Fish House Burger puts the sea on a bun

Richard Vines

BLOOMBERG – Mark Hix is a champion of British cuisine. He focussed on the country’s produce and traditional dishes before the UK 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 the Oyster & 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.

Hix, a keen fisherman, shares his recipe for 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 per cent white fish and 50 per cent prawns, but says it’s fine to vary the ratios. The raw saltwater prawns help bind the mix.

I used cod as a white fish, and found the recipe simple and delicious.

FISH HOUSE BURGER

Servings: 4 servings

Note: Fish patties must chill for a couple of hours before frying

Fish House burger. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

INGREDIENTS:

11 ounces firm white fish, like monkfish, boned and skinned

A good pinch of cayenne pepper and salt

11 ounces raw saltwater prawns, shelled and deveined (can substitute shrimp)

Three or four medium spring onions, finely chopped

Fresh white breadcrumbs to coat

Four soft burger buns

Oil for frying

Six tablespoons tartare sauce (Hix spices it up with chili sauce or Tabasco)

STEPS:

Coarsely blend the white fish and half of the prawns in a food processor. Add cayenne pepper and salt. Mix. Transfer to a bowl.

Roughly chop the rest of the prawns and stir in to the fish mixture. Add onion.

To test the mix for seasoning and consistency, make a small flat patty, coat in breadcrumbs and pan fry; taste and re-season if desired.

Mold the rest of the mix into four patties slightly larger than the buns, coat with 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.