AT A GLANCE
|01||Put the bonito fillets in a non-reactive container. Whisk the salt, brown sugar and 750ml (3 cups) water in a bowl until the salt and sugar have dissolved, then pour onto the fish, cover and refrigerate to brine lightly for 20 minutes.|
|02||Remove the fillets from the brine, pat them dry with absorbent paper, then cold-smoke them (see note) for 15-20 minutes at medium-high smoke.|
|03||Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the bonito fillets and poach in the oil, warming them through until they’re flaking apart. Remove with a slotted spoon. Once cool enough to handle, peel off and discard the skin, then flake the fish.|
|04||For the vinaigrette, place all ingredients in a bowl, season with a pinch of fine sea salt and whisk to combine.|
|05||Arrange the flaked bonito, celery and leaves, cucumber and piquillo pepper on a plate. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and finish with spring onion.|
Note Piquillo peppers are available from select delicatessens. Milgate and Abrahanowicz like to use the cold smoking method because it gives more control over temperature and a more delicate finish to the fish. They use a little charcoal just to get the wood chips started; you want to produce plenty of smoke but no fire. Cold-smokers are available from specialist barbecue stores. This recipe is from Recipes for a Good Time (RRP $59.95) by Elvis Abrahanowicz & Ben Milgate, published by Murdoch Books, and has been reproduced with minor Gourmet Traveller style changes.