Monday, 16 April 2018

Fennel Fritters

I adore these. Call it tempura if you like. Or fritto misto, bahji, no-name pak. Every culture has this dish of vegetables deep fried in a light batter. For some reason we don't seem to do it much in the UK. Fennel  is transformed by deep frying. Yes, OK, arguably all veg are (chips!) but fennel's delicate flavour and texture works so well here. I put this as a side with pork, chicken or fish. Cut smaller, it's also great as a 'nibble', served ow-ow-ow hot, straight from the fryer. 

Batter matters. There are many variations. I use an egg white and cornflour. It sticks well and puffs delightfully. I always seem to have spare egg white in my fridge; a consequence no doubt of my many adventures in ice cream.

Fennel Fritters
Serves six as a side.

Slice the tough bottom off a large fennel and any stalky ends. Slice the rest lengthways quite thinly, a few mm. Leave on any green fronds. These look and taste great.

Mix up a batter by whisking two egg whites to floppy. Add a tablespoon of cornflower and whisk well. It should feel  like gloss paint. 

Roll the slices of fennel around in the batter and drop individually into oil heated to 180°C. If you put it all in together, that's exactly how it'll come out. The fritters will float tenaciously as the batter bubbles so keep them dunked under. After a couple of minutes, turn the fritters in the oil. Remove after another couple of minutes or until golden.

You can of course take them out just before ready and then refry just before service. Especially useful if, like me, you have an open kitchen and don't necessarily want that chip shop vibe.


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