Peixinhos da Horta

Literally translated as ‘small fish from the garden’ these unassuming delicacies have a bit of a world history. Portuguese missionaries traveling to Japan in the 16th century shared the practice of frying green beans in a light batter. The Japanese loved it so much that the practice became widespread and tempura (related to the Portuguese word tempero) became famous the world over. This recipe spreads the global reach of these ‘vegetable fish’ by using tapioca flour from Brazil. Tapioca is a gluten free flour made from casava and makes for an excellent alternative to wheat flour. The search for the perfect batter is a life-time quest and at the moment we think this one is the winner. Although this is a fried food, the wheat free flour and the fact we fry in olive oil makes it guilt free and a healthy starter or side dish.
Peixinhos da Horta

200gr green beans or runner beans
1 cup of light olive oil for frying

For the batter
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 cup of tapioca flour
2 tbsp water
1 egg
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1/2 tsp turmeric
Pinch of Salt and white pepper

1. Cook the beans by gently steaming for 10-15 minutes. If using runner beans, cut in half longitudinally before cooking. Once cooked (beans should have a little texture and remain green – do not overcook) remove from steamer and put in an ice bath or run through cold water to avoid further cooking.

2. While the beans are cooking make the batter by mixing all the ingredients until a smooth texture is achieved (think double cream). Adjust quantity of water/flour as required.

3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, pat dry the beans with paper towels and fry by dipping two beans at a time in the batter, covering all over and gently frying for a minute or so on each side, taking care not to overcrowd the frying pan.

4. As the beans cook, remove from frying pan with a slotted spoon and rest on a plate with paper towels. Serve while warm. You can sprinkle a little of fleur du sel and freshly crushed black pepper for some extra kick!

Published by

Pedro Rebelo

Pedro is a composer, sound artist and performer. In 2002, he was awarded a PhD by the University of Edinburgh where he conducted research in both music and architecture. Pedro has recently led participatory projects involving communities in Belfast, favelas in Maré, Rio de Janeiro, travelling communities in Portugal and a slum town in Mozambique. This work has resulted in sound art exhibitions at venues such as the Metropolitan Arts Centre, Belfast, Centro Cultural Português Maputo, Espaço Ecco in Brasilia and Parque Lage and Museu da Maré in Rio, Museu Nacional Grão Vasco and MAC Nitéroi. His music has been presented in venues such as the Melbourne Recital Hall, National Concert Hall Dublin, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Ars Electronica, Casa da Música, and in events such as Weimarer Frühjahrstage fur zeitgenössische Musik, Wien Modern Festival, Cynetart and Música Viva. His work as a pianist and improvisor has been released by Creative Source Recordings and he has collaborated with musicians such as Chris Brown, Mark Applebaum, Carlos Zingaro, Evan Parker and Pauline Oliveros as well as artists such as Suzanne Lacy. His writings reflect his approach to design and creative practice in a wider understanding of contemporary culture and emerging technologies. Pedro has been Visiting Professor at Stanford University (2007), senior visiting professor at UFRJ, Brazil (2014) and Collaborating Researcher at INEM-md Universidade Nova, Lisboa (2016). He has been Music Chair for international conferences such as ICMC 2008, SMC 2009, ISMIR 2012 and has been invited keynote speaker at ANPPOM 2017, ISEA 2017, CCMMR 2016 and EMS 2013. At Queen's University Belfast, he has held posts as Director of Education, Director of Research and Head of School. In 2012 he was appointed Professor of Sonic Arts at Queen's and awarded the Northern Bank's "Building Tomorrow's Belfast" prize. He has recently been awarded two major grants from the Arts and Humanities Research Council including the interdisciplinary project “Sounding Conflict”, investigating relationships between sound, music and conflict situations. Ongoing research interests include immersive sound design and augmented listening experiences. Pedro has been appointed Director of the Sonic Arts Research Centre in 2021.

2 thoughts on “Peixinhos da Horta”

  1. É mesmo farinha de mandioca ou é amido de mandioca (muito branco, como o usado nas tapiocas)?

    Estou cheia de vontade de experimentar! Ainda não comi peixinhos da horta desde que descobri que sou celíaca..

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