Friday night fish and chips is a tradition for many – I have a colleague who looks forward to his weekly cod and chips without fail – but this English delicacy is hardly the healthiest of dishes.
The National Federation of Fish Friers (which champions the fish & chip industry) says a 170g portion of fish with 280g of chips and 115g of mushy peas clocks in a 1,086 calories with almost 53g of fat. And that sounds like a small portion of fish & chips to me…
For a healthier alternative, I’ve started making my own fish & chips. The battered fish is replaced with a herb-crusted one, roasted curry-flavoured parsnips instead of chips and curry sauce and there’s minted gherkin-pea crushed to top it all off.
Okay, so it’s never going to exactly replace ‘proper’ fish & chips. But it’s delicious and feels like a treat anyway, without wasting a cheat day. And you don’t get any of that bloated lethargy that follows a fish & chip binge.
Healthy homemade fish and chips, for two
- Rapeseed oil
- 2 white fish fillets (make sure it’s MSC-certified)
- 1 wholemeal bread slice, blitzed into crumbs
- 1 tsp Italian hard-grated cheese
- 1 tsp lemon and parsley or fish seasoning (I’m using this one at the moment)
- 4 large parsnips
- 2 tsp medium curry powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 200g frozen peas
- 3 gherkins
- 1 tbsp capers
- 1 small bunch of mint or 1 tbsp of mint sauce
- 1 tbsp natural yogurt
- Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan-assisted). Peel the parsnips then chop into chip-sized pieces. In a bowl, coat them with rapeseed oil, curry powder and turmeric. Transfer them to a baking tray then put in the oven.
- Mix the breadcrumbs, cheese and seasoning with some rapeseed oil then season with salt and pepper. Coat the top of the fish fillets in the mixture then add to the oven once the parsnips have been cooking for 20 minutes.
- Boil a pan of water and cook the peas through. Transfer about half of the cooked peas into a small food processor with the gherkins, capers and mint then blitz into a rough paste. Stir the paste and the yogurt into the whole peas and season to taste.
- Put the fish on a plate, pile on the parsnip chips and add a portion of peas. Serve with pickled gherkins, pickled onions, tomato sauce, salt and vinegar – or any other fish & chip complements that take your fancy.
Source: MyFitnessPal; daily values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet