Fabulous Homemade Fish Fingers

I think fish fingers are a fabulous thing, and I defy even people who don’t like fish to not like this recipe, which also super-duper easy. You can use this technique with loads of different kinds of fish, but the one I would recommend is salmon – the rich, zingy taste goes perfectly with the crunchy breadcrumbs, plus it’s very easy to cut and skin. When you’re in the supermarket, look out for the thick narrow fillets rather than the wide flat ones. One more thing – you might be tempted to buy some lovely fresh bread to make the breadcrumbs with, but I actually find white sliced does the job best! It really breaks up well so that you get a nice fine coating, and because it’s plain white you end up with a lovely golden colour when you fry it.

2 salmon fillets
3 or 4 slices of white bread
1 egg
A couple of tablespoons of flour
Salt and black pepper
Olive oil

Oven fries and peas, to serve

Serves 2.
First of all, prepare your fish – you don’t have to skin it, as the skin is perfectly edible (and, I think, rather delicious), but you can take it off if you’re not a fan. Try loosening it gently with the tip of a sharp knife, and you should be able to peel it off. Next, cut each fillet in half crossways and in half again lengthways, so you end up with eight fingers in total. Put these to one side while you make the breadcrumbs.

I know I’ve banged on before about how great my Cuisinart mini food processor is, but it really is the perfect tool for making breadcrumbs! Don’t worry if you haven’t got anything like that though – you can use a hand blender, or you can let the bread get stale and then crumble it up by hand. Take the crusts off though, because they won’t break up as easily and you’ll end up with big lumps. Season the breadcrumbs well and mix it in with a spoon.
Now is probably a good time to get your chips in the oven, if you’re having any – I find they usually take about 10 minutes, and I always do mine under the grill (even if they are ‘oven’ chips) because they end up much crispier.

Next, get a bit of a production line ready: on one plate, spread out the flour (plain or self-raising, it doesn’t really matter – whatever you’ve got in the cupboard), then break the egg into a little bowl and beat that with a fork, and finally spread out your breadcrumbs on another plate. Put a frying pan on a medium heat and add a good splash of olive oil. Taking each fish finger in turn, roll it in the flour, then shake off the excess and dip it in the egg, let the excess drip off and then roll it in the breadcrumbs, making sure all the sides are well-coated. Add each one to the frying pan as you go along.

You’ll probably find that the first side takes longer to cook, but keep an eye on them, because once the pan gets up to temperature, when you turn the fingers over the other side will cook very quickly! Put your peas in to boil when you’ve turned the fingers over for the first time, then keep watching them and turn again to keep the colour even. You’ll probably need a fish slice or a spatula to move them, rather than tongs, because as the salmon cooks it will become flaky and might fall apart. Once it’s nicely golden on all sides, serve it up with chips and peas and (if you’re like me) plenty of mayonnaise.

If you fancy serving it a bit differently, why not go for a fish finger sandwich with salad? Follow the same process as for my Crispy Chicken Club Sandwich, for a bit of a retro pub classic.