Tempura cod with Japanese sweet potato wedges

A witty take on that great British favourite, fish and chips, inspired by the cuisine of Japan. You could substitute the cod for other firm, white fish.


For the tartare sauce
For the tsuyu sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp pure yuzu juice
  • ½ tbsp umeboshi juice
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp dashi powder or 4 tsp dashi concentrate
For the cod
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 375g/13oz plain flour
  • 500ml/18fl oz sparkling water
  • 2 medium free-range eggs
  • 750g/1lb 10oz skinless cod fillet, cut into bite-sized chunks
For the sweet potato wedges
To garnish
  • ½ small daikon radish, peeled, finely grated and squeezed to remove excess liquid

Preparation method

  1. For the tartare sauce, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl, transfer to the fridge and chill until needed.
  2. Combine the ingredients for the tsuyu sauce in a small bowl, divide between four dipping bowls and set aside until serving.
  3. Rub the sweet potato wedges with salt and allow to rest while you cook the cod.
  4. For the cod, pour about 8cm/3in vegetable oil into a deep-fat fryer or a deep saucepan pan and heat to 180C/350F. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)
  5. In a large bowl, loosely mix 250g/9oz of the flour with the sparkling water and eggs. Put the rest of the flour in a separate bowl. Dredge the cod chunks in the flour, dip into the batter and fry in batches for about three minutes, or until crisp. Drain on a wire rack to prevent the batter from becoming soggy.
  6. Increase the heat of the oil to 190C/375F. To finish the sweet potatoes, roughly grind the black sesame seeds and salt in a pestle and mortar. Deep-fry the potato wedges in batches until crisp and golden-brown, then drain on kitchen paper and season with the sesame seed salt while still hot.
  7. Serve the fish and chips on paper with a mound of grated daikon and the tsuyu and tartare sauces alongside.