Written by Claire Goodwin


Good Friday food: Fish finger butties

If you’re fishing around for a great Good Friday sandwich filler, then put your nets away. GBBO 2014 contestant Claire Goodwin is sharing her recipe catch of the day.

fishI’ve worked in healthcare organisations for more than 10 years now. They have all been very different, but there is one thing they all had in common – and this says everything it needs to about institutionalisation – and that was that they served fish on a Friday. Every Friday. Without fail and apparently without bias or religious connotation too.

Oh, and they always served it with furry batter and bullet peas.

Do I hear a rumbling tummy?

I assume it remains the same in schools, whether Christian or multi-faith. And it definitely happens in care homes, universities, day centres, colleges and workplace canteens.

So here is, with a little side plate of irony, my recipe for the actual fish munching day of the year (if you are a Christian, which I am not, I am just indoctrinated).

I hope in years to come there will be the same rigidity in menu but with the greater and wider cultural and religious influences that make up our great country.

I want to see Middle Eastern and Pakistani fish dishes as a matter of course. I want to see Indian, Caribbean and Polish seafood embraced as thoroughly as the humble battered Friday Fish.

But until then, here are some fish fingers to try. In a cheap, white bread bun. I’ve added some Eastern spices. Y’know, to mix things up a bit.


Approximately 450g of smoked cod, defrosted if not fresh. I bought a frozen bag from Farmfoods and it was £1. Bargain.

Approimately. 100g of breadcrumbs. Mine were from homemade bread ends which are slightly lighter in gross weight, therefore if you are using shop-bought, you might need more.

2 tbsp of semolina (optional: this is for the scraps)

3 eggs, whisked

3 tbsp of plain flour

1.5 tsp Garam Masala spice blend

1.5 tsp cumin

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp of salt

Vegetable oil for frying

To serve: Cheap white baps *snigger* or bread slices, mayo/ketchup/whatever dip floats your boat and some sliced tomatoes (optional)

Please note: It may be sacrilegious for a baker to advocate cheap white bread. However, when it comes to comfort food, sometimes it is the only way. Fish fingers, pie and pasty butties are crying out for the kind of value bread that sticks to the roof of your mouth and caresses the filth inside.  


Prepare the breadcrumb mix

Put the spices, salt and breadcrumbs into a bowl and mix thoroughly

Place the flour in a bowl

Place the whisked eggs in another bowl

Prepare the fish

Pat the fish with kitchen roll to remove excess moisture

There will be tin parts of the fish fillets that a good finger will it not make. Therefore, slice these off and cut into small pieces. Place to one side: these are going to be our scraps.

Take the chunky bits of fish and cut into fingers. I cut mine quite chunky so they were at least three centimetres across and around six or seven centimetres long.

You are now going to pane (or coat) your fish fingers in crumbs by doing the following:

Roll the fish in flour

Dip the fish in the egg

Roll the fish in the spiced breadcrumbs

Re-dip in the egg

Re-roll in the breadcrumbs

Place on a place

Fun isn’t it?

fingersYou are now going to make the scraps

Mix the semolina into the remaining breadcrumbs. This will add extra crunch when fried

Put the scraps of fish into the flour, toss so they are well coated

Transfer the fish into the egg, toss so well coated

Transfer into the breadcrumb and semolina mix, toss so well coated

Remove from the breadcrumb (don’t tip from the breadcrumb bowl directly into the oil as you will tip remnant breadcrumbs in which will burn and find their way onto your scraps)


Heat the oil to around 170⁰C or so a scrap fizzes in the oil when dropped in to test

Fry the fingers for around 4-5 minutes or until golden brown. If your fingers start to go dark brown very quickly, your oil is too hot

Fry the scraps for around 2-3 minutes or until golden brown

Remove from oil and place on kitchen roll to absorb any excess oil

Serve with baps, dip and tomato.


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Written by Claire Goodwin

Claire is a speech therapist, baker, cake decorator, sometime radio guest and writer. She writes about food, being fat and living with mental health problems @bake_therapist; www.baketherapy.co.uk; www.facebook.com/CakeChemistryUK