Crispy mackerel and ginger broth

Serves 4

This is a great way to use up some of your excess catch of mackerel using chunks of crispy, deep-fried fish in a lovely spicy broth.

When I make this recipe I usually defrost some crab or lobster stock out of the freezer that I've previously stashed away, but you could just as easily use a convenient fish stock cube or shop-bought fresh fish stock, which will work fine with the herbs and spices.

2 fillets from a medium-sized mackerel, boned and cut into 1cm chunks
2-3tbsp self-raising flour
150ml milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable or corn oil for deep frying
1ltr fish or shellfish stock
30-40g root ginger, peeled and finely shredded
1 medium red chilli, thinly sliced
1 stick of lemongrass, trimmed and finely chopped
4 lime leaves
2 spring onions, finely shredded on the angle
A small handful of coriander leaves, torn

Preheat about 8cm of oil to 160-180C in a large, thick-bottomed saucepan or electric deep-fat fryer.

Have two bowls ready, one with the milk and the other with the flour, seasoned. Coat the pieces of mackerel in the flour, shaking off the excess, then put them in the milk and then coat them in the flour again.

Carefully drop the mackerel pieces into the hot oil and cook them for about 5-6 minutes until they are really crisp, moving them around as they are cooking, and then remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain carefully on some kitchen paper.

Bring the fish stock to the boil, add the ginger, chilli, lime leaves and lemongrass and simmer for 3-4 minutes, then remove from the heat and add the spring onions and season to taste.

To serve, divide the pieces of mackerel and coriander between 4 bowls and pour the soup over and serve immediately.

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