Monday, 11 November 2013

Spicy Plaice Fillets with Crispy Potatoes

Lightly spiced, pan fried plaice fillets served with crispy, deep fried new potatoes

Plaice is funnily enough a type of British sea fish I don't remember ever catching while fishing. I have caught flounder and dabs which are similar in the way they are prepared and not unlike plaice in taste so any plaice recipes are pretty much interchangeable with these other species. This is good to know as plaice does tend to be a little bit more expensive than the common flounder. This is a very straightforward plaice recipe, easy to prepare and with few ingedients but its simplicity will hopefully not put you off: it was also absolutely delicious.

Potatoes ready for boiling

Ingredients per Person

10 to 12 baby new potatoes or as required
2 whole plaice fillets (see pictures below)
Vegetable oil for frying
2 tablespoons plain/all purpose flour
2 teaspoons medium chilli pepper
Salt and black pepper
Finely sliced basil leaves to garnish

Plaice fillets ready to be skinned


The potatoes should be boiled in their skins in salted water until done (about half an hour) then drained and left to cool.

You will need to skin the plaice fillets before they are fried in this recipe. Alternatively, you could ask in your supermarket or fishmonger's for this to be done for you.

Skinning a plaice fillet

Skinning a fillet of fish like this is not difficult and the technique can actually be seen in the above photograph. Simply lay the fillet skin side down on a board and hold the tail end with yout weaker hand. Cut through to the skin (but not through it) with your filleting knife and using backwards and forwards motions, slide the knife over the skin to free the fillet. Half each fillet lengthways along the natural line.

Seasoning is mixed through flour with a knife

Put the flour in to a wide bottomed bowl and season with the chilli powder, salt and pepper. Using a knife rather than a spoon to stir the combination helps prevent lumps forming.

Deep frying cooled and peeled potatoes

Rub the skins from the potatoes with your hand and deep fry in hot oil for five or six minutes.

Pan frying seasoned and floured plaice fillets

Bring a little oil up to a medium heat in a large, non-stick frying pan. Pat the plaice fillets in the flour, shake off the excess and lay them carefully in the hot oil.

Plaice fillets are very carefully turned to fry on their second side

The plaice fillets should only take a minute to a minute and a half each side to cook. They need to be turned carefully with a palette knife half way through cooking.

Fried plaice fillets are plated

Lift the potatoes to a paper covered plate to drain. Lift the plaice fillets on to a plate, garnish with the basil leaves and serve with the potatoes alongside.