Mark Hix is a champion of British cuisine. He focused on the country’s produce and traditional dishes before the U.K. started to lose its reputation as a culinary joke, and he was one of the most influential chefs in accelerating that process.
To this day, his influence shows on the menus of London restaurants such as The Ivy and Scott’s, which he opened as chef-director at Caprice Holdings. His own London restaurants closed earlier this year and he now owns theOyster & Fish House, in his native Dorset, on the south coast of England. He has also been named director of food and drink at 1 Lombard Street, in the City of London.
Mark is a keen fisherman, and for Bloomberg he’s supplied a recipe for his Fish House Burger.
He got the original idea about 20 years ago from a recipe in Saveur magazine and has been serving variants on it since then. Here, he is suggesting 50% white fish and 50% prawns, but says it’s fine to vary the ratios. The raw saltwater prawns help to bind the mix. Mark says it’s essential not to use the cheap imported prawns that wash up in sandwiches.
Of all the recipes I’ve published in recent months, this may be the simplest and it is certainly one of my favorites. It is delicious. I used cod rather than monkfish. I went off piste and served my burger with a simple Marie Rose sauce that I found on the Internet. Mark was fine with that, though he always uses a spiced tartare sauce.
He was less impressed with my use of extra virgin olive oil for frying, describing it as a bit of a waste of olive oil. The recipe serves four. I used half the ingredients and ate for two.
300 grams (10.6 ounces) firm white fish, like monkfish, boned and skinned
300g shelled weight of raw saltwater prawns, deveined
A good pinch of cayenne pepper and salt
Three or four medium spring onions, cleaned and finely chopped
Fresh white breadcrumbs to coat
4 soft burger buns
6 tablespoons tartare sauce, spiced up with chili sauce or Tabasco
Coarsely blend the white fish and half of the prawns in a food processor, season with the cayenne pepper and salt, then transfer to a bowl.
Roughly chop the rest of the prawns and stir in with the fish mixture and spring onions.
To test the mix for seasoning and consistency, make a little flat patty, coat in breadcrumbs and pan fry; re-season if necessary. Mold the remainder of the mix into 4 patties slightly larger than the buns, coat in breadcrumbs and refrigerate for a couple of hours.
Heat a frying pan with a tablespoon of oil and cook the burgers on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side. Serve in a lightly toasted bun with spiced tartare sauce along with coleslaw or a herb salad and a lemon wedge on the side.
Richard Vines is Chief Food Critic at Bloomberg. Follow him on Twitter@richardvines and Instagram@richard.vines.
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