Crisp fried cod with lentils and vinegar

Serve up a splendid fish dish, with Paul Rankin's spiced battered cod and Puy lentils, a great combination of flavours
By Paul Rankin
Crisp fried cod with lentils and vinegar
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 500 ml vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 8 tbsp whipping cream
  • 2 egg whites
  • 4 boneless cod, fillets, about 100g each
  • 2 tsp parsley, chopped to garnish

For the lentils

  • 100 g Puy lentils
  • 700 ml chicken, or vegetable stock or water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp onions, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp carrots, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp leeks, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp celery, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp potatoes, finely chopped
  • 6 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 100 g unsalted butter, chilled and diced

For the spiced flour

  • 8 tbsp plain flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp thyme, ground
  • 1 tsp freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt


1. First cook the lentils. Rinse them in plenty of cold water then put them into a small pan with the stock and the salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. 2. Add the diced onion, carrot, leek, celery and potato and cook for a further 10-15 minutes or until everything is cooked. 3. Add the vinegar and whisk in the diced butter. Keep warm. If you need to plan ahead, the lentils can be kept for a day or two in the fridge. If you are doing his, do not add the butter until you reheat the lentils just before serving. 4. Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 190?C. 5. Make the spiced flour. Sift the flour, baking powder, cayenne, thyme, pepper, garlic pepper and salt into a bowl. 6. In a small bowl mix the cream with the egg whites. 7. Dredge the cod fillets in the spiced flour. Massage the fish in the cream mixtures then dredge them in the flour again. Repeat if you prefer a slightly thicker crust. 8. Carefully drop two of the cod fillets into the hot oil and cook for about 4 minutes until they are crisp and golden. Drain on kitchen paper. Keep warm while you cook the remaining fillets. 9. To serve, spoon generous amounts of lentils onto warm serving plates and top each serving with a cod fillet. Finish with a sprinkling of parsley.

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