Friday, 4 July 2014

Proper Fish and Chip Shop-Style Pea Fritters

Pea fritters are so British, aren't they? Mushy peas packed into a ball and then deep fried in batter. I used to love them when I was at college - they were cheap, hot and filling, especially when dredged in salt and vinegar. 




Recipes online seem to focus on trendy 'versions' of the chip shop style pea fritter - like fresh minted garden peas folded into a batter and then fried a bit like patties. And probably served alongside a pan-fried sea bass fillet or something. No thanks. I wanted a mushy pea ball of luminous green with a crisp, battered shell. Just like the old days. And my sister - who used to work in a chip shop - was only too happy to help me out with some insider tips. And here's how you do it. 

How to Make Proper Fish and Chip Style Beer-Battered Pea Fritters

Open a can of mushy peas (yes, this is as glamorous as it gets and honestly, it gets worse). Scoop out the mixture and squeeze it with your hands until most of the watery juice trickles out (see, I told you it gets worse). Drop this mixture in a bowl and add a pinch or two of garlic salt. You will now need to wash your hands. 

Combine about 50g plain flour and a little beer (or you can use sparkling water if you like) until you reach a batter consistency that's a little thicker than single cream. Chuck in a little pinch of salt. 

Add a couple of tablespoons of plain flour to a shallow bowl. Put to one side. 

Pour some oil or lard for deep frying into a saucepan until it comes up to about one third full. Set it on the heat, until it gets up to 185ÂșC or until a little drop of batter sizzles and turns golden. 

Roll the mushy pea mixture into small balls, about the size of golf balls and then roll lightly in the flour. Dip into the batter and lift, letting the excess batter drip off. Drop gently into the hot oil (I place it on a slotted metal soon first and then lower it in to avoid splashes or me burning my hands). Fry, in a couple of batches - don't try and fry them all at once, you won't have room and the oil might bubble over - for about 3 minutes, or until golden. Lift them out and drain on kitchen paper. 

Cool a little bit before sprinkling with salt and shaking some malt vinegar over. Careful - they're hot in the middle!