This is not so much a recipe as a public service announcement. You see fish fingers are just not something I ever put in my shopping basket. Like ever. Until a few weeks ago that is, when I styled a TV commercial that called for fish fingers. TV commercials are strange beasts. You won’t believe the ends food stylists go to for that perfect pea/orange/burger bun/chicken drumstick. You wade your way through dozens if not tens of dozens of the things. It’s all a bit OTT, but that’s the way it works. And so it was with the fish finger – I had to find the perfect one. Perfectly shaped, perfectly textured, perfectly coloured. And that’s just the outside. On the inside I wanted it snowy white, with large clearly defined, yummy-looking flakes – I told you it’s a nuts game. So naturally I had to buy every single fish finger option available, both from seafood brands and store brands. And I had to cook them all using various methods, all in the search for the perfect fish finger. Which one was the winner? I&J’s! Like by a country mile people! The winning cooking method? Pan frying.
I had a box left over from the shoot. Now the family-with-small-kids classic of fish fingers with mash and peas is not really how I roll. So I grabbed some hard taco shells (Woolies now sells them and they are quite reasonably priced) and popped them in the oven for three minutes. Two minutes later the fish fingers were done too. I stuffed the shells with baby leaf lettuce, thinly sliced radish and my take on a super quick, very tangy tartar sauce. That’s dinner done – in well under 15 minutes. Fish fingers. Versatile little sods. Who knew.
All you need is…
For the super-quick tartar sauce
1 cup thick creamy mayonnaise like Hellman’s
4 tbs finely chopped gherkins
2 tbs finely chopped capers (or wring the changes with pickled jalapenos)
2 tbs finely chopped parsley
4 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 tbs very finely chopped shallots (can substitute with white onion)
a few twists of freshly ground black pepper
finely sliced radish
shredded lettuce or baby leaf lettuce and micro herb mix
Mix all the tartar sauce ingredients together, cover and refrigerate until you use it. The longer it stands, the better it is. Cook the tacos and fish fingers according to package instructions. Put the lot on the table and let everyone assemble their own perfect taco bite.