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FRIED WHITINGThe whiting caught in Icelandic waters is currently being assessed for the right to display the MSC ecolabel. Whiting is a fairly small member of the cod family but its flavour is equally good.


  • 4 parsnips, peeled
  • 4 x 150–175-g/5–6-oz whiting fillets, skin on
  • 50 g/2 oz/4 tbsp clarified butter (see here)
  • 200 g/7 oz mixed green salad leaves
  • 2 tbsp walnut oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped hazelnuts
  • groundnut (peanut) oil, for deep-frying and brushing
  • salt and pepper
How to Make It
  1. Heat groundnut (peanut) oil in a deep-fat fryer or tall, heavy-based saucepan to 180°C/350°F. Check the temperature of the oil with a cooking thermometer or by adding a cube of white bread, which should immediately rise to the surface and start to brown.
  2. While the oil is heating up, shave the parsnips into long thin strips using a vegetable peeler or mandoline. Add the strips to the hot oil and deep-fry until golden brown. Drain onto a plate lined with kitchen paper (paper towels) and sprinkle with salt.
  3. Pat the whiting fillets dry with kitchen paper. Brush groundnut oil over the fillets and season with salt and pepper. Heat a dry frying pan (skillet) over a high heat and lay the fillets in it skin-side down. Fry without moving the fish around so the skin becomes crisp. When the flesh turns white and is no longer translucent – after about 3–4 minutes – turn the fillets over carefully with a spatula. Fry for 1–2 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets, until cooked.
  4. Drain the fish onto a plate lined with kitchen paper. Add the clarified butter to the pan. Stir until the butter melts and turns a rich golden brown and has the aroma of roasted nuts – known as ‘beurre noisette’.
  5. Dress the salad leaves with the walnut oil and mix in the chopped hazelnuts.
  6. Serve the fish, skin-side up, with the ‘beurre noisette’ drizzled over and around. Accompany with the parsnip ‘crisps’ (‘chips’) and salad.

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