingers. Dust each finger with some flour, shaking off any excess. Dip into the beer batter then deep-fry until crispy and golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper and sprinkle with some sesame salt
Serve the fish with taro and lotus root chips, accompanied with small dishes of sesame salt and sweet soy dressing. Also don´t forget the lime wedges!