Grilled coral trout with pickled Buddha’s hands


  • Serves 4 people

  • 4 coral trout fillets, pin-boned (about 175gm each)
  • 25 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • To serve: green salad
  • Pickled Buddha’s hands
  • 2 large Buddha’s hands or unwaxed organic lemons (see note)
  • 50 ml lemon juice
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • Olive oil sauce
  • ½ tsp white peppercorns
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 tbsp each coriander seeds and fennel seeds
  • 250 ml (1 cup) organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • ¼ bunch each tarragon, parsley, dill and chives, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, finely grated rind and juice only
01   For pickled Buddha’s hands, slice Buddha’s hands very thinly and transfer to a bowl, add remaining ingredients, 25gm sea salt and 50ml water. Scatter over a non-reactive tray in a single layer, cover with a damp absorbent cloth and stand at room temperature, turning occasionally, keeping cloth damp, until pickled (1-2 weeks).
02   For olive oil sauce, dry-roast spices in a small frying pan until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Combine extra-virgin olive oil with spices and garlic, refrigerate to infuse (6 hours-overnight), pass through a fine sieve, then add herbs, lemon juice and rind and season to taste.
03   Heat a non-stick frying pan or char-grill over high heat. Season fish with sea salt, brush with olive oil and cook skin-side down, applying a little pressure so fish cooks evenly (3-5 minutes), then turn and cook until just cooked through (1-2 minutes). Drain on absorbent paper, transfer to a serving plate, top with pickled Buddha’s hands, then dress with olive oil sauce. Serve with a green salad.
Note Buddha’s hands are available from Asian grocers. You can use lemons instead.







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