Matt Moran is one of Australia’s most celebrated and influential chefs. ‘Cooking and running restaurants is my life – I couldn’t be happier,’ says the award-winning TV star. In his new cookbook, Australian Food, Matt marries the sophistication of restaurant food with simple, home cooked meals. Australian Food is full of mouth-watering recipes that take you take you on a great culinary journey from the azure Eastern coast of Australia and stunning summer dishes like Piri-Piri Chicken with Smoky Tomato Aioli or the refreshing Watermelon and Pomegranate Salad with Whipped Feta, to the ‘country’ section with its hearty, rural dishes to sooth the soul, like zesty Ricotta and Lemon Doughnuts.
Matt’s recipe for oven-baked fish and chips combines warm, country cooking with the vibrancy of summer seafood. Fresh Aussie flathead and Panko crumbs (yum), is everybody’s favourite beach-side treat. With a few extra special ingredients Matt breathes life into the age-old dish while keeping the recipe simple enough for even the most timid and inexperienced cooks. Enjoy!
Preparation Time 15 minutes
Cooking Time 35 minutes
I love fish and chips when it’s done well, and when it came to the fish and chips on the menu at North Bondi Fish, I was a stickler for getting it right. This oven-baked version is the next best thing and surprisingly easy. Serve with mayo or tartare sauce for dipping and a crisp green salad for a fresh and crunchy contrast.
1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) floury potatoes, such as Sebago, scrubbed and cut into 5 mm (¼ inch) thick chips
90 ml (3 fl oz) olive oil
120 g (4¼ oz/2 cups) panko crumbs
2 teaspoons finely chopped thyme leaves
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Finely grated zest of ½ lemon, plus lemon wedges to serve
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Seasoned plain (all-purpose) flour,
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) skinless flathead, snapper or other firm white fish fillets, cut into rough 10 cm (4 inch) pieces
Preheat the oven to 240°C (475°F) and place a baking tray in the oven on the top rack. Toss the potatoes and two-thirds of the olive oil in a bowl to evenly coat the potato, season, then spread in a single layer on the baking tray. Bake, tossing occasionally, for 20–25 minutes while you prepare the fish.
To prepare the fish, heat the remaining oil in a frying pan over a medium–high heat, add the crumbs, thyme, garlic and lemon zest and toast for 1–2 minutes until crisp and light golden, then tip onto a plate and season.
Whisk the eggs and mustard in a bowl to combine and place the seasoned flour in a separate bowl. Dust the fish in the flour, then dip into the egg mixture and toss into the crumbs, pressing so the crumbs stick evenly to the fish.
Place the fish in a single layer on a well-oiled rack placed over a baking tray and put the fish on the middle rack of the oven.
Bake for 6–8 minutes until the fish is just cooked through. Serve with the chips, lemon wedges, mayo or tartare sauce and a crisp green salad.