Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Deep-fried fish bites with homemade ketchup and fennel salad

Prep time 30 mins to 1 hour
Cook time 30 mins to 1 hour
Serves 4
From Saturday Kitchen
A treat of deep-fried fish and prawns, flavour-packed homemade ketchup and a fresh, crunchy radish and fennel salad.


  1. For the tomato ketchup, heat the vinegar, bay, spices and sugar in a heavy-based pan until simmering.

  2. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to the boil and stir to prevent the mixture from sticking to the side of the pan.

  3. Reduce the temperature to a simmer and cook for a further 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. Blend the mixture in a blender until smooth, then push the ketchup through a sieve.

  5. For the fish bites, fill a deep-fat fryer or a large, deep, heavy-bottomed pan two-thirds full with vegetable oil. Heat to 180C. (CAUTION: Hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)

  6. Meanwhile, mix the yeast and sugar in a bowl. Pour over the beer and vinegar and whisk in the flour and salt. Leave to ferment. It is ready to use when the mixture starts to bubble.

  7. Dip the fish into the batter and deep fry until golden-brown and cooked through (3-4 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

  8. For the salad, mix together all the ingredients.

  9. Put the fish bites in a basket lined with greaseproof paper and serve with the ketchup and salad.


For the tomato ketchup

  • 250ml/9fl oz red wine vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 75g/3oz light soft brown sugar
  • 1.6kg/3lbs 8oz tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp flaked sea salt
  • 1 tbsp English mustard powder
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • splash Tabasco sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1-2 tbsp cornflour

For the fish bites in cider vinegar batter

  • vegetable oil, for deep frying
  • 15g/½oz fresh yeast
  • pinch sugar
  • 300ml/10fl oz beer
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 200g/7oz plain flour
  • pinch salt
  • 200g/7oz cod fillet, skinned, cut into pieces
  • 200g/7oz smoked haddock, skinned, cut into pieces
  • 200g/7oz tiger prawns, tails on and shelled

For the radish and fennel salad

  • 1 butterhead lettuce, leaves removed
  • 1 head fennel, thinly sliced lengthways on a mandoline
  • 5 radishes, sliced
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juice only

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Deep-fried fish bites with homemade ketchup and fennel salad

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