Technically this recipe should have been my very first post on The Fish Wife. It makes sense that it would be seeing as Tuna, especially Yellowfin Tuna, is pretty much the speciality of our family business, Greenfish.
In my opinion there really isn’t anyone who lives, breathes and dreams about Tuna more than my hubby! The passion and knowledge from all of his years of experience dealing with this species of marine life means he knows exactly how to source the best of the best, and I am so privileged to be able to sample Cape Towns finest Tuna at home.
So why is it then that this recipe was not my first entry you ask? To be completely honest, it’s because I almost feel like it’s cheating to give you such a ridiculously simple method to cook tuna and label it a recipe at all! But seeing as I get asked constantly for Tuna recipes, here it is. To all my fine dining guests who thought I had slaved away for hours in the kitchen, the truth has surfaced! Enjoy.
- Yellowfin Tuna Steaks (mine were purchased from Greenfish)
- Course Salt
- Sesame Oil
- Sesame Seeds
- If you purchased your Tuna Steaks from Greenfish, they should be cut to size and ready for the pan. If not, then cut your Tuna into approximately 250g Steaks, around 2 - 2.5cm in thickness.
- Grind some course salt on either side of your steaks. The course salt really enhances the flavour.
- Place your sesame seeds in a bowl. Place your Tuna Steaks into the sesame seeds coating each side until the sesame seeds completely cover the meat.
- Heat a pan on a high heat with a good splash of sesame oil.
- Place your sesame coated steaks into the pan cooking for approximately 1 minute a side - be careful not to over cook! The Tuna only needs a quick 1 minute on each side to achieve a 2mm golden delicious border and a lovely pink centre.
- If you are wanting to cut your tuna into strips, make sure you do so across the grain as it's easier to eat.
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