Citrus-cured kingfish with lemon labne


  • Serves 6 - 8 people

Begin this recipe a day ahead to cure the kingfish and drain the labne.

  • 2 tsp each whole white peppercorns and fennel seeds
  • ½ cup each coarsely chopped coriander and mint
  • 35 gm (¼ cup) sea salt
  • 1 tbsp raw caster sugar
  • Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange
  • 2 250gm pieces of sashimi-grade kingfish fillet, bloodline removed
  • To serve: lavash-style crisp bread, finely diced Lebanese cucumber and Spanish onion, sprouts, extra-virgin olive oil and lemon wedges
  • Lemon labne
  • 500 gm sheep’s milk yoghurt
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon, juice of ½
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • Herb crust
  • ½ cup each coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley and mint
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon and 1 orange
01   Dry-roast peppercorns and fennel seeds until fragrant (30 seconds), then coarsely grind in a mortar and pestle. Transfer half the spice mixture to a bowl (reserve remaining), add herbs, salt, sugar rind and juices, and mix well.
02   Place a 60cm-long piece of plastic wrap on a work surface and spread a third of the curing mixture in the centre the same size as the fillets. Place a piece of kingfish on top, spread over half the remaining curing mixture and sandwich with remaining kingfish. Spread remaining curing mixture over the top, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Wrap in a second piece of plastic wrap, place in a container and refrigerate for 24 hours.
03   Meanwhile, for lemon labne, combine yoghurt, rind, juice, garlic, 1½ tsp sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste in a bowl, transfer to a sieve lined with muslin, place over a bowl to catch liquid and refrigerate overnight to drain.
04   For herb crust, combine parsley, mint and rinds with reserved spice mixture. Wipe curing mixture off kingfish and pat dry with absorbent paper. Spread lemon labne all over kingfish, then roll in herb mixture to coat evenly (the fish can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored in the fridge for a couple of days at this point).
05   Thinly slice kingfish and serve on lavash spread with lemon labne and topped with cucumber, Spanish onion and sprouts, and drizzled with olive oil. Serve extra lemon labne, lavash and lemon wedges on the side.
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