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Crispy Battered Baja Fish

Crispy battered baja fish(less) fillets on warm corn tortillas, topped fresh pineapple chilli salsa and a drizzle of vegan mayo.

A great summertime dish, full of fresh flavours and vibrant colours – guaranteed to please.

Make the salsa, mayo and tortillas ahead of time. Fry the fish(less) fillets just before serving.

Pineapple Chilli Salsa

½ ripe pineapple – approx 2 cups
200g cherry tomatoes
½ red onion
zest and juice of 1-2 limes
1-2 mild green chillis or jalapenos
fresh coriander

Finely dice red onion, add lime zest and juice, mix and set aside. Remove the skin of pineapple, dice and discard fibrous core. Quarter, then half, cherry tomatoes. Remove seeds and dice chillis. Add pineapple, tomato and chilli to red onion and lime. Add more of any ingredient according to your taste. Mix in cilantro just before serving.

Baja Banana Blossom Fish – makes 12 -16 mini fillets

510g tin Banana blossom in brine – drained
½ cup flour for dusting
1-2 tbsp ground nori
Sea salt

Batter

330ml Mexican beer or sparkling water
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp sea salt
150g plain flour or 75g chickpea flour/75g gluten free flour

Either heat a deep fryer to 170ºC or fill a heavy based pan with enough oil to cover your fish(less) fillets. Put dry ingredients into a bowl or blender, add beer or sparkling water and whisk/blend until smooth. Let it rest for 30 minutes. To prepare the banana blossom, drain the can and cut each piece of banana blossom lengthwise. Cut each length into 2 or 3 pieces on a diagonal. Keep the layers in piles. Mix flour for dusting, nori and sea salt. Coat each fish(less) fillet in flour. Dip in batter and fry until golden. Keep warm in the oven until serving – these could be lightly fried then dropped back in the fryer before serving.

Fresh Corn Tortillas

If you aren’t lucky enough to live somewhere that you can buy fresh corn tortillas, homemade definitely taste best.

200g Masa Harina corn flour
a pinch of salt
240 – 280ml warm water

In a mixing bowl, combine salt and masa harina, pour in 24oml of warm water and mix until it forms a ball. The dough should be soft and slightly wet, if you can’t roll the dough into smaller balls without cracks appearing around the edges, add a little water at a time until you can. Roll into balls approximately 30g x 14. You can keep these covered with a damp cloth in the fridge until you are ready to press them. If you don’t have a tortilla press, place a ball between 2 layers of clingfilm or a firm plastic bag on a flat work surface. Roll with a rolling pin or flatten with a heavy pan, they should be about 12cm in diameter. To cook the tortillas – pre-heat a griddle or heavy based pan until hot. Cook tortillas on each side until lightly browned and air pockets form, about 30-60 seconds, keep warm until serving.

Lime Mayo

Add zest and juice of a lime to store-bought vegan mayo
or ¼ cup aquafaba
1tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp lime juice
zest of a lime
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¾ – 1 cup canola or sunflower oil

Put aquafaba, lime juice, Dijon mustard and sea salt into a blender or tall vessel if using a stick blender. Blend until light and frothy, on a high speed slowly stream in oil, mixing continuously until thick and creamy. Pour into a bowl, add lime zest, taste and season. For an extra kick add finely chopped jalapeno.

Tip: If your mayo fails to thicken, add more aquafaba to the blender, mix until frothy then slowly pour in the mayo mixture, if it becomes too thick, you can add a little water or lime juice. Re-season to taste.

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