I’m not gonna lie to you, I was pretty taken aback by the passion for fish fingers sandwiches when I moved to London four years ago. Everyone around me was casually eating hummus, avocado and lobster rolls like it was no big thing, whereas I still thought going to Nandos was a fancy treat. So why were all these people, people who I admired and respected and feared, losing their minds over something so ordinary?
The answer is obvious. It’s because fish finger sandwiches are bloody delicious.
They’re also getting a bit of a gourmet revival. Google “Fish finger sandwich” and you get recipes from people like Jamie Oliver and Tom Kerridge, and the Guardian has an article about how to achieve the “perfect” fish finger sandwich. They’re not just delicious, comforting and easy, they’re also trendy as hell. No wonder the aforementioned scary/cool people were getting into them.
Recently, I was asked to take part in the Ocean Hero campaign. This is a campaign by Loaf, which is a fantastic app I’ve been working with recently, and the Marine Stewardship Council. The MSC are the organisation who set the standards for sustainable fishing and traceability and work with scientists, fisheries, seafood producers and brands to promote sustainable fishing and safeguard seafood supplies for the future. They use cutting-edge forensic science to make sure the fish on your plate is sustainable, which is pretty cool, and are so accurate that 99.6% of MSC products are correctly labelled as sustainable, which is pretty damn fantastic. Find out more about the MSC by watching this video.
They asked me to create a speedy seafood recipe using MSC certified fish. I’m a huge believer in eating and living as sustainably as possible (ask me about the summer I spent interning on a green-issues website and hear me talking passionately about cleaning products and nappies, I dare you) but not a huge fan of fish, so I went for the wimpiest possible option and decided to use some MSC certified cod fillets from Sainsbury’s to make fish finger sandwiches.
Making your own fish fingers is easy, especially if you buy breadcrumbs rather than making your own, and there’s something incredibly satisfying about pulling them from the oven when they’re all crisp and golden and knowing that they’re entirely of your own creation. If you’ve got kids you could get them involved with making them, or if it’s just you you can have a satisfying supper on the table in 30 minutes or less. It tastes just as good as using shop bought fish fingers and tartare sauce, but with added pride that you’re cooking and eating sustainably and that you’re basically a food magician, a culinary Dumbledore if you will.
Now for the exciting bit – what you can win! Loaf and the MSC are challenging you to become an #OceanHero. Make this recipe, or your own version of it, and share a photo on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #OceanHero for the chance to win £75 of food shop vouchers – and tag me in it too on @jimsyjampots, because I’d love to see what you come up with!
Fish finger sandwiches
For the fish fingers
- 200g MSC certified cod fillets, skin removed
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 75g golden breadcrumbs
- 1 lemon
For the sandwich
- 2 baking potatoes, cut into chips
- Spray oil
- 3 tablespoons of extra-light mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons of mixed gherkins and capers, chopped finely
- 4 slices of thick farmhouse bread, buttered
- Crispy lettuce and tomato slices, to serve
- Heat the oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6. Pop a tray sprayed with oil into the oven to heat up
- Slice the fish fillets into thick strips
- Beat the egg in a wide, shallow dish with salt and pepper. Spread the breadcrumbs in a second dish and mix with the zest of the lemon
- Dip the fish strips in first the egg, then the breadcrumbs. Make sure they’re well coated. Put on a plate and in the fridge to cool
- Boil the potatoes in salted water for 5 minutes, then drain and steam dry. Tip the potatoes onto the tray, spray with oil, then bake for 15 minutes
- Shake the tray with the potatoes in it and add the fish fillets. Cook for 10 minutes, turn the fish, then cook for five minutes more
- Whilst the fish is cooking, lay the lettuce and tomato on two of the slices of bread. Mix the mayo with the gherkins and capers, then divide evenly between the sandwiches and spread on top of the lettuce
- Lay the fish on top of the lettuce and sauce and squeeze over a little lemon juice. Top with the slice of bread, and serve with the chips
Mmm mmm mmmmm. Utterly gorgeous. And so speedy!
Don’t forget, make your own version of this and Instagram/tweet me a photo with the hashtag #OceanHero to be in with a chance to win £75 of shopping vouchers.