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Seafood great Stephen Hodges is demonstrating how to sear kingfish fillets in a pan
Seafood great Stephen Hodges is demonstrating how to sear kingfish fillets in a pan

Stephen Hodges, chef, consultant, author of the Australian Fish and Seafood Cookbook, prepared this delicious dish for festival goers in 2019. His book has become the definitive bible of Australian seafood and this recipe is a firm favourite in our cookbooks.

Crispy Skin Kingfish with Beetroot & Chilli Relish
Serves 4


4 x 200g portions of Kingfish
2 tablespoons of Rice Flour
80mls Ghee
Salted red chilli
Sea Salt to Serve.

Beetroot and Chilli Relish

250ml red wine vinegar 
2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
125g currants 
1 long red chilli/split lengthways, seeds removed , finely chopped.
280g grated Beetroot
Ice for cooling 


Beetroot Relish

Combine the vinegar, sugar, currants and chilli in a small saucepan, then bring to the boil over high heat. 
Reduce the heat to medium-high and simmer for 6 – 7 minutes, until the liquid has reduced in volume by a third.
Add the grated beetroot and stir constantly for 12 – 14 mins, until the beetroot is tender and sticky.
Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl, sit it over a larger bowed fill with ice and continue stirring until it is cool (the ice will arrest the cooking process, helping the relish retain its vibrant colour).

Crispy Kingfish  

Heat a large cast- iron frying pan over medium-high heat (or two smaller pans – it’s essential that the fish is not overcrowded in in the pan)
Add the ghee to the pan. 
When the pan is hot and the ghee translucent, place the fish in the pan, skin side down, leaving the paper on the flesh side.
Place a 1kg plus fish weight or equivalent weight pan – on top of the fillets and cook for approximately 4mins, lifting the weight once or twice then moving the fillets gently around the pan so they don’t burn. Then flip the fillet over and remove from heat, leaving fillet in pan for approximately 1min.
Remove from pan, rest for 2mins, then slice & serve.