Decided to go for a change of pace with a batch of flattie tails this time around. They generally get the panko crumb treatment in our house, but if you are up for a trip to Suzuran, the Japanese grocery, here is something a little different…
- Flathead fillets
- Japanese pickled cucumber (fridge section of grocery and keep for about a month)
- Nori flakes
- Shichimi Togarashi
- Otafuku branded okonomiyaki sauce
- 1 cup Medium grain rice
- Frying oil
Tempura batter (you can buy the batter mixture in the supermarket or make it)
- 1/2 cup cornflour,
- 1/2 cup plain flour,
- 1 egg (beaten),
- 3/4 cup soda water (cold)
Here’s what you are chasing up at the Japanese grocers:
- Cook rice using ratio 1 cup grains to 1 1/2 cups water,
- To prepare the tempura batter, place flours in a bowl and add beaten egg. Add soda water and stir until batter coats the back of a spoon.
- Place batter in the fridge for half an hour to chill (you may need to loosen it up with a little more water before you use it)
- Heat up the oil
- Dip the flattie fillets in the tempura batter and fry until golden.
- While the fish is frying, scoop out the rice into bowls
- Sprinkle the Shichimi Togarashi and nori flakes over the rice
- Lay the fish on top of the rice
- Drizzle with okonomiyaki sauce
- Top with more nori flakes and a handful of Japanese pickles
- Wash down with a frothy of your choosing!
My two favourite times of year are the week after South West Rocks when I have fresh mackerel to cook with and the couple of days after a tuna run to Portland. After spending the long weekend at Portland for #NSC17, I returned with a nice slab of fresh southern bluefin tuna, courtesy of Jordo, one of the entrants.
Here’s a quick and easy recipe that made for a beautiful dinner tonight.
- Tuna steaks (1.5 inches thick)
- Sesame seeds
- 2 tbl spoons of soy sauce
- 2 tsp of sesame oil
- Vegetable oil
- Mixed leaf salad
- 1/2 Cucumber
- Honey Soy dressing
- Salt & Pepper
- Chang’s crunchy noodles
- Mix the sesame oil and soy together in a bowl.
- Baste the tuna in the mixture using the back of a spoon.
- Season well with salt and pepper.
- Toast off the sesame seeds in a hot pan.
- Spread a layer of sesame seeds on a chopping board and coat tuna on all sides.
- Heat a little vegetable oil in a frying pan to a med-high heat.
- Sear the tuna steaks on all sides until the crust becomes lightly golden.
- Combine the mixed leaves with some sliced cucumber and crunchy noodles.
- Add honey soy dressing to taste.
Everyone needs a decent batter recipe up their sleeve and after years of playing around with different recipes I’ve settled on this one as my go-to. I normally use this for flake fillets but it can be used with any white fish or even onion rings. Flake will taste better the day after it is caught rather than the day you catch it. If you refrigerate your fillets overnight using a colander over a bowl, it gives the flesh time to sweat out more of the ammonia, improving the eating quality. The trick for crispy batter is to take the time to chill it; cold batter and hot oil gets a crispy end result.
- Flake fillets (refrigerated overnight before use)
- 1 cup of self raising flour
- Sparkling mineral water (or beer)
- 2-3 tbs malt vinegar
- Pinch of salt
- Sieve flour and salt together in a bowl.
- Make a well in the centre.
- Add chilled mineral water/beer and whisk to make a smooth creamy batter.
- Add the malt vinegar and stir through.
- Cover batter with cling wrap and chill in refrigerator for 30 mins.
- Remove flake fillets from the colander and pat dry using kitchen towel.
- Coat with a thin layer of flour before dipping in the batter.
- Cook in hot oil until golden brown.
After putting the Fisha 500 to good use up at South West Rocks earlier in the year, I pulled the last of the mackerel out of the freezer and dinner was Ca Kho To, a traditional Vietnamese claypot dish.
Here’s what you need:
1/2 kg mackerel steaks, bone and skin on (Aussie salmon, flake or snapper would work too)
3 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs minced garlic
Couple of twists of black pepper
3 spring onions, sliced 1 inches long
From the Asian grocery:
4 tbs fish sauce
3 tbs caramel sauce
1 can of coconut juice
Here’s what to look for in the Asian grocery:
1) Marinade steaks with fish sauce, sugar, pepper, garlic, and shallots for about 1/2-1 hr.
2) In pot, heat about 1 tbs of cooking oil on medium high and add the marinaded fish.
3) Allow to sear and brown for about 2-3 before searing opposite side for another few minutes.
4) Add the caramel sauce and just enough coconut juice to the level of the fish steaks. Cover and turn to med low heat and allow to simmer for about 25 min (longer if you want it really soft),
5) Checking a few times to make sure that it’s not reduced too much. Add more coconut juice or caramel sauce if needed. The fish will eventually caramelise and brown, as will the sauce which will be a thick gooey consistency.
6) Taste sauce and make final adjustments with fish sauce or sugar as needed.
7) Turn off heat and add additional fresh cracked pepper, green onions, and chilli.
8) Serve with rice and a cold beer.