Cold fish 'n' chips

Cold fish 'n' chips

Hungry For That
Lauren Bamford

When I was a kid, my family lived above our restaurant in Caulfield, southeast of Melbourne’s CBD. On Saturday mornings I would be on bottle duty, which meant emptying all the bottles from the night before into the big bin in the back alley. Dumping bottles is super noisy and it would always wake up the neighbours who lived on the other side of the alley. Instead of getting grumpy, they would call me in to turn all of their lights on. I would race in and out, never thinking much of it. My mum later told me they would ask me to do this for religious reasons – being Jewish Orthodox, they observed the Sabbath and refrained from turning on electricity during this time. I remember at the time thinking, ‘How do they cook? What do they eat?’

Ten years later, I was really getting into bagels and blintzes and I would head to the bagel shops in seaside St Kilda in Melbourne. Apart from the bagels, I always bought the cold fried fish. I loved it with just a little salt. I realised recently that cold fried fish is traditionally eaten on Shabbat and Jewish holidays, and I wanted to build a meal around it. I call it ‘fish ’n’ chips’ cos it rings well, but really the potatoes are just roasted potatoes. This dish is great in summer and can obviously be prepared beforehand.


Quantity Ingredient
3-4 all-purpose potatoes, cut into 1.5 cm-thick chips
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
250g green cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons dill, finely chopped
1kg firm, white-fleshed fish fillets


Quantity Ingredient
125g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight then drained
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 garlic cloves, crushed
125g tahini
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons iced water

Salsa verde

Quantity Ingredient
1 bunch coriander
1 bunch mint
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons capers
250ml olive oil
1/2 white onion, thinly sliced on a mandoline
salt, to taste


  1. For the hummus, cook the chickpeas and bicarbonate of soda for 3 minutes. Add 750 ml water and bring to the boil. Cook, skimming any foam and loose skins that come to the surface, for about 30 minutes, or until the chickpeas are super tender. Drain well and transfer to a food processor or blender. Process the chickpeas into a paste, then add the garlic, tahini, salt and lemon juice and blitz again until combined. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the iced water. The hummus will become really creamy within 1–2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes, then refrigerate.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roast the potatoes with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a roasting tin for about 1 hour, or until the potatoes are crisp and cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile, make the salsa verde. Wash and dry the herbs, then start chopping them on a large board. Add in the capers and continue chopping. Drizzle in the olive oil, bit by bit, continuing to chop and working the mixture back into the middle of the board. Continue adding the oil and chopping the herb mixture until all of the oil is incorporated. Transfer to a bowl and mix through the sliced onion.
  4. In a bowl, combine the cabbage, lemon juice and dill to make a slaw. Drizzle with olive oil and toss.
  5. Heat a barbecue or chargrill pan to medium–high. Lightly oil the cooking surface and grill the fish for about 3–4 minutes each side, or until cooked through. Let the fish cool then refrigerate. Remove the fish from the fridge 30 minutes before you want to eat it.
  6. Serve the cold fish with the ‘chips’, salsa verde, hummus and slaw.
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