This dish requires very little preparation.
All I ask is that you’ve spent the day lounging in the sun, with intermittent dips into a sea of your choosing (or failing that, a paddling pool). A firm grip on a bottle of something frigid and refreshing is also obligatory, come to think of it.
And this might sound ridiculous, but an abundant supply of kitchen paper is nothing short of paramount. Firstly to catch the excess grease from the battered fish, but more importantly for the unavoidable and delicious mess that will ensue once you tuck into this battered pollock with a clam & turmeric broth and black rice.
[DjeuhDjoah – El Niño, Hot Casa Records, 2018]
Shopping list (serves 4)
Pollock fillets x 300g
Plain panko breadcrumbs x 5 tbsp
Sumac x 2 tsp
Vegetable oil for frying
Live clams x 1kg
Large shallots (very finely diced) x 2
Small red chilli (finely chopped) x 1
Garlic cloves (minced) x 3
Fresh ginger (minced) x 1 tsp
Fresh turmeric x 1 tbsp
Kaffir lime leaves x 3
Lemongrass stalk x 1
Chicken stock x 300ml
Coconut milk x 400ml
Lager beer x 200ml
Fresh coriander (finely chopped) x 1 large handful
Zest of 1 lime
Butter x 25g
Black rice to serve x 300g
Squeeze of lime juice
In a large pan with a lid, start by frying off the shallots in the butter. Do this over a medium heat for 10 minutes, before knocking down the heat and adding the chilli, garlic, ginger and turmeric. Season and mix well for a further five minutes.
Add the beer and reduce over a high heat for five minutes. Add the chicken stock and coconut cream, along with the kaffir lime leaves and lime zest. Continue to cook over a medium heat for 20 minutes.
Add the clams and turn the heat up to high. Once all the shells have opened (any that don’t, discard), add the coriander and mix well. Turn off the heat and cover.
You can now begin to cook the rice according to the instructions on the packet.
For the battered fish, mix together the breadcrumbs and sumac with a good pinch of salt & pepper in one bowl. Fill another bowl with gram flour, and beat the egg in a third.
Heat about one centimetre of vegetable oil in a heavy-based pan until it reaches 175°C.
Coat the pollock first in the gram flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumb mix, before lowering carefully into the hot oil.
Leave to cook for one minute on each side, keeping the temperature just above 175°C. Remove from the oil and leave to rest for two minutes on some kitchen paper.
Serve the battered pollock with the clam broth, alongside the black rice.