Vodka and tonic-battered haddock with mushy peas

Two food marriages made in heaven combine in this naughty-but-nice fish supper from James Martin – fish and chips with vodka and tonic… what’s not to love?


For the mushy peas
  • 225g/8oz dried marrowfat peas
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 35g/1¼oz butter
For the battered haddock
  • 1 tbsp fresh yeast
  • pinch salt
  • pinch sugar
  • 175ml/6fl oz tonic water
  • 200g/7oz plain flour
  • 25ml/1fl oz vodka
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 4 x 175g/6oz haddock, skinned, pin bones removed
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges

Preparation method

  1. For the mushy peas, soak the peas in a large bowl in three times their volume of water with the bicarbonate of soda for at least four hours or, if you have the time, overnight.

  2. Drain the peas in a colander, rinse under a cold running tap and place in a large, lidded pan. Cover with water (about 2.5cm/1in or so above the peas), cover with a lid and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the peas for 1½-2 hours, stirring from time to time. The peas should be soft and mushy in texture but not too dry. If they are wet, continue cooking over the heat with the lid off to dry out a little. Beat in the butter and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  3. For the haddock, mix the yeast, salt and sugar in a bowl until well combined.

  4. Pour the tonic water into the yeast mixture and whisk in the flour, vodka and vinegar. Leave the mixture to ferment – it is ready to use when the mixture starts to bubble.

  5. Meanwhile, heat a deep fat fryer to 190C/375F. (CAUTION: Hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)

  6. Coat the haddock fillets in the batter and fry in the hot oil for 3-4 minutes, or until golden-brown and crisp. Carefully remove the battered haddock with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

  7. Place the haddock onto plates and serve with a dollop of mushy peas and wedge of lemon.

James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen Best Bites

Over 2 hours preparation time

1 to 2 hours cooking time

Serves 4

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