ExperientialApril 17, 2015

TV Dinners: Traversing Culinary Time and Space with Doctor Who’s Fish Fingers and Custard


In this segment, Alex Casey tries recreate some iconic small screen meals. In this edition, she tackles the eleventh Doctor’s favourite snack – fish fingers and custard.

When looking for more freaky forays into small screen snackage, this Doctor Who delicacy was very high up my priority list. Easy to make, relatively cheap, and combining two of the strongest processed food groups in the world – fish fingers and ready-made custard.

Allow me to elaborate. The eleventh doctor, played by Matt Smith, was left absolutely famished shortly after his regeneration. With a whole new body, face, and set of tastebuds – he set about scouring the kitchen for a snack with the help of a young Amelia Pond:

So there we have it. It’s not clean, it’s not paleo and it is most certainly yellow. Here is the recipe to make all your Doctor Who food fantasies come true, brought to you with the assistance of some inspirational/motivational quotes from The Doctors to lighten this bleak undertaking.

Step One: Gather Atrocious Ingredients


As always, quite a sad little supermarket buy. I thought about splashing out on some fancy Sealord fish fingers, but the Pams ones were in sale for $2. That’s crazy value. I was also endeared to the newspaper cone presentation on the box, featuring one fancy lettuce leaf. Good on you Pam for slipping in the greens. As for the custard, the natural choice would have have been Swiss Maid but unfortunately I am not a Baroness.

Step Two: Read Back of Box


Step Three: Open Box and Be Alarmed at Finger Arrangement


I wasn’t expecting them to slide out, all perfect in a row like a scary fish hand reaching out from the frozen grave. Props for Tetris-style packing efficiency though, and truly evoking the pure essence of ‘fingers’.

Step Four: Arrange Fingers For Pre-Heated Oven 


Arrange the fish fingers in a question mark on the tray as you ponder life’s biggest mysteries, such as “why am I doing this?” and “why are these only 59% fish?”

Step Five: Get That Custard Pouring


Some custard in a fancy crystal glass, some in a manky shot glass that my friend brought me back from Brazil. They serve tomato sauce in shot glasses at the hip places, so I’m just trying to be exactly like that. I decide to go for the crystal, a more elegant and timeless look and for an elegant and timeless dish. That’s not a Doctor Who quote by the way – it’s just bad.

Step Seven: Dramatic Reveal That You Actually Decided to Cook the Whole Box


Don’t judge me, I’ll later feed them to the dogs and one of them will throw up all the way down the driveway.

Step Eight: Plate Up, Gulp and Eat


I ate it. It was actually fine. Subtle flavours, the creaminess of the custard against the cardboardy fish finger reminded me of something you might eat on a French Promenade, but probably not. The rough golden crumb of the finger slowly became mixed in with the smooth custard, which made for quite a lumpy and unpleasant texture towards the end. That said, I would not turn this down if I was a hungry Doctor fresh out of the TARDIS.

This was better than the 30 Rock cheesy blaster, but it still made me feel like curling up into a ball and waiting for my next regeneration.


Lightbox users, click here to enjoy the universe-expanding dining experience that is Dr Who

Everyone else, click here to start your free trial (12 months for Spark customers, 30 days for everyone else)

This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our members. If you value what we do and believe in the importance of independent and freely accessible journalism – tautoko mai, donate today.

Mad Chapman, Editor
Aotearoa continues to adapt to a new reality and The Spinoff is right there, sorting fact from fiction to bring you the latest updates and biggest stories. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

Get The Spinoff
in your inbox