Paleo | Gluten Free | Dairy Free | Refined Sugar Free | Serves 2
It may not be typical beach-going weather, but there’s no reason to not enjoy a traditional kiwi meal of fish & chips all year round. After a few weeks of hearty winter fare, I really felt the need for something light and fresh- who knew a kiwi favourite such as fish & chips could fit the bill?
Coming from a boatie family, almost all my life I’ve taken for granted having freshly and sustainably caught snapper; kahawai and a bounty of other local fish available all summer-long. Since leaving the nest, this is one of the things I definitely miss the most about home. Nothing will ever compare to my Grandy’s golden crumbed snapper (Love you Grandy x), but I think this is a pretty close second, and it ticks off the right boxes for all of us restricted eaters out there.
Paleo and gluten free, I think the coconut adds just the right balance of flavour and texture to these fish & chips. I love that this gives just a subtle hint of flavour to the fish, while avoiding a lot of the unnecessary processed additives that may be found in commercial gluten-free bread crumbs. I also like the addition of lime as a subtly more fancy accompaniment than my usual lemon slices. However, given scarcity and price, these can of course be replaced with lemons.
And the pièce de résistance- deliciously crispy sweet potato fries- or as we call them here in New Zealand- kumara chips.
Wedges or chips.
Elevated to kumara-shortage-inducing popularity by the likes of Burger Fuel, Kumara fries have been a popular snack in Aotearoa since pre-colonial times (okay, well at least since the nineties). I still remember the few occasions I tasted this delicacy as a child, looking forward to chips with my aunty in Christchurch because the local chipper was the only one I’d ever been to that offered kumara chips. With their sweet flavour it is no surprise that these delicious tubers are taking the paleo/ primal world by storm. However, as many of you have no doubt found out for yourselves, crafting them into the perfect chip- deliciously crispy on the outside, soft on the inside – can be quite a challenge.
I’m pretty skeptical about the use of a deep frier, so I’m happy to say, that I’ve managed to achieve near perfect chip status just using our trusty oven. The trick is to toss with the bare minimum amount of oil, and keep them spread apart on the baking trays so they don’t steam at the bottom of a pile. If you like, you can also try finishing them off with the oven door slightly ajar, which I’ve found can sometimes help them crispen up. In any case, never fear a little dark brown- as long as you cook them in the middle of the oven, a dark edge will usually just mean a yummy, caramelised type flavour to your chips, rather than a burnt disaster.
Anyway, enough talk. Whip these fish & chips up for your Saturday night dinner and your whanau will love you for it!
NB: Generous “I-just-finished-a-massive-workout” helpings of chips, reduce by half a medium sized kumara per two adults if serving with side salad or greens.