The great British seaside treat fish & chips gets a vegan makeover with delicious, flaky marinated banana blossom fish, cooked in a light and crisp beer batter. Perfect with chips, vinegar and tartare sauce.
5gseaweed thins / crispsor 1 sheet nori (sushi wrapper)
1tinbanana blossom(400, or 250g drained weight)
For the batter:
75gself-raising flourplus a little extra for coating the fillets
135mlbeer(check it is vegan) or sparkling water if you prefer
oil for frying
To marinate the banana blossom:
In an airtight container with a lid (such as a tub or tupperware box), mix the oil, soy sauce and juice of the lemon. Peel the garlic cloves and give them a bash with the flat side of your knife. Add a generous seasoning of salt and black pepper.
Take the seaweed thins or nori sheets and crush them into small flakes or a powder - either in a pestle and mortar or a mini-chopper / small blender. Add them to the marinade.
Drain the tin of banana blossom and rinse thoroughly under a cold tap.
Dry out as much as possible with kitchen paper then put it into the tub and use your hands to mix it around until it is fully coated with the marinade. Put in the fridge for 3-4 hours or ideally overnight.
To make the batter:
Weigh the flour, cornflour and salt in a large jug or bowl.
Add the beer and whisk until it is a smooth batter. It should be a pouring consistency, a bit like double cream. If it is too thin, add a little more flour, and if too thick add more beer or water.
Get your marinated banana blossom out of the fridge, and remove the garlic cloves. Tip some extra flour onto a small plate. Pour the batter into another shallow bowl or plate.
Dust your hands with a little flour, then pick up half of the banana blossom. Push the pieces together firmly, squeezing out as much liquid as possible. Squash it into roughly the shape of a fish fillet.
Thoroughly coat the banana blossom fillet with flour. Repeat with the remaining banana blossom to make a second fillet.
Pour oil into a wide pan until it is 1-2cm deep. Heat it until it reaches 180°C (or if you don't have a thermometer, stick the end of a wooden spoon or chopstick into the oil. If you see lots of bubbles form around the wood, your oil is ready for frying. If it is bubbling hard, the oil is too hot; let it cool a bit and check the temperature again).
Dip one floured fillet into the beer batter, turning over a few times until it is fully coated.
Use a pair of tongs to put your fillet into the oil. Repeat for the second fillet.
Cook the banana blossom fillets for 4-5 minutes on each side, turning regularly.
Remove them with tongs onto a piece of kitchen paper to drain excess oil. If you are cooking chips, now is the time to cook them.
Serve with salt and vinegar, ketchup, tartare sauce and a squeeze of lemon. Delicious!