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Thomasina Miers’ recipe for cornflake-crumbed fish tacos with pineapple ketchup

My children are craving Wahaca’s fish tacos – a firm favourite – so during lockdown we have been making them at home instead. Sometimes I wean them on to grilled fish (and have been making them try some great veggie tacos) but on Friday afternoons, after a long week of home-schooling, a cornflake crumb makes everybody happy. I season the pineapple ketchup with a touch of cayenne for the children, but it is much better with a fiery hot chilli if you are with friends.

Cornflake-crumbed fish tacos with pineapple ketchup

For the ketchup, use tinned pineapple if you can’t find fresh.

Prep 10 min
Cook/rest 30 min
Serves 4

600g firm white fish, such as cod or haddock
75g plain flour
Salt and black pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 egg
, beaten
120g cornflakes
4 tbsp rapeseed oil

For the pineapple ketchup
400g pineapple flesh
 (about half a fresh pineapple)
100g caster sugar
150ml cider vinegar
1 star anise

A few pinches cayenne pepper
2 fat limes
, 1 cut into wedges

To serve
¼ white cabbage
, finely shredded
½ red onion, very finely sliced
1 handful coriander leaves
16 small corn tortillas

Cut the fish into chunks of a uniform size – about the size of two mouthfuls. Add the flour to a bowl and season generously with salt, pepper and the paprika.

Beat the egg on a plate. In a blender, blitz the cornflakes to crumbs, then pour on to another plate. Dip the fish pieces first in the flour, then the egg and finally the cornflakes to coat generously. Put in the fridge for 20 minutes to firm up.

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Next, make the ketchup. Peel, top and tail the pineapple, then cut it into quarters. Remove the core and slice into chunks. Put 400g of the flesh into a pan with the caster sugar, vinegar, star anise, cayenne and the zest of one of the limes.

Bring to a boil, cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes, or until the pineapple is soft. Scoop out the pineapple flesh into an upright blender with a tablespoon of the syrup and 20ml of lime juice. Blitz for one to two minutes, adding more of the syrup if you think necessary, processing the pineapple into a thick ketchup.

When you are ready to eat, warm the oil over a medium-high heat and cook the fish for a few minutes on each side, until the crumb is golden on both sides and the flesh inside is opaque. Drain on kitchen paper and keep warm in a low oven while you gently toast the tortillas in a dry frying pan.

Toss the cabbage, onion and coriander and arrange handfuls on the tortillas. Top with the fish, sprinkle with sea salt and then spoon over the ketchup. Squeeze with lime, then eat at once with a cold beer.

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