Last Updated on February 6, 2021
5:2 Diet Fish and Chips – Oven Baked Cod and Chips.
As I am sure you know, I am following the 5:2 diet and today just happens to be one of my fast days. It’s also Friday. I’m also about to go on holiday and I’m aware that I still haven’t done a Best of British challenge dish myself. So, what better trick than to combine all three. Fish and Chips is known as being a dish with London origins. The theory is that chips were invented as a cheap substitute for fried fish, which was introduced to the streets of London by Jewish refugees from Portugal and Spain. As for fish on Fridays, that tradition originates because Christ died on a Friday – and so it is a Christian ‘fast day’. As fish are cold-blooded creatures they are regarded as being acceptable food for ‘fasting’. And as white fish such as cod is low-calorie, this oven-baked dish of cod is an excellent meal for a 5:2 fast day.
Of course, if you are making a fish dish for the 5:2 diet, you need to try to avoid frying and batter so I’ve made an oven-baked breaded version to serve with homemade oven chips to minimise the amount of oil I needed to cook the potatoes.
All in, cooked this way the meal comes in at about 370 calories so long as you stick to a relatively small serving of chips (about 140g or a small potato!). And actually, I rather liked these oven chips, which are much closer to ‘real’ chips than the frozen sort I keep for emergencies. Fish cooked this way is lovely, though it doesn’t cure my yearning for battered cod!
If you want to try for yourself, you’ll need to set up three bowls with flour, egg white and breadcrumbs to dip your fish.
Use a tail end piece of cod and salt the service side about half an hour before you are planning to cook. Then, wipe the fish dry. The salting process will firm up the fish and help ensure a really nice crisp coating.
The other trick is linked to the oven chips. Parboiling for just 3 minutes makes a huge difference. Once you’ve done that, drain them off and while they are still warm, toss them in a little oil. You can season the oil with herbs, garlic or paprika or just enjoy them au natural.
Finally, I haven’t included the recipe for tartar sauce here, but you’ll find it with the battered cod recipe elsewhere on London-Unattached. You can make a diet version using a mixture of low-calorie mayonnaise and yoghurt.
Here’s how you do it.
A low-calorie recipe for oven-baked fish and chips
- 1 fillet of cod
- 1 egg white
- 2 teaspoons breadcrumbs I use commercial breadcrumbs, you can make your own if you prefer
- 1 small potato scrubbed and peeled
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons flour seasoned with salt and pepper
- 1-cal oil spray
- salt and pepper
- lemon wedges to serve
Pre-heat the oven to 200C or 180C (fan)
Slice the potato into chips.
Rinse them in cold water
Bring a pan of water to the boil and par-boil the chips for three minutes
Drain and set to one side to dry for a few minutes
Using kitchen paper coat the potato chips with oil and then salt well
Spread the chips on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 25 minutes, turning three times
Set up three shallow bowls with the egg white, breadcrumbs and seasoned flour
Coat the fish first in flour, then in egg white and finally in breadcrumbs
Put the fish on a baking sheet and spray well with one cal
After the chips have cooked for 10 minutes, put the fish into the oven to cook for the last 15 minutes
Serve with lemon wedges and peas.
I am making this my Best of British Entry for London. For me, Fish and Chips really epitomises British food – although, like most dishes, it’s actually a fusion of different cuisines