A sharp tartar sauce provides the perfect foil for James Martin’s crisp-fried cod cheeks.


  • For the tartar sauce

  • 3 egg yolks

  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar

  • 300ml vegetable oil

  • 100g capers

  • 150g gherkins, chopped

  • ½ shallots, finely chopped

  • small bunch dill, chopped

  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley

  • ½ lemon, juice only

  • For the batter

  • 15g fresh yeast

  • pinch salt

  • pinch sugar

  • 200ml beer

  • 1 tsp cider vinegar

  • 200g plain flour

  • For the cod cheeks

  • 500g cod, cheeks

  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed

  • small bunch dill, chopped

  • 2 litres vegetable oil, for deep-frying


  • 1.

    For the tartar sauce: whisk together the egg yolks and vinegar in a bowl. Still whisking, start adding the vegetable oil very very slowly to make a mayonnaise. The mixture should be thick and light once the oil is incorporated.

  • 2.

    Stir in the capers, gherkins, shallot and herbs. Season with salt and pepper and sharpen with lemon juice. Set aside.

  • 3.

    For the batter: sprinkle the yeast, salt and sugar into a mixing bowl. Pour over the beer and vinegar and whisk in the flour. Leave to ferment – it is ready to use when the mixture starts to bubble.

  • 4.

    For the cod cheeks: make sure the cheeks have all the membrane removed. Cut each cheek in half and toss with the garlic and dill.

  • 5.

    Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan or deep-fat fryer to 180-190C.

  • 6.

    Dip the cod cheeks into the batter and fry in batches until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

  • 7.

    Serve at once with the tartar sauce.


Recipe reproduced with permission of Good Food Channel.

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