Popcorn fish with carrot and chilli pickle

By: Nikki and Jordan Shearer

A delicious popcorn fish with carrot and chilli pickler recipe from MasterChef NZ runners-up Nikki and Jordan Shearer

Popcorn -fish3

Serves 6 for entree or nibbles

The great thing about this dish is that although it looks fancy, it’s actually quite simple and a lot of the components can be prepared in advance, apart from the cooking of the fish, of course. The carrots and chilli should be allowed to pickle for at least two hours and then the pickle and the chipotle-flavoured mayo can be kept for one to two weeks in the fridge.

Chipotle Lime Mayo


  • Juice of two limes and zest of one
  • 1 Tbsp chipotle paste
  • 1 Tsp honey
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup mayonnaise (we used Best Foods)


  1. Mix all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Pickled carrots


  • 100ml rice wine vinegar
  • 100g sugar
  • 2 carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 1 large red chilli, cut into fine strips


  1. Heat vinegar and sugar over a medium heat until sugar dissolved.
  2. Take off heat and add carrots and chilli. Set aside to cool.

Popcorn fish


  • 1 shallot, grated
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 tsp flaky sea salt
  • 200ml cold beer (or soda water)
  • 4 fillets of white fish cut into two- to three-centimetre chunks
  • Salt and pepper
  • Rice bran oil for frying
  • Cos lettuce leaves for serving 


  1. Mix together grated shallot, turmeric, coriander, cumin, chilli flakes, lemon zest, rice flour, and salt.
  2. Pour in beer to the flour mixture and combine with a fork until just mixed.
  3. Heat oil in a deep fryer or shallow pan to 180°C.
  4. Dip the fish pieces in batter.
  5. Cook fish pieces for approximately two to three minutes until golden and just cooked.
  6. Serve on cos lettuce, with pickle and a drizzle of mayo. Devour!

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