Not your average fish and chips recipe
While preparing this fish and chips dish, I couldn’t help but think of my parents. Growing up, seafood was a big part of my life, not just because I ate it a lot, but because there are so many memories surrounding fish and chips and other seafood dishes that I would never forget in a hurry. My mother is originally from a riverine area of Nigeria, so seafood was always a tradition for her. I imagine that marrying my dad meant she got to share tons of interesting recipes with him because by the time I came around, my dad had already fallen in love with seafood himself.
Fresh fish was always abundant in my childhood home and at some point, I didn’t really like it (I know, amazing how ignorant kids can be!). What made this seafood tradition grow even deeper into my family roots is that around the age of 10, we moved into a neighborhood that was right around the corner from several fishing towns and a few minutes away from a handful of beaches. I remember one day, my dad took a walk to one of those fish markets and bought a significant amount of perch. He can back home, lit up the coal pot (just think of it as a grill), and started roasting the fish. He did not have to make any announcement to invite any of us in the house, the smell of the fish roasting on an open fire had all of us outside in minutes. We all sat warmed by the burning coal and eating roasted fish at the back of our house… there was no extra fancy equipment, no fancy serving dish, nothing more than hot coal, freshly caught perch, and a few seasonings, and it was the best fish dish I have ever had till date.
So this fish and chips recipe is dedicated to my mom and dad who just celebrated their birthdays! I love you both very much, words cannot express how grateful and lucky I am to have you as parents.
In this fish and chips recipe, I serve freshly caught fried perch with fried sweet potato cubes, fried taro root, and some plantain chips. I made the plantain chips just like the previous recipe, I just cut them a little differently.
Enjoy my recipe and let me know if you try it!
- 4 whole perch, scaled and gutted
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp bullion
- 1 tsp chilli pepper
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- ½ tsp dry mustard
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 2 batata sweet potatoes (red skinned sweet potatoes) peeled and cut into cubes
- 2 lbs tarro root, peeled and cut into 1 inch thick strips
- Oil for deep frying
- Combine all the dry seasonings (black pepper, bullion, chilli pepper, ginger, dry mustard, salt, and garlic powder), and set aside.
- Pat dry the cleaned fish so it is not wet, lightly score the fish twice on each side then season each fish with about ½-1 tsp of the dry seasoning. Massage the dry seasoning into the fish gently then set aside, in a deep fryer/ deep frying pan, bring the oil up to a temperature of about 350 degrees F. Usually if you don't have a thermometer or are too lazy like me to use it, just throw in a piece of bread into the oil, if it sizzles, then you know it is ready. Just be cautious, this method does not tell you if your oil is too hot.
- Fry the fish for about 10-15 minutes on each side, until the fish is golden brown on both sides.
- Fry the potatoes and taro root separately, until it is tender and crisp on the outside (takes about 10 minutes).