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Fried buttermilk fennel with preserved lemon mayo

Fried buttermilk fennel with preserved lemon mayo

Deep-frying makes everything taste delectable. Think of these as fennel chips or vegetarian calamari: with a spritz of lemon they are seductively moreish.

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  • Serves4
  • CourseStarter
  • Prepare30 mins
  • Cook20 mins
  • Total time50 mins

Please note, we take every care to ensure the product, allergen and recipe information displayed is correct. However, should a product be unavailable, alternatives may be displayed and/or a substitution provided. If you have an allergy or intolerance, please always check the product label before use.


  • 3 fennel bulb
  • 284ml buttermilk
  • 250g self-raising four
  • 2 tsp garlic granules
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 L rapeseed oil
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

For the preserved lemon mayo

  • 2 preserved lemons
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 clove/s garlic
  • ½ lemon, juice
  • 150ml rapeseed oil


  1. Remove the tough tops and fronds (reserve the fronds) from the fennel and cut the bulbs into 0.3cm slices. Pour the buttermilk into a shallow bowl and add the fennel slices, making sure they are well coated. Sift the flour into a large bowl and add the garlic granules, spices and oregano; season. Set both bowls aside.

  2. For the mayo, discard the flesh from the preserved lemons and finely chop the rind. Whizz together the egg yolks, garlic and lemon juice in a food processor. Slowly pour the oil into the processor in a steady stream while blending, until it forms a thick sauce. Finely chop the reserved fennel fronds, then stir through the mayo, along with the chopped rind.

  3. Line a plate with kitchen paper. Heat the oil to 180ºC in a deep, heavy-based saucepan (it should be no more than half-full). If you don’t have a thermometer, a cube of bread added to the pan should turn golden in 30 seconds when it’s ready.

  4. Coat the fennel in the seasoned four, shake off the excess and, working in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan, fry for 2 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden all over and tender within. Drain on the lined plate, season and serve with the lemon wedges and mayo.

Cook’s tip

No buttermilk? Instead mix 1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar into 270ml milk and leave to rest for 5 minutes.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


3,206kJ/ 771kcals



Saturated Fat












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