12 April 2018
A quick, simple and tasty starter of succulent white hake goujons in a crunchy coating, with a hot and spicy harissa and coriander mayo dip accompanied by sharp and sweet pickled cucumber.
To make the breadcrumbs, cut off the crusts, pull the bread into pieces and grind into breadcrumbs in a food processor. Add the cumin, paprika and a pinch of cayenne pepper and pulse briefly again.
Finely grate the zest of about half a lemon, add to the breadcrumbs and pulse briefly again. Tip onto a plate and leave to dry out.
For the dip, spoon the mayonnaise into a small bowl and mix in the Harissa to taste. Finely chop the coriander leaves and mix in. Season with salt and black pepper and chill in the fridge until required.
For the pickled cucumber, deseed and slice the cucumber into really fine strips. Place in a small bowl with the rice vinegar, just enough to cover the cucumber, and sugar. mix well, cover and chill in the fridge until required.
Heat the oven to 190 degrees or 170 degrees fan oven.
Remove the skin from the hake and cut into short, fairly thick fingers. Sieve the flour onto a plate and season with salt and pepper. Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl.
Coat each piece of fish in the flour, then the egg, and finally the breadcrumbs. Heat 3-4 tablespoons of sunflower oil in a large frying pan and cook the goujons for a minute or two on each side until crisp and golden; you may need to do 2 batches.
Lift the hake goujons onto a warmed, lightly oiled oven tray and, when all the fish is ready, bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare 4 plates with a serving of pickled cucumber and a small dish of harissa and coriander mayo, with a sprinkling of freshly chopped coriander to garnish. Add the crisp fish goujons and serve immediately.
* The amount of Harissa needed depends on the strength of your paste; I used 2 tablespoons of mine.
**You can use any white fish of your choice.
You could easily make this dish into a main course by cooking a little more fish and serving potato wedges and a salad on the side.
For a children's meal, try reducing the spice in the breadcrumbs and serving tomato ketchup or simple mayonnaise as a dip.