Scottish Fish with an Asian Twist:
Salt & Pepper Fish Goujons
So, what is a “Goujon”? Well, the word originates from the French word “Gudjeon” which is a fish, and we seemed to have embraced the term for these fried fishy morsels about twenty years ago, when they became “de rigueur” on every Bistro menu. They are simply posh fish fingers, strips of fish that are fried in breadcrumbs or batter, a bit like the “fish scraps” you used to be able to ask for at the chippy (fish and chip shop)……maybe that’s where the ubiquitous “chicken nugget” originated from too, who knows.
I have to admit to being a bit of a fan of the goujon, and if I see them on a restaurant menu I am always tempted to order them; slimmer and more elegant than a fish finger, they are the ultimate “dipper” for all types of creamy sauces and dips – from simple horseradish sauce to unctuous garlic mayonnaise. I also love them when served with a crusty roll, for fishy sandwich building…..they are simple (if time-consuming) to make and deserve a place on my Fish on Friday meal table.
My delectable Salt and Pepper Fish Goujons were made with some “Delish Fish” fish that I received a few weeks ago, and was a mixture of smoked and unsmoked fish. I used a mixture of Scottish hake, smoked hake and haddock, and the results were very impressive, with the subtle smoky flavour enhancing the sweet chilli sauce. Served as a light luncheon dish alongside crisp salad leaves and a wedge of fresh lemon, it made for a delightful meal, and we even treated ourselves to a cheeky glass of white wine each.
I decided to create a recipe with an Asian twist – one of my favourite Asian dishes is Salt and Pepper Squid – Felicity Cloake has an amazing recipe that I usually use, but, I decided to branch out with fish, for a change. Salt and Pepper squid is usually cooked in a salt and pepper cornflour coating, although I have seen “tempura batter” mixtures too; staying close to the original recipe of a light dusting of salt and pepper coated fish, my recipe suggests no batter and a seasoned cornflour coating, which added a wonderful crispy crumb to my fish.
The fish strips curl up just like a Christmas cracker fortune-telling “magic fish” and are cooked in under three minutes. Sprinkle to extra salt and pepper over them if you wish, I did, and then dunk them in some sweet chilli sipping sauce for the ultimate Chinese recipe experience. You can use any firm white fish, such as hake, pollack, haddock, cod, coley, ling and plaice, and DO try to be experimental with the recipe and use smoked fish as I did. Once cooked, you can freeze the goujons for future fishy pleasure.
Please do try this recipe – it is perfect for any dinner party appetiser or for a sharing family supper – just pile loads of the tasty fish strips onto a big plate, offer lots of assorted dips and get stuck in! That’s it for today, my last recipe using Delish Fish is here: Smoked Plaice, Leek & Cheese Gratin with Chervil & Lemon. Karen
Disclaimer: With thanks to John at Delish Fish for sending me a hamper of fish: all views and opinions are my own.
Salt and Pepper Fish Goujons
|Prep time||20 minutes|
|Cook time||10 minutes|
|Total time||30 minutes|
|Meal type||Appetizer, Lunch, Side Dish, Snack, Starter|
|Misc||Gourmet, Serve Hot|
|By author||Karen S Burns-Booth|
- 100g cornflour
- 2 teaspoons cracked black peppercorns (Szechuan pepper is best)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt crystals (such as Maldon salt)
- 400g firm white fish cut into strips, about 5cm (2 (such as smoked hake, hake, cod, smoked haddock, haddock, pollack or ling)
- rapeseed oil, for frying
- sweet chilli sauce, for dip
- lemon wedges, to serve
A fishy twist on the usual recipe for Chinese Salt and Pepper Squid - I have used prime Scottish smoked fish in my adaptation of this classic dish. Serve with sweet chilli dipping sauce and salad leaves for a light lunch or an appetiser.
|Step 1||Mix the cornflour together with the salt and pepper.|
|Step 2||Put the salt and pepper mixture into a large bowl and coat the fish in the mixture, making sure it is well covered. Coat the fish in batches.|
|Step 3||Heat the rapeseed oil in a large wok and fry the fish in batches until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes for each batch - do not overcrowd the pan.|
|Step 4||Drain each batch of fish on kitchen paper and keep warm in a pre-heated oven.|
|Step 5||When all the fish has been fried, serve immediately with sweet chilli dipping sauce and fresh lemon wedges.|
Dominic Franks says
oh my word, you are making this for me when we come to stay and some veggie stuff for the V… I LOVE these. Just my favourite food!
Karen Burns-Booth says
You’re on Dom – come over and I’ll cook these for you and something veggie for the Viking!
Stuart Vettese says
These look heavenly Karen. We must be on the same wavelength as I’ve just made something with Arbroath Smokies. Scottish fish cannot be beaten!!
Karen Burns-Booth says
Thanks Stuart – yes, Scottish fish is wonderful and smoked fish is so often overlooked in everyday dishes too!
Glamorous Glutton says
I’m very partial to a goujon too. Salt and pepper coating is a great idea and so perfect for dipping. GG