Top British Chef’s Simple Recipe for Perfect Fish Sticks to Make at Home

Nathan Outlaw is one of the most-respected chefs in the U.K., known for his love of fish and for the creative seafood dishes that won him two Michelin stars at his flagship restaurant in  the west of England. 

More recently, he opened a London restaurant called Siren at the Goring, the royal family’s favorite hotel, just around the corner from Buckingham Palace, serving beautiful food such as a lobster tart and turbot with seaweed hollandaise and char-grilled fennel.

But this quietly spoken chef favors simplicity over luxury. He’s giving up the Goring and the Michelin stars, replacing Restaurant Nathan Outlaw with amore casual venue and an a la carte menu celebrating the finest fish.

Here is his recipe for one of the simplest fish dishes of all: Fish fingers (or sticks) served in a soft white bap (or roll). They come with mushy peas, which are popular in the U.K. but little-known elsewhere. They are dried marrowfat peas soaked overnight in water with bicarbonate of soda. It’s fine just to substitute frozen peas, or there are recipes online to make your own.

I asked Nathan for a recipe requiring no special kitchen equipment or skill and he adapted this one from the Fish Finger Roll in his book, Nathan Outlaw’s Everyday Seafood. If you have a blender and are happy to make your own mayonnaise, that is a great recipe. The version below is for novices like me and I can honestly say these are the best fish fingers I have ever tasted.

Fish Finger Baps, Pea Mayo

Ingredients (serves four):

600 grams (21 oz) haddock, sustainably caught cod fillet or similar white fish, skinned, pin-boned and cut into eight 2-3 cm (about an inch) wide fingers

100g plain flour

2 medium eggs, beaten

100g breadcrumbs

Sunflower oil for frying

Salt and pepper

6 tbsp good quality bought mayonnaise

1/2 small can mushy peas (or 100g of frozen peas, defrosted and mashed)

2 tbsp mint, picked and chopped

1 iceberg or cos lettuce, finely chopped

2 large gherkins, grated

1 lemon cut into wedges

4 large floury baps (soft bread rolls)


Richard Vines is Chief Food Critic at Bloomberg. Follow him on Twitter@richardvines and Instagram@richard.vines.

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