These paleo fish fingers are great for kids lunch box and as finger food. Tip: To quickly defrost the fish fillets, rinse them under warm water and then place in a bowl with hot water for 30-40 minutes. Rinse and pat dry well with paper towel before using.
For the fishcakes
- 500 g / 1.1 lb defrosted white fish fillets, such as haddock or hake
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 2/3 teaspoon salt
For the coating
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup desiccated coconut (unsweetened)
- 3 tablespoons tapioca or arrowroot flour/powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder (optional but gives a lovely yellow colour)
- coconut oil for cooking (ghee can also be used)
For mashy peas
- 2 cups frozen green peas (soaked in hot water for 10 minutes to defrost)
- 1 tablespoon butter or ghee (olive oil for those avoiding all dairy)
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped or grated
- juice of 1/4 lemon
- generous pinch of salt
For the tartar sauce
- 1 medium gherkin, grated
- 1/4 cup good quality mayonnaise or yoghurt if dairy is ok
- Cut the fish fillets into smaller pieces and add to a food processor with an S blade on. Whiz up for about 5 seconds to process the fish into finer consistency. Then add the onion powder, salt and half of the flour. Blitz for a further 5-10 seconds, until turned into minced, mashy fish mixture.
- Transfer to a bowl and add the rest of the coconut flour. Mix through well. Coconut flour absorbs some of the moisture in the fish making the mixture thicker and easier to shape into fingers. If you feel like it’s still too thin, you can add a little more coconut flour or tapioca flour. Vice versa, once you’ve transferred the mix from the food processor to the bowl and the mixture looks thick enough to shape with your fingers, don’t worry about adding the remaining coconut flour or add a little less.
- Whisk the eggs in a separate deep plate and set aside. Add the desiccated coconut, tapioca flour, salt and turmeric to a flat plate and mix through with your fingers, until evenly combined.
- Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and bring the heat down to medium. Using your fingers, shape about 2 tablespoons of the fish mixture into an elongated fish finger. The best way to do that is to roll the mixture into a ball and then to elongate and flatten it slightly. Coat it in the egg mix, then place over the coconut crumbs mixture and roll until evenly covered. Place the fish finger in the frying pan and continue with the rest of the mix.
- Cook for 2 1/2 minutes on each side (top and bottom) and then for additional minute on each side standing up (left and right), so they are evenly cooked through and golden brown. Make sure to check on the coconut oil, swirling the pan a couple of times if the oil ends up running to one side of the pan. Remember which fish fingers went in first and turn them over in that order.
- In the meantime, rinse the defrosted peas under hot water. Heat the butter (or ghee) in a small saucepan over medium heat until melted. Add the garlic and stir through for 20-30 seconds, until fragrant. Then add the peas, lemon juice and a generous pinch of salt. Using the potato masher, press the peas down as you stir them through with the butter and garlic. Mash until broken down but still quite course. Stir for about a minute, then turn the heat off.
- Finally, make the tartar sauce (this can also be done earlier on so you don’t have to worry about it last minute). Grate the gherkin into a small bowl and mix with the mayonnaise. The grated gherkin will add a lovely flavour, zing and a little bit of juice to dilute the thick mayo.
- Serve the fish fingers (about 3 per person) over some mashy peas and tartar sauce on top. I also like it with a side salad.