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The five best fish recipes from Observer Food Monthly | Life and style | The Observer

7/31/13 2:18 PM

The five best fish recipes from Observer Food Monthly


To mark 10 years of the Observer Food Monthly Awards, a selection of the best recipes from the magazine over the past decade Tomorrow: Meat recipes Vote in the OFM Awards
Fuchsia Dunlop, Jason Atherton, Angela Hartnett, Pierre Koffmann and Nathan Outlaw The Observer, Sunday 5 May 2013

Fuchsia Dunlop's sea bream in fish fragrant sauce. Photograph: Martin Poole

Sea bream in fish fragrant sauce: Fuchsia Dunlop


This is my attempt to recreate, on a domestic scale, a recipe from the Bashu Weiyuan tucked away on a back street in the centre of Chengdu. There, where they title the dish
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"Lucky home town fish", they serve a whole sea bass covered in lavish quantities of fishfragrant sauce, that famous Sichuanese combination of pickled chilli, garlic and ginger with sweet-and-sour flavours. Here, I've suggested using a smaller fish and more modest amounts of sauce. Serves 2 stock 750ml sea bream 1.35 kg, scaled and cleaned, but with head and tail intact For the sauce cooking oil 2 tbsp Sichuan chilli bean paste 2 tbsp (or Sichuan pickled chilli paste if you can get it) garlic 1 tbsp, finely chopped ginger1 tbsp, finely chopped stock 200ml caster sugar 1 tbsp potato flour 2 tsp mixed with 1! tbsp cold water Chinkiang vinegar 1 tbsp spring onion greens 3 tbsp, finely sliced Heat up the 750ml stock in a wok. Make parallel cuts 1cm apart along each side of the fish, perpendicular to the spine and all the way down to the backbone (this will help the fish to poach quickly and keep it tender). Lay it in the boiling stock, bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to poach the fish gently. Move the fish around a little if necessary to ensure even cooking. After about 2 minutes, turn the fish and poach for another 2 minutes, by which time it should be just tender to the bone: poke a chopstick into the thickest part of the flesh to make sure (it should come away easily from the backbone). Remove the fish to a serving dish and pour off the stock for other uses. Re-season the surface of the wok, then return to a medium flame with the cooking oil. Add the chilli bean paste and stir-fry for a minute or so until the oil is red and fragrant. Tip in the garlic and ginger and stir until you can smell their fragrances. Then pour in the 200ml stock and bring to a boil. Mix in the sugar, then give the potato flour mixture a stir and add just enough to thicken the sauce to a thick, luxurious gravy (you will probably need all of it). Then stir in the vinegar, followed by the spring onion greens. Mix well and ladle over the waiting fish. Serve.
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The five best fish recipes from Observer Food Monthly | Life and style | The Observer

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From Every Grain of Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop (Bloomsbury, 25). To order for 18 with free UK p&p go to guardian.co.uk/bookshop

Halibut with chestnuts: Jason Atherton

Jason Atherton's halibut with chestnuts. Photograph: Martin Poole Serves 2 halibut fillets 2 garlic cloves 3, crushed bay leaf 2 sprigs thyme 3 sprigs butter 60g chestnuts 8, chopped lemon segments 2 tbsp, chopped small capers 2 tbsp, chopped shallots 2 tbsp, chopped spring greens 8, blanched and refreshed parsley 2 tbsp, chopped fish brown sauce (see below) 100ml For the fish brown sauce chopped halibut bones, including heads but without the eyes 2kg, washed and dried shallots 3, roughly chopped
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garlic 1 head red wine 125ml brown chicken stock 2 litres thyme 10 sprigs bay leaves 2 soft butter 30g To make the sauce, heat oven to 180C/gas mark 4 and roast the halibut bones in a roasting tin with shallots and garlic for 30 minutes. Pour into a large heavy-based pan, cover with stock and fresh herbs, simmer for 10-15 minutes, pass through a sieve and reduce by half. Thicken with butter at the end. To cook the halibut, put a little oil in a non-stick pan then add the fish and crushed garlic and bay leaves and thyme. When coloured on one side, turn over and add 30g butter. When it starts to foam and the fish is cooked, take out the fillets and let them rest. Then add the rest of the butter, and when it starts to foam add the chestnuts, then the lemon, capers and shallots. Cook for a few minutes then add the spring greens and parsley and season with sea salt. Put the fish on a plate and pour over the fish sauce and add the garnish. Socialeatinghouse.com

Spaghetti alle vongole: Angela Hartnett

Angela Hartnett's

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The five best fish recipes from Observer Food Monthly | Life and style | The Observer

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spaghetti alle vongole. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin A hint of chilli is sometimes found in southern Italian dishes such as this, but it should not overpower. Serves 4 dried spaghetti 300-350g olive oil 2 tbsp, plus extra for drizzling fresh red chilli ! tsp de-seeded and finely sliced garlic cloves 2, finely sliced small clams 500g, scrubbed white wine a splash flat-leaf parsley 2 tbsp, finely chopped salt and freshly ground black pepper Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the spaghetti for about 7-8 minutes, or according to packet instructions, until al dente. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large, deep frying pan over a medium heat. Add the chilli and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until soft but not coloured. Add the clams to the pan along with the wine. Cover and cook over a fairly high heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the clams open. Remove from the heat, then pick out and discard any clams that have not opened. Drain the spaghetti and add to the clams. Stir in the parsley and drizzle over a touch of olive oil if it looks dry. Season to taste and serve immediately. From Cucina by Angela Hartnett (Ebury, 25). To order a copy for 18 with free UK p&p go to guardian.co.uk/bookshop

Turbot with mustard: Pierre Koffmann

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Pierre Koffmann's turbot with mustard. Photograph: Martin Poole Serves 4 turbot 4 fillets of 150g butter 120g, softened shallots 30g, very finely chopped white wine 100ml fish stock 250ml wholegrain mustard 1 tbsp tomato 1 large, blanched, skinned, deseeded and diced parsley 1 tsp, finely chopped sea salt and freshly ground black pepper fresh tagliatelle to serve Preheat the oven to 140C/gas 1. Lightly butter an ovenproof pan or gratin dish and sprinkle on the shallots. Place the turbot fillets on top and pour the white wine and fish stock on to the fillets. Cover with buttered foil. Bring to the boil on the hob, then transfer to the preheated oven and cook for 8-10 minutes. Arrange the fillets on a warm serving dish, cover and keep warm. Reduce the cooking stock by three-fifths and whisk in the remaining butter little by little. Mix in the mustard and check the seasoning. Sprinkle over the diced tomato and chopped parsley and pour over the turbot. Serve with fresh tagliatelle.

Coley burger with shallot and cider mustard


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relish: Nathan Outlaw

Nathan Outlaw's coley burger with shallot and cider mustard relish. Photograph: Romas Foord Makes 10 burgers For the coley patties banana shallots 4, finely chopped cloves of garlic 8, finely chopped Dutch red chillis 6, deseeded and finely chopped olive oil coley fillet 1.5kg, no bones and skin, diced chives 5 tbsp, chopped eggs 3, to bind breadcrumbs 250g sea salt and pepper For the relish banana shallots 6, roughly chopped olive oil cider vinegar 200ml dry cider 1 litre thyme 3 tsp, chopped caster sugar 200g apples 4, peeled and chopped wholegrain mustard 5 tbsp
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bread rolls 10 beef tomatoes 3, sliced rocket leaves 200g, washed pickled shallots (see recipe below) 100g To make the relish, sweat off the chopped shallot in a little olive oil for 2 minutes in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the vinegar, cider, thyme and sugar and reduce over a medium heat until the liquid becomes syrupy. When the mixture is syrupy, add the apple and cook until the apple is soft and then add the mustard. Season with salt and pepper and reserve until required in a jar with a good fitting lid. To make the coley patties, sweat off the shallot, garlic and chilli in a frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil for 2 minutes. Remove the mixture from the pan and allow it to cool down. Using a food processor, in two batches, blend the coley for 1 minute. Place all the fish into a mixing bowl and add the shallot and chilli mixture, the chives, eggs and breadcrumbs and give it a good mix with your hands until it is well incorporated. Season with salt and pepper. At this stage it is good to fry off a little piece of the patty mix to taste the seasoning as a tester, then you can adjust the seasoning as you like it. When you are happy with the flavour, divide the mixture into 100g balls and then mould them into patty-style shapes. Lay the patties on to a tray and refrigerate until required. To cook the patties, preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add some olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the patties and fry for 2 minutes on each side. Place the patties on to an oven tray and put in the oven for 3 minutes. While they are cooking, slice your bread rolls and add a drizzle of olive oil followed by a slice or two of tomato, some rocket and a few pickled shallots (to pickle shallots, boil together 50g sugar, 50ml red wine vinegar, 50ml red wine, then pour over 2 sliced shallots; leave for 2 hours). Remove the patties from the oven and place them on top of the rocket and shallots. Top the patties with some relish and serve with more dressed rocket leaves and tomatoes. From Nathan Outlaw's British Seafood, (Quadrille, 25). To order a copy for 17 with
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