Fish and chips might be perhaps my favourite British dish. As a child I used to love unwrapping newspaper parcels to find greasy treats inside. Copious amounts of salt and vinegar was always a must. Tartare sauce I always found a bit bizare, but was fully behind mushy peas.
Having searched high and low for a plant-based replacement for flaky cod, I can truthfully say that banana blossom is the one. Banana blossom is exactly what it sounds like – blossom from a banana tree. This edible flower has long been eaten in south-east asian cuisine, but it’s only now beginning to creep into western cooking. The flower has a dense and flaky texture, not too unlike that of fish!
Beer battered banana blossom is as close as I’ve come to tasting the original fish and chips. Here’s the kicker – it’s so easy to make and super cheap. I marinate my banana blossom in seaweed to give it an extra fishy taste. Then wack it in some batter and fry it for 2 mins, that’s it! Try these suckers out today, you won’t be disappointed.
When to eat
Enjoy year round.
This meal is around 90% less polluting than the average UK meal.
- Eating this recipe will save around 2.64 KG CO2e per person.
- That’s equivalent to the emissions produced driving 21.79 KM in a modern car.
- 450 g Banana Blossom (roughly 2 400g tins drained)
- 8 g Nori (about 2 large nori sheets)
- 2 Teaspoons Old Bay Spice Mixture
- 1/2 Teaspoon Mustard Powder
- 1 Litre Sunflower Oil (Enough for deep frying)
- 230 g Plain Flour
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 300 ml chilled Beer (preferably ale)
- Take the nori sheets and break into rough pieces. Add the seaweed to a small food processor along with the old bay seasoning and mustard powder. Blitz the seaweed into flakes.
- Place the banana blossom in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle it with the spiced seaweed flakes. Then cover the blossom with water (about 500ml) and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- After your banana blossom has finished marinating. Remove from the fridge and drain. Don’t worry about removing any stray seaweed from the blossom as this will impart flavour.
- Now make your beer batter. Mix together the plain flour and baking powder. Slowly whisk in the beer until you have a smooth and thick batter.
- Either using a deep frier or heavy pan heat the sunflower oil to 180˚c. When the oil is hot enough take a banana blossom piece and place into the batter. Cover well with the mixture and then place into the hot oil. Fry for about 2 – 3 minutes or until golden brown. Season immediately with salt.
- Repeat this process until all your banana blossom is fried. You can make larger “fish” pieces by taking two banana blossom pieces and squashing together in your hands. Then cover with batter and place into the hot oil. The batter should act like glue and you’ll have a larger batter piece.
- Serve with copious amounts of chunky chips and a good squeeze of lemon.