Today I skinned and cured my first piece of fish! (I said ‘piece’ of fish, not a whole fish… that would have been more of an achievement). Kingfish for Karen Martini’s Cured Kingfish with paprika an avocado and fennel salad.
The lovely pearly Kingfish with smoky paprika and crunchy fennel makes a great alternative to smoked salmon to start our Boxing Day lunch.
Curing is a food preservation process that uses salt, sugar and acid to dehydrate food (meat and fish especially) while also adding flavour. This recipe only calls for the fish to be cured for 2 hours. Essentially the fish is being pickled and brined in the mixture, so the longer you leave it, the saltier it will get.
I actually found this recipe quite easy – the trickiest part was skinning the fish, but you could get your fish monger to do this for you. Oh and some slight pressure from 7 people waiting to be fed and hoping this isn’t a gigantic flop!
Pleased to say it turned out better than I’d hoped and it actually looked just like the picture in Sunday Life magazine! Chuffed.
Give this a go – you won’t regret it.
Cured Kingfish with smoked paprika and avocado and fennel salad
Serves: 8-10; Prpe time; 30 minutes; Cook (cure) time; 2 hours
100g sea salt
150g caster sugar
Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
1 tsp black peppercorns, lightly crushed
1.2kg side Kingfish, skin and bones removed
1 1/2 tsp smoky paprika
2 tsp crushed fennel seeds
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1 bulb fennel, finely sliced
1 avocado, finely diced
1/2 bunch mint, leaves only
30g caviar or salmon roe
3 limes, cut in to wedges
60ml extra virgin olive oil
Crostini, toasted sliced sourdough or baguette to serve
– Mix salt, sugar, lemon zest and juice and peppercorns to form a marinade. Place fish in a long ceramic dish and spread marinade on both sides, then cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, turning fish occasionally.
– Lift fish from marinade and wipe down with a slightly damp paper towel. Mix paprika, fennel seeds and black pepper and press onto both sides of fish. Wrap tightly with cling wrap and leave for at least 15 minutes.
– Finely slice fish on an angle. Lay on a plate and dress with shaved fennel, avocado and mint. Scatter over roe and serve with limes, a drizzle of oil and bread on the side.