Love fish fingers? Take the convenient comfort food to the next level with this fish finger bhorta, which will serve as the solution when you’re in need of some bright sustenance. The crisp fish fingers come together perfectly with the soft pickled onions, garlic, ginger and chillies – flavours made more piquant with the addition of coriander, spinach and lime.
This recipe is featured in Nigella Lawson’s new BBC show which focuses on her favourite recipes for home-cooking. Nigella’s Eat, Cook, Repeat, premieres in Singapore on Monday, 16th August at 7.00pm, on StarHub channel 432 and BBC Player.
- ½ red onion
- Red wine vinegar or lime juice to cover
- 2 regular onions (approx. 300 g)
- 2 red chillies
- 2 fat cloves of garlic
- 1 x 15 ml tbsp finely grated fresh ginger (approx. 50 g chunk of ginger)
- 12 fish fingers
- 3 x 15 ml tbsps cold-pressed rapeseed or vegetable oil
- 2 tsps sea salt flakes (or 1 tsp fine sea salt)
- 125 g young spinach
- 1 lime
- 3 x 15 ml tbsps roughly chopped coriander, plus more to serve
Make your pink-pickled onions as far in advance as you can: at least 2 hrs and up to 24 hrs. Place the red onion in a jar with a lid, or simply into a bowl that you can cover. Pour over the red wine vinegar (or lime juice), pressing down on the onions until they are all just immersed. Put the lid on the jar or cover your bowl, and leave the onions to steep.
When you’re ready to make and eat the bhorta, heat the oven to 220 C (200 C fan-forced).While you’re waiting, peel and slice your 2 regular onions into fine half-moons, deseed the chillies (or not if you prefer) and slice them finely, and peel the garlic. If the skin is tough, peel the ginger (using the tip of a teaspoon) then grate it finely to give 1 tablespoonful.
When the oven’s hot, and your ingredients are assembled and ready, put the fish fingers on a baking sheet and cook for approximately 20-25 mins, which may be slightly longer than the packet directs, but will ensure the breadcrumb coating is really crisp.
Meanwhile, warm the oil in a large frying pan (I use a wok-shaped stir-fry pan), and cook the onions over medium-low for 15-20 mins, stirring regularly, by which time they will be pale gold and soft.
Add the sliced chillies, stirring all the while, for 3 mins, then stir in the grated ginger, mince or grate in the garlic, and cook, still stirring, for another 2 mins. Spoon in the mustard and salt, stirring to combine, then add the spinach leaves and let them wilt in the pan, stirring, for 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly, then squeeze in the juice of the lime.
Take the pan off the heat while you get the fish fingers. Break them up a bit with a spatula and then add them to the wok or frying pan. Toss everything together, breaking them up further, and sprinkle over the coriander.
Serve topped with the pink-pickled onions, adding extra chopped coriander if wished.
Text: Nigella Lawson/BBC