comfort food

This is an egg-less, multi-grain fish and chips batter. Not because I'm trying to be healthy. I did, afterall, fry these pieces of fish. I did it because I didn't have eggs in my fridge (for the first time in  my life, probably), and because I found a cornmeal-fried fish recipe that sounded delicious. And you know what? It was delicious and crunchy and stayed on the fish just fine. I just had to come up with a few tricks, that miraculously worked. I love it when that happens.

I played volleyball in high school and on away games or far away tournaments, we would always stop at gas stations and get jo jo's. I don't know if anyone outside of the Pacific Northwest calls them jo jo's, but that's just what they are. Like seasoned steak fries. And we always dipped them in ranch dressing. I'm probably being super un-authentic here, and I hope I don't offend anyone. I tried to recreate my memory of them.

Multi-grain Battered Fish
serves 4
 4 cod loins, patted dry and cut into 3 equal pieces
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to season the fish
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup buckwheat or whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons toasted white sesame seeds
2 tablespoons potato starch (potato starch gets crispier, but corn starch will work just fine)
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
canola (or peanut) oil
  1. Pat the fish dry with a paper towel. Season the fish with salt and pepper on all sides.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the cornmeal, buckwheat flour, sesame seeds and kosher salt. In a small bowl, combine the potato starch and 2 tablespoons water until completely mixed. Add the rest of the water and potato starch mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. If it's too stiff, add a little more water. Don't overmix.
  3. Heat a deep saute pan or skillet over medium heat. Fill 1/4~1/3 up the sides with the frying oil. Once the oil is heated, take one piece of fish and coat completely with the batter, letting excess drip off. Repeat with about half of the pieces of fish. Place gently in the oil, and let cook until lightly browned, about 2~4 minutes. Flip the fish over and cook the other side, about another 2 minutes. Drain on a cooling rack resting in a paper towel lined baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the fish.
  4. Serve with lemon wedges, vinegar, or a little bit of Japanese mayonnaise.
My Jo Jo's
serves 4
4 large Yukon Gold or medium Russet potatoes, cut into 6~8 wedges each
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 garlic clove, minced or grated
1/2 teaspoon herbes de provence, optional
2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Place a large baking sheet in the oven.
  2. Pat the potato wedges dry. In a large bowl, place all of the ingredient. Toss to coat the potatoes evenly.
  3. Pull the hot baking sheet out of the oven, and pour all of the potatoes on it in a single layer. Put back in the oven, and back for about 20~30 minutes, depending on desired darkness. Let the potatoes rest for a few minutes before serving.
  4. Serve with ranch dressing (optional:)).

1 comment:

Emily said...

I have tried to make jo-jos so many times and they have NEVER turned out! I'm definitely going to try your recipe!!