In August this year we were fortunate enough to be invited by friends to join them and their families at their beach cottage in a secluded spot in the Transkei. It was my first trip to the Transkei and I was overwhelmed by the beauty of this remote location which had us traveling a pretty intense 4×4 trail for over an hour before arriving at the coast.
Every morning the boys would gather their fishing and spearfishing gear and disappear into the horizon, off to catch our lunch and supper. The ladies would gather on the porch drinking their morning coffee and catching up on gossip. Our day was filled with reading and relaxing before throwing on our flip flops and making our way to the slip way to welcome them home from their day at sea and to have our cameras ready to take some pictures of the day’s catch!
The lifestyle for that week on vacation was so wonderful, with the fishermen bringing home just enough for us to consume and releasing the rest of their catch so as not to waste what the ocean had provided us. It gave new meaning to the words “eating from the land”, and it was some real insight into how the remote townships in the Transkei survive so far away from civilization. Spearfishing in particular is such a sustainable form of fishing, as you are only able to select and remove one fish in a school. Not only this, but you also have to have the skill to actually hit your target, meaning it is not only selective but also a very masterful form of fishing.
We had a few local ladies helping us in the kitchen during our stay. One of these ladies in particular, Nancy, was kind enough to share her delicious fried fish recipe with me. I had never tried to fry fish on my own before as I always assumed it was so difficult to do, but Nancy showed me step by step just how easy it is to create at home.
A STEP BY STEP ILLUSTRATION OF NANCY’S FRIED FISH:
Place your fish pieces in a flat dish and cover with flour, salt, pepper and Aromat. Make sure the flour coats both sides of the fish.
Whisk together 3 eggs in a separate bowl.
In a Cast Iron pot heat your oil. The Cast Iron really helps to keep the oil hot and create lovely crispy fried fish.
Throw the floured fish into the egg mixture and toss around to coat all over.
Using a spatula or slotted spoon carefully place the fish into the hot oil one piece at a time.
Allow to cook for a few minutes and turn a lovely golden brown before flipping over and cooking through on the other side.
Remove from the pot and place in bowl lined with paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
Serve with some mayonnaise and lemon wedges.
- Fish pieces (any firm white fish such as kingklip will do)
- Salt & Pepper
- 3 Eggs
- Lemon wedges (optional)
- Mayonnaise (optional)
- Place fish pieces evenly in a flat dish
- Cover with flour and season with salt, pepper and Aromat
- Toss the fish pieces through the flour to evenly coat
- Heat a large Cast Iron Pot with oil on a high heat
- Whisk together 3 eggs in a separate bowl
- Place floured fish pieces in the egg and coat evenly
- With a spatula or slotted spoon, place the fish pieces one at a time into the hot oil
- Allow to brown for a few minutes before flipping over to the other side
- Remove fish pieces from the oil when nice and golden brown and place in a dish lined with paper towel to remove any excess oil
- Serve with mayonnaise and lemon wedges
For this recipe Greenfish supplied us with some super tasty Silver Fish. You can prepare it as in our Crispy Skinned Fish Recipe before tackling the sauce I am about to cover here.
I was fortunate enough to have Chef James pass on some inspiration for this delicious sauce! I used his guidance in combination with our crispy skin fish fillets to come up with this recipe. Utilizing fresh ginger, lemongrass and thyme in a reduced white wine sauce with some finishing touches of cream, it is simply to die for!
This sauce is very versatile and can be used on just about any white fish. The trick is to allow it enough time to reduce and simmer properly, enhancing all the delicious flavours.
Adding the cream at the end gives it a silky smooth texture and rich flavour.
Make sure you strain the sauce before serving to remove any bits and bobs.
Add some fresh asparagus and baby potatoes covered in Garlic and Parsley Butter (explained in our Crispy Skin Fish Fillet Recipe) and the meal is complete.
- 2 Greenfish Silver Fish Fillets (prepared as in our Crispy Skinned Fish recipe)
- 1 Onion
- 2 Tbsp Clarified Butter (explained in our Crispy Skinned Fish Recipe)
- 1 Stick of Lemongrass (finely chopped)
- 1 Thumb of Ginger (grated)
- 1 tsp Garlic
- A handful of fresh Thyme
- 1 x Star Anise
- 250ml White Wine
- A few Fish Trimmings (from your fillets)
- 250ml Fish Stock (or chicken stock)
- 250ml Cream
- Serve with sides of Asparagus and Baby Potatoes
- FOR THE SAUCE: Slice up your onion and sweat it in your clarified butter until sweet and soft
- Add your lemongrass, ginger, garlic and thyme and allow all to sweat down and release aromas in the pan.
- Add your Star Anise, White Wine and Fish Trimmings to the pan.
- Reduce this sauce to approximately a quarter and then add the Fish Stock.
- Reduce again to approximately a quarter, keeping an eye on the reduction process and not allowing it to burn or catch in the pan.
- Add Cream and allow to simmer a little before straining.
- FOR SIDES: Blanch asparagus (3-4 minutes)
- Boil baby potatoes (8-10 minutes)
- Add the asparagus and baby potatoes to a pan and toss with a bit of the garlic, butter and parsley sauce (explained in our Crispy Skinned Fish Recipe).
There’s nothing nicer than a piece of crispy skin coating your flaky fish fillets and achieving this is a lot simpler than one thinks! The trick is to follow a few simple rules:
- 1. Make sure your fillets are incredibly dry.
- 2. Make sure you season the fillets with fine table salt 5 minutes before frying to assist in removing any excess moisture from the fillets.
- 3. Make sure you use clarified butter to pan fry the fillets.
- 4. Make sure you use a plate or some form of a weight to keep the fillets flat in the pan to prevent them from curling up.
If you follow these few simple rules, plus read the recipe provided carefully, achieving crispy fish skin will be a breeze!
TO MAKE THE CLARIFIED BUTTER:
Place your butter in a glass jug or bowl and leave in a sunny spot to melt on its own.
Once the butter has melted it will separate, the clear liquid on the top is your clarified butter.
Either scoop this clear liquid butter out with a spoon or syringe or pour through a muslin cloth. I only had a fine sieve, so I used this and it worked out ok. Put in a separate dish to use for this recipe and keep the leftovers in the fridge as it’s great to have some readily available for future use.
- 2 Greenfish Fish Fillets (for this recipe I used Silver Fish)
- 1 Block of Butter (500g)
- Fine Table Salt
- 1 tsp Garlic
- handful of Parsley
- TO MAKE THE CLARIFIED BUTTER: place your butter in a glass jug or bowl and leave in a sunny spot to melt on its own.
- Once the butter has melted it will separate, the clear liquid on the top is your clarified butter. Either scoop this clear liquid butter out with a spoon or syringe or pour through a muslin cloth. I only had a fine sieve, so I used this and it worked out ok. Put in a separate dish to use for this recipe and keep the leftovers in the fridge as it's great to have some readily available for future use.
- PREPARING & FRYING YOUR FISH: Place your filleted, pin boned and scaled fillets flat on a board or plate. (You can use our recipes on how to fillet and scale fish if your fish fillets still have these attached).
- Score your fillets 1mm deep from the back to tummy of the fish (refer to pictures in this recipe which display the correct direction to score)
- Dry your fillets with paper towel on both sides until all the moisture has been removed.
- Five minutes before frying, season on both sides with fine table salt, this will allow any further moisture to be absorbed.
- Heat your pan to a medium high heat and add a generous amount of clarified butter.
- Place your fillets in the pan skin side down and use a plate to weight them down to avoid them from curling upwards.
- Cook the fillets until they are about 80% cooked through.
- Turn the fillets over and cook for the remaining 20% to finish off.
- Brush with your garlic and parsley butter before serving.
- TO MAKE THE GARLIC AND PARSLEY BUTTER: In a small pot on the stove add 1/3 cup of Clarified Butter, 1 teaspoon of Garlic and your handful of chopped Parsley.
- Melt together on a medium heat ensuring that the pot doesn't get too hot as cooking at too high a heat will kill off your delicious garlic flavours.
Gurnard is a fish you may not always find on the menu or in the supermarket. Being not only delicious but a SASSI Green Listed species, it is a no brainer to buy some of these beautiful white fillets when you can source them.
Here’s a tasty, buttery recipe that is so very simple and utilizes minimal ingredients. This means you work out with a seriously cost effective, sustainable meal that tastes like five star dining at home. Its a win win for your pocket and the environment!
- 4 Greenfish Gurnard Fillets
- Flour for dusting (approx 50g)
- Salt & Pepper
- 100g Butter
- Small handful of Parsley
- 1 Lemon
- If you have purchased fillets that have not been pin boned, use our Yellowtail pin boning recipe to remove the bones
- Place flour in a bowl
- Season the fillets and place fillets in flour one at a time, coating both sides. Shake off any excess flour and set aside ready for frying
- Melt 80g of the butter in the frying pan allowing the butter to bubble. Once bubbling turn down to a medium heat and add the fillets to the pan
- Fry the gurnard for 3 - 4 minutes using a spoon to constantly baste in butter
- Turn the fillets over and cook for a further 1 - 2 minutes while still continuing to baste with butter
- The fish should turn a lovely golden colour on each side
- Remove the fish from the pan and set aside on your serving plates
- Add the remaining 20g of butter to the pan and increase the temperature, allowing the butter to bubble and produce a lovely nutty smell
- Add the chopped parsley and a good squeeze of lemon cooking for a minute
- Turn off the heat and spoon this mixture over the fillets
- Enjoy with your choice of starch and vegetables. I like to serve with baby potatoes as the basting sauce compliments these nicely
With the weather warming up for summer, braai season is in the air! And what better way to celebrate a perfect summer evening than a lekker fish braai.
This recipe is seriously simple and quick to put together. Make sure to read our simple method to removing Yellowtail pin bones before you attempt this recipe.
- 1 pack of Greenfish Yellowtail Fillets
- 2 tsp of Crushed Garlic
- 2 Red Onions
- 1 Lemon
- A few knobs of Butter
- Salt & Pepper
- Place your pin boned fillet of fish on a piece of foil (shiny side up) large enough to cover the whole fillet
- Smear the fillet with the crushed garlic
- Cut your red onions into slices and place along the fillet
- Generously place your knobs of butter along the fillet
- Cut your lemon into slices and place along the fillet
- Sprinkle with coriander and seasoning
- Cover with the foil and place on grid above medium coals (you should only be able to hold your hand over the grid for 10 seconds)
- Cook for approximately 20 minutes until the flavours soak into the fish
- Your fish is done when it flakes with a fork but is still moist and juicy
- If your tinfoil starts to puff up, you have secured it tightly enough so as not to lose any of the moisture and juices.
You may often find when you come home with a fillet of fish that the pin bones are still present. This is due to the fact that leaving them in keeps the meat intact and effectively “undamaged” which preserves the shelf life. Luckily for you, you have me, the trusted Fish Wife to guide you through this simple process of removing them.
Buy yourself a good pair of pin boning tweezers or borrow a pair of hubby’s long nose pliers that you can throw in the dishwasher.
Run the blade of a knife over the centre of the fish which will expose all the pin bones.
Using your tweezers or pliers, gently grab the pin bone, push down and pull out each individual bone one by one (there should be about 5-6 pin bones per fillet). If you are using Greenfish yellowtail fillets all other bones would have been removed.
And voila! Yes, it is that simple! Now you have beautifully prepared Yellowtail fillets ready to cook.
To me the Tuna Belly is the “foie gras” of tuna. It is like eating Wagyu beef compared to eating a plain old shop bought steak. Tuna belly or “toro” is generally considered the king of all sushi ingredients in Japan.
Only a small portion is available per tuna and in the Japanese market it is extremely expensive. South African’s however don’t realise the value of this beautiful piece of marbled fatty fish, and often discard it as waste! This is a simple tragedy in my book, as once you have tried it you will understand exactly why the Japanese pay a small fortune for this small cut of tuna.
The belly is very oily and high in omega 3 and it literally melts in one’s mouth. Due to the marbled fatty content, it is important to cook the belly just through, allowing the fat to break down.
- 1 pack of Greenfish Tuna Belly Steaks
- Salt & Pepper
- Japanese 7 spice (or 5 spice)
- 1/3 Cup Teriyaki Sauce
- 3 Tbsp Sesame Oil (can substitute with olive oil)
- 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- Sprinkle the 7 spice, salt & pepper to both sides of the steaks. (You do not need to use a lot of the 7 spice as it has some heat to it!).
- In a glass dish marinate the Tuna Belly in the Teriyaki Sauce, Sesame Oil and Lemon Juice for at least 45 minutes. (You can leave overnight in the fridge).
- Heat the pan on high heat and quickly pan fry the steaks. Thin steaks will take approximately 1 minute per side and thicker steaks approximately 2 minutes per side.
- You can substitute the Sesame Oil with Olive Oil - however the Sesame Oil gives a lovely nutty flavour.
- Other nice additions to this recipe include: ginger, garlic and finely diced chilli.
You can create some delicious dipping sauces for the Tuna Belly by mixing 1:1 ratios of the following:
* Sweet Chilli Sauce and Sushi Mayonnaise
* Hoisin Sauce and Sushi Mayonnaise
or simply plain Sushi Mayonnaise on its own.
There isn’t much that beats crispy squid, especially with the enhanced flavours of ginger, chilli, sweet baby spring onions and garlic!
If you have a deep fryer at home this would be ideal, however, for those of you who don’t you can fry in a wok or pot on the stove. Just make sure that your oil is hot enough to allow the tempura batter to crisp and turn a delicious golden brown. Optimum temperature is about 180 degrees. When the squid is cooked it should float to the top. A handy tip for working with hot oil on the stove is to allow the tempura batter to coat your fingers, this will protect them against any splashes when placing the squid into the hot oil.
- 1 pack of Greenfish Squid (tubes and heads)
- Tempura Flour (I purchased mine from Woolworths)
- 250ml ice cold water
- 4-6 baby Spring Onions
- 1 medium Hot Red Chilli
- 4 Garlic Cloves
- 1 small stick of Ginger
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil (can substitute with canola or sunflower).
- 1 Lemon
- 1 bottle Canola / Sunflower oil for frying
- Defrost and drain the squid in a colander.
- Using paper towel pat off any excess water.
- Cut the spring onion and chilli finely and set aside.
- Cut the garlic cloves into paper thin slices and set aside.
- Cut the ginger into small cubes and set aside.
- In a bowl mix together 200g of the tempura flour with the 250ml ice cold water to form the batter. It is normal for the batter to have a few lumps visible.
- Heat the oil in the deep fryer or on the stove to approximately 180 degrees.
- Coat squid in the batter.
- Carefully place a test piece in the heated oil. The squid should immediately start frying and float to the top when done. The batter should go crisp and golden.
- Fry all of the squid and place in a bowl lined with paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
- Once all the squid has been fried set aside for later.
- In a separate wok or large frying pan fry the spring onions, chilli, garlic, ginger, salt and pepper in the sesame oil allowing the flavours to release, but being careful not to burn.
- Add the tempura fried squid you have set aside and toss with the spices allowing the flavours to absorb into the squid.
- Squeeze some lemon juice over and serve with a side of Sushi Mayonnaise or Wasabi Mayonnaise.
For this recipe, refer back to our simple method of smoking fish at home without using a smoker. If you have a smoker at home, even better! But for those of you who don’t, it will only take you a few minutes to use our method to create smokey, golden delicious Angel Fish to use in the following recipe.
- 350g baby potatoes
- 100g crème fraîche
- 1 heaped tsp horseradish sauce / cream
- juice of 1 lemon or 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 smoked angel fish fillets
- 1 bag of watercress, baby spinach or similar leafy green
- Rinse the baby potatoes and boil in a pot of salted water for 15 - 20 minutes or until tender
- While the potatoes are cooking mix the crème fraîche, horseradish cream and lemon juice in a separate bowl and season with salt and pepper as desired. Set aside to dress the salad at the end
- Separate the angel fish fillets into strips and set aside
- Once the baby potatoes are cooked, drain and allow to cool
- Cut the baby potatoes into halves
- In a large bowl add the leafy greens, baby potatoes and three quarters of the angel fish strips
- Pour the dressing over and toss until covered
- Place the dressed salad on a serving dish and garnish with remaining angel fish strips
This recipe is great served as a side with a braai, or even as a whole meal on its own. Enjoy!
Before I get started with this juicy recipe, let me first give you a quick guide to easily removing the pin bone from your Greenfish Angel Fish fillets.
Place your fillets on a chopping board and identify the long pin bone running down the centre.
Using a sharp knife run the blade along either side of the pin bone, removing it from the centre.
Wasn’t that easy… pin bone removed and two beautiful fillets ready to get soaked in garlic, butter and herbs!
Now that you have successfully removed the pin bone, lets get stuck into our recipe!
- 4 x Greenfish Angel Fish Fillets (pin boned)
- 2 x lemons or 6 Tbsp lemon juice
- 4 x garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoon dried Thyme
- 2 teaspoon dried Mixed Herbs
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 4 Tbsp Butter
- 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
- In glass dish add the juice of two lemons, minced garlic cloves, herbs, salt and pepper and cover the fish fillets with the marinade on both sides.
- Leave covered in the fridge for approximately half an hour.
- In a frying pan add the butter and olive oil and heat the pan on a high heat.
- Add the fish to the sizzling pan (reduce the heat to medium).
- Allow the fish to cook for approximately 3-5 minutes per side depending on the thickness of the fillets.
- Baste the fish with the butter and olive oil frequently while cooking.
- Fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork.