Goujons have fallen out of favor over the last two decades, but it is hard to work out why. The crunch of the bread crumb casing, the tender, yielding softness of the white fish within: this is a fishfinger taken to the highest level. The traditional accompaniment is a tartar sauce, but my favourite sauce is a dill mayonnaise, with perhaps some cornichons tumbled on a plate nearby. Consider these a fabulously quick starter when you've got people over or a real treat of a midweek supper for two. The trick is to prepare ahead for that. I make up a vast batch of these and freeze them. Then, when it's dinner time and I don't know what I'm going to cook, I heat some oil in a pan and fry a handful from frozen. They barely need an extra minute. I prefer to fry in batches in a small saucepan rather than fill a frying pan with a lot of oil and try and get them all done at once. If you can find the Japanese seasoned bread crumbs, panko, then get them: they create an almost feathery but crunchy casing.
- 2 fillets lemon sole, skinned
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup breadcrumbs or 2 cups panko
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup groundnut or grapeseed oil, as needed depending on the size of pan
- 1 cup mayonnaise, preferably organic
- Small bunch dill, about 1/3 cup
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon lime juice, to taste
Cut the sole fillets in half lengthways, and then slice each fillet half into about 4 long strips on the diagonal. This will give you 8 goujons from each fillet.
Put the cornstarch into a shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper. Put the bread crumbs or panko into another shallow bowl, and beat the eggs together in an additional bowl.
Lay the goujons on a cooling rack for a while, and heat the oil in a pan. (Or at this point you can freeze them in layers of baking parchment in an airtight container.)
Fry the goujons for about 2 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Remove to pieces of kitchen towel, as you go, to remove excess oil.
For the Dill Mayonnaise:
Put the mayonnaise into a bowl, and finely chop the dill, adding it to the mayonnaise. Stir in some lime juice and taste for seasoning. Serve with the prepared fish.