On the second season of Off Menu, we stopped in Dublin and it was my first time visiting Ireland. My family is of Irish descent so I went for it: pints of Guinness, learned to jig, and hunted down the city’s best fish and chips. My consensus? Nothing compares to the fish and chips at Fish Shop.
Okay, you might think more England than Ireland when you think of fish and chips but this place will change your mind. Fish Shop is a thimble-sized independent shop committed to serving sustainably-raised, top-quality local fish. Their menu is simple — everything revolves around fish and chips — but we fell for this fish sandwich that’s everything you want from great fried fish (perfectly cooked fish in a shatteringly crisp crust) but fancified with the addition of a fennel-apple slaw, an aioli, and a toasted brioche bun. Here is my take on their recipe.
grated on a Microplane
divided plus more for the slaw, and seasoning the fish
plus more for drizzling on slaw
fronds trimmed, halved, and core trimmed
or Pink Lady apple, cored and halved
torn just before using
or rice flour
or another firm, flaky fish like hake, haddock, or perch, cut into 4 pieces
For the mayo: Mash garlic with 1/4 teaspoon salt in small bowl until paste forms. Whisk in mayonnaise, olive oil, and half of the lemon juice. Season to taste with coarse salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead.)
For the slaw: Using a mandolin or very sharp knife, slice the apples and fennel paper thin. Add half of the lemon juice, a squeeze of olive oil, and season with a pinch of each salt and pepper. Toss to coat and refrigerate until ready to use. Just before using, mix in the mint, taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
For the fish: Whisk together the flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, baking powder, and beer and set aside to chill at least 10 minutes and up to 1 hour. When ready, place oil in a heavy-bottomed pot and heat over medium high heat to 365°F. Meanwhile, pat the fish dry and season all over with a pinch of salt. Place fish into the cornstarch, turn to coat, and shake away excess cornstarch.
When the oil is ready, dip the fish into the batter and let the excess drip off. Place fish into the oil (you may have to do this two pieces at a time), turn every few minutes to ensure even cooking, and cook until it’s golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove fish with a slotted spoon then place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain and sprinkle immediately with salt.
To assemble, spread the garlic mayonnaise across the bottom half of each brioche bun. Divide slaw among the brioche buns, top each with a fish fillet and a leaf of lettuce, close the sandwich and serve.
Food styling and photography by Aida Mollenkamp