16 September 2012

Tiger Fish

Well, it's not actually tiger-fish. That's just for the benefit of Goldilocks, my picky 5 year old. He hates just about everything, except the things I can't feed him, namely gluten and dairy. Oh, and sugar of course. He LOVES sugar. With Goldilocks, it's all in the eye though. If it looks good, he'll probably taste it at least. Today, I worked on his new love of marine animals, and everything ocean, and promised him the rarest fish in the world, the kind that's striped, even after you cook it.

This dish has the benefit of having nori, which is stacked with iodine, a nutrient hard to find elsewhere in a child's diet (except for salt). And considering it is vital for healthy thyroid function and brain development, it's something we need to watch. "iodine deficiency during infancy may result in abdominal brain development and, consequently, impaired intellectual development" (www.mineralifeonline.com) Holy cow. Hope it's not too late...

  • fillets of firm white fleshed fish (eg. Hamour/grouper, Snapper, Mahi Mahi)
  • toasted nori (the green one), cut with scissors into thin strips
  • tapioca starch
  • egg - beaten
  • cool water
  • canola oil for frying 
  1. Cut the fish into fingers, about the size of the ones that come out of a box.
  2. wrap the nori around each piece carefully, and as tightly as you can without it breaking. The oils and moisture in the fish will hold it in place.
  3. Put your oil on to heat up (I shallow-fry in a wok, but a deep fryer would also work beautifully), and make your batter from the egg, tapioca starch and water. You are looking for a consistancy like pouring cream, or just a bit lighter. Thick enough to stick to the fish, but only a thin coating. Use a hand whisk - it mixes very easily.
  4. toss the wrapped fish in the batter piece by piece with a fork, drain a little to get the excess off, then fry until golden and crispy. 

Serve well salted (iodised salt of course!), and with wasabi mayonnaise or lemon wedges.


I have not used quantities, as this is not a precise recipe. However, if you like measurements, for a quantity that easily fed two adults and two children, I used 700g hamour, 2 sheets of nori, 1 egg, 6 tablespoons of tapioca and about 50ml water. I shallow fried in 2cm of canola oil, turning once. They took about 1 1/2 minutes on each side.

This batter is very similar to a tempura batter, but the egg helps it stick nicely.

To make your own wasabi mayonnaise, combine 2 tbsp mayo (I like Japanese Kewpie mayo) with 1/2 tsp wasabi powder, 1/2 tsp dijon mustard and salt and white pepper.


  1. Looks tasty, and sounds like a great alternative to regular fried fish!

  2. Thanks Tasmeea - they are pretty good (if I do say so myself! ha ha) my kids wouldn't go near them otherwise!


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