Tag Archives: fish

Tea Smoked Trout

Home Smoked Trout

This is one of those lazy posts that I’ve had sitting in my drafts folder for about 2 months now. I have lots of others too, in various forms of shabbiness that will hopefully one day see the light of day. This however sparked an interest in smoking (insert joke about which end of the fish do you light) in general that has opened up a whole new world.

Since realising how easy it is to do some casual smoking at home with nothing more than a gas burner, a wok, and a steamer of some description, I’ve turned my hand to many different things. Smoking onions, garlic, capsicum, and soon plan to get a slab of beef brisket in there and made some home made pastrami.

Fish though, are a great thing to smoke. It’s been done throughout the years to cook and preserve food in lots of different cultures, and adds a richness of flavour that works so well. Trout I think is one of the best fish to smoke, and these rainbow trout I picked up at Kailis in Leederville are great value too, at around $12 per kilo.

Incidentally, if you’re after smoking wood, I just happen to know a guy (aka Dad) who has a business selling saw dust and wood chips for smoking, and if you were after serious quantities you should get in touch

Without further ado: here’s the technique – possibly also called Hunan Style – Tea Smoked Trout.

Recipe: Tea Smoked Trout

What you Need:

  1. 2 x whole rainbow trout
    1 cup jasmin tea leaves
    1 cup white rice
    1 cup brown sugar
    Salt

How I Made Mine

  1. Dry the fish thoroughly with absorbent paper, and then rub salt all over each of them. Leave the skin on, and the fish intact, as this will provide a barrier for the smoke, and is easy to discard afterwards.

    Find a deep wok, and in the bottom put down a few layers of aluminium foil.

    In a bowl, mix together the tea leaves, rice, and brown sugar, and then place the mixture onto the foil in the centre of the wok.

    Place the wok over heat and wait for the tea to start to smoke.

    If you have steamer inserts for the wok, then put them in and lay the fish on top and cover the top.

    I had a bamboo steamer, so I lined the edge of it with more foil and positioned it on top of my pan, then put the fish inside and closed the lid.

    Smoke the fish for around 15 – 20 mins or until it’s starting to turn a golden brown colour.

    Take the fish out of the smoker and let it rest, then carefully remove the skin and flake the flesh away from the meat, being sure to get rid of the small bones at the edge.

    Smoosh the smoked trout onto bread with some good butter and enjoy.

Oh, and if you’re a vegan, don’t leave comments about how much more beautiful this fish would be if it were swimming free. Do I come to your blog and leave snide comments about tofu and wheatgrass and how plants have feelings ? No, no I do not.

$20 from any asian supermarket = portable cooking bargain.The home smoking setupTwo rainbow troutThe smoking mixHome Smoked TroutHome Smoked TroutHome Smoked TroutHome Smoked TroutHome Smoked TroutHome Smoked TroutThe finished product

Sole Meuniere

Sole MeuniŤre

Sole MeuniŤre is a beautiful dish. That is, if your understanding of beauty is watching a whole fish being powdered with flour and sauteed in butter, which of course it should be.

The MeuniŤre part of the name comes from the French word for Miller’s wife. Supposedly she’d come in from a hard days work helping out in the flour mill with her hands covered in flour, and basically anything she touched would end up covered in it. Which I can see getting tiresome after a while, and may have very well driven her husband to douse her in beer at some point, which of course led to beer battered fish and chips.

But I digress… randomly.

The classic version of this dish is made with the flat fish Sole (or Flounder), but Trout is also a very popular choice. The technique itself is simple and lends itself to many different types of fish.

How to do it

So take one fish, scaled and gutted. Dust it lightly in seasoned flour (salt and pepper). Add a few large knobs of butter to a hot pan and wait for them to melt and foam. Add the fish to the pan and sautee on both sides for about 5 – 10 minutes, or until the fish is firm but yielding to the touch.

Spoon the hot butter over the fish while it’s cooked, and towards the end of the cooking, add the juice of half a lemon to the pan.

Finish the dish with a handful of fresh chopped parsley, and some pan roasted flaked almonds (if you so desire).

Then serve onto a plate with a light green salad and a crisp glass of white wine. Enjoying it all the more because you didn’t have
to work in a flour mill all day long to be able to recreate it.

Incidentally this dish was shown to great effect in the movie Julie & Julia (It was apparently Julia Child’s first dish upon her arrival in France), and was given a revival from bloggers the world over not long after it’s release. In typical style, I’m slow to the party :)

For Perthians, this fish was bought at the Canningvale Fish Markets. They’re only open on Saturday mornings from 6am til 10am.
It’s a great place to pick up very cheap seafood in a range and quantity that you rarely see in a lot of fish mongers in the city.

Sole MeunièreSole MeunièreSole MeunièreSole Meunière

Tuna Tataki

Tuna Tataki

First of all, we didn’t ever really eat fish in my family. If we did, it was covered in cheese and breadcrumbs and called Tuna Casserole… It bore no relation to actual fish, and aside from Friday night Fish & Chips, was as close as we got to be pescetarians. Not one of the better creations we got to eat, but it was normally paired along side macaroni cheese on a lazy night when Mum didn’t really feel like cooking… so i’ll let her off the hook this time.

So… that fact established… Fish is a kind of new thing for me, raw fish especially so. Sharon however, is at the opposite end of the spectrum. She spent a couple of years in Japan and came back raving about how great the sushi and sashimi was there, and now frequently bemoans the paltry variety of seafood available in Australia.

I of course, being the patriot that I am, stand up for our fine fish stocks and ocean life, saying that we have plenty of things of the sea that we could be eating if we so desired… but the reality of the matter is that she’s right (just don’t tell her that… we’ll see how long she takes to read this and find out). The sushi in Australia, or Perth more specifically, can in no way be compared to that of Japan. Half of the things they eat on a regular basis I have never heard of, and would not be able to identify if they sitting right in front of me.

Recently I’ve begun to develop a taste for good fish though… taking the philosophy that if any kind of produce is of a high enough quality, it should be able to be eaten on it’s own with only the most basic of cooking or flavouring. It works for wagyu carpaccio, so why not fish ? I’m also not the kind of person to not try something on account of it being strange or different, so I suppose turning into a raw fish eater was inevitable.

So a little research into top quality sushi reveals there is a lot to know about Tuna. Firstly, it should not come in a can (in case you were wondering), secondly there are many grades of Tuna. Only the top grades of tuna are good enough to be called “sashimi grade”, and those towards the bottom are often called “cat food”.

So imagine our delight when we found out that a Japanese fish supplier would be opening up shop just down the road from us, serving up a large range of… sashimi grade tuna !
Fish Japan is the latest addition to the budding gourmet hot spot that is Dog Swamp Shopping Centre in Yokine. It has a small range of sushi and sashimi, but some excellent quality fish, from which I was able to procure two lovely big chunks of high grade sashimi tuna for the dish I have taken so long to tell you about… Tuna Tataki.

So… take one piece of excellent sashimi grade tuna, dip it in soy sauce, smother it all over with wasabi paste, and then cover it entirely with sesame seeds. Feel free to add a little sesame oil to the soy sauce for a bit more sesame goodness.

Sashimi grade tuna Tuna Tataki - rolled and ready

Once covered in sesame seeds, heat a pan with a little oil (sesame, olive) until it’s really hot (almost smoking), and then very quickly sear the tuna all over. My piece was cut into a thick rectangular block, so I simply left it on each side for 10 – 20 seconds before turning it over until it was done. Then out of the pan, and with a sharp/thin knife, try and elegantly slice your tuna into tasty little pieces.

I served mine very simply with sushi rice that Sharon prepared old school style (in a wooden bowl with a fan)… but you could quite easy knock together a simple dipping sauce of soy and wasabi and whatever else you have on hand if you so desire. It’s not the most “authentic” way to appreciate sashimi of course, but for a pleb like me, it was a great way of preparing the fish where I could get the full flavour and texture in it’s most raw form, whilst retaining a little Western respectability on the outside.

So put those cans back on the shelves, head out of the cat food isle, into the fish shop, and introduce yourself to good quality sashimi today ! (or tomorrow… I’m not pushy).

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Christmas Rabbit

That being because my fridge is stuffed with enough food to last a normal family about 3 months, and my bank account is completely empty.

Yes it’s a wonderful time of year… lots of get togethers and exchanging of gifts and finding excuses to catch up with people who you would otherwise
never see during the year because you’re both so busy and really can’t be bothered if there’s not a good enough reason.

This year I’ve decided to risk having the family over to my place for a lateish lunch / early dinner. It’s forecast to be around 35 C tomorrow, so it’s not exactly the weather for firing up the oven with a big roast or a long baked ham. Instead the order of the day is going to be seafood, fish, and lovely fresh salads.

A big fish

I’ve just been to the fish monger and picked up this little beauty… 3.5 kg of Tasmanian Salmon… also stopped by the local Asian grocer and picked up a bunch of banana leaves. The idea being to wrap this sucker in as many leaves as I can before throwing it on the barbeque with a bunch of herbs and lemon and whatever else I can find stuffed inside.

3.5 kg Tasmanian Salmon

Along with that I’ve got some calamari for salt and pepper squid, and some lovely king prawns that are going to be fried on the bbq and served with aioli and other dippery things.

Salad wise, I’ve got a three bean salad, a warm potato salad, a tomato and avocado salad, and a standard green salad in mind… along with anything else I can think up on the day.

It should be great… Lots of food, lots of people, and a weeks worth of left overs to keep us going :)

Merry Christmas to anyone who celebrates it, and hope anyone who doesn’t is having fun too.

Cheerio,
Matt

Oven Baked Dhufish with Lemon Cream Sauce

about to be oven baked dhufish

First off, I know… I’ve been slack. But this crazy season leading up to Christmas, coupled with a little change of timezone for Western Australia means I’ve been really busy. Not Y2K busy, but still taking all the necessary precautions to make sure that the world doesn’t end for any West Australians around 2am on December the 3rd…

So now the prerequisite excuses are out of the way… it’s time to talk fish… Dhufish to be specific. A beautiful flakey white fish that is delicate yet flavourful while not having the overly fishyness that puts many people off.

I picked up a whole fish, minus head, tail, and guts, from the nice people at Atlantic Seafood (which I’m hoping is not where they get it all from), on William St in Northbridge. Having no idea what to do with it, but realising I had no interest in filleting it and picking out all the bones. I figured baking it in the oven as cutlets and forewarning Sharon of the impending choking hazard was a good way to go.

So…

Cut up the fish into nice thick cutlets, season with olive oil, salt, and pepper, slice up a few lemons and good handful of coriander. Heat the oven to 180C and layer the sliced lemon in a baking dish. Put the fish cutlets on top, and then another layer of lemon and the coriander. I then splashed a bit of verjuice around the dish as well, not sure if it made any difference or not, but I figured it couldn’t hurt, and I’ve been mad keen on verjuice ever since using it recently for my chermoula snapper.

Into the oven for about 20 minutes or so, turned once, and we’re ready for the plate.

I served the fish with a warm kipfler potato salad that went quite well.

Once the potato salad and fish were plated, I took the baking dish, which was now covered with a layer of baked on bits of fish, lemon, and coriander. I deglazed the pan over heat with some white wine and fish stock, and the juice of all the lemon slices, then let it reduce slightly and then stirred through
some double cream.

Strain out the pips and dodgy bits through a sieve, and we’re good to go. Some of obligatory dodgy presentation and it’s a meal fit for a king… And what’s more… not one choking situation ! The lemon juice came through the sauce really well… so make sure you add plenty if you decide to give it a run. And do keep an eye on the fish, it will go from juicy melt in mouth to dry as the Kalahari in a very short space of time.

Just the kind of dish for a hot summer night, with a crisp glass of unwooded Chardonnay to take the edge off.

oven baked dhufish cutlets with lemon and coriander

A Moroccan Dinner

Moroccan Dinner

What do you cook to impress you friends ? What if those friends happen to be chefs ?
Such was the quandary I faced recently when deciding what to cook for some new friends. One of whom just happens to work at a very well respected rustic Italian restaurant in this fine city (of Perth). So risotto was out the window… and that floury pasta I manage to pull together occasionally just wasn’t going to cut it anymore… even if it was made with beetroot.

So Italian was off the menu… it was too warm for a roast… too passe for duck, and too expensive for my other idea of stuffing abalone, foie gras, truffles inside a whole sirloin of grade 12 wagyu… (another night perhaps).

So the idea came to me… Moroccan. Carrying on from recent Moroccan adventures, I decided to continue my little virtual journey through that magical slice of North Africa. It was just the right combination of something a little different that was easy to prepare a head of time, and might sound slightly exotic to anyone who doesn’t think about it for too long :)

After getting a bunch of great ideas from Deb, my ethno food consultant extraordinairre. I managed to pull together what would prove to be a pretty decent little combination of dishes.

So the menu for the evening was as follows:

Entree:
– Baked turkish bread with olive oil and dhukkah
– Lemon Myrtle Cheddar and Triple Brie on craquers (crackers)
– Sumac fried squid on cherry tomato salad with lemon viniagrette

Main:
– Chermoula king snapper
– Honey apricot lamb tajine
– Deb’s roast vegetable couscous

Palate Cleanser:
– Orange and rosewater palate cleansers

Dessert
– Blood orange tart with double cream

Out of courtesy to my guests, I didn’t take photos of every dish all night long. Because as much as I like to record the meal, I think you lose something in the mood and conversation if you are constantly snapping shots of every dish. So you’ll have to make do with the snippets here, along with a relatively detailed description of what went into making each.

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