I should have called this post 'poissons d'avril'...
Carp is a despised fish in the anglophone world. Unless they come from an Eastern European background, most Australians would not consider eating carp, for example. But here in central France we are neighbours with the important wetland known as the Brenne, where fish farming, especially carp, is traditional and is a significant contributor to the local economy. The favourite way locally to eat carp is either mashed into a paste called rillettes and spread on bread, or cut into strips (goujonnettes), battered and deep fried, and called frites de carpe.
200 g goujonnettes (strips) of carp
100 g flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
150 ml cold water
1 litre canola oil
- Put the flour, baking powder, salt and cold water in a jug and blend with an immersion blender.
- Cover the batter and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a large deep pot to 160 - 190 C.
- At the last minute, just before the oil reaches temperature, tip the carp into the batter and mix so all the carp is coated.
- Gently deposit the strips of battered carp one by one into the oil. Take care because the oil will foam and is super hot.
- Cook the carp for several minutes, until golden brown, stirring once or twice to make sure cooking is even.
- Take the battered fish out with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
- Serves 2, with chips and mayonnaise.
The carp goujonnettes came from Fish Brenne and cost €11/kilo.
The secret to crispy batter is to keep the batter refrigerated until the last minute.
I wrote about having battered Brenne carp for lunch at the Martizay Goose Fair here (includes a local recipe for a beer batter).
When I spoke to my Dad yesterday he was planning to cook oven baked fish and chips for his dinner. I hope they turned out as yummy as these goujons of carp.