Fish recipes from around the world (Zoe Shuttleworth)
List 17 August

Four fishy-feasts from around the world

Chef, traveller and writer Jake Tilson shares four simple, yet succulent, recipes from his new book 'In At The Deep End'

1. Three fish bake


This warming winter dish is rather like an upside down potato and fish pie. It’s enough for a whole meal and can be made with any white or smoked fish.

Serves: 3


175g leeks, finely sliced
700g potatoes, cut into 1cm rounds
1 bay leaf
3 spring onions, chopped
Salt and pepper
300ml milk
100ml water
200g haddock, skinless fillets
200g salmon, skinless fillets
100g smoked haddock
1 handful chopped chives
1 handful finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 220°C/ Gas Mark 7.

In an oven-proof casserole dish, put the leeks, potatoes, bay leaf and spring onions and season with salt and pepper. Pour in the milk and enough water to barely cover the vegetables. Cook in the hot oven for 30 minutes, until browned.

Cut all of the fish into bite-sized pieces.

Remove the casserole from the oven. Mash a few of the cooked potatoes and mix them back into the stew.

Arrange the fish in a layer over the cooked vegetables. Sprinkle with chives and parsley. Add a little more milk if needed. Return to the oven and cook for a further 10-15 minutes, just long enough to cook the fish through. The stew should be bubbling up through the fish.

2. Tilapia With Ginger and Orange Sauce

New York City

Fellow chef, Peter, makes a reduced orange and ginger sauce – it takes two hours! Wonderful. I make some plain rice to go with it and leek and carrots which we overcook twice. We save them with some grated parmesan. A Scandinavian guest tells us that dill in Finland is much stronger-tasting because it’s grown so far north. You can also catch pike in the ocean there because the salinity of the sea is so low. Fishermen there often catch freshwater river-fish in their nets far out at sea. This sauce would work well with most white fish.

Serves: 2


1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 5 oranges
Juice of 1 lemon
3cm cube fresh ginger, peeled
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
Sunflower oil
4 tilapia fillets

In a heavy-based pan, sauté the onion and garlic in a little olive oil until translucent.

Add the orange juice, lemon juice and cube of ginger. Simmer on the lowest possible heat for about one hour to reduce it by about a third.

Before serving grate the remaining fresh ginger into the sauce, heat through.

In a large non-stick frying pan, cook the tilapia fillets in a little sunflower oil on a medium heat for about two minutes on each side.

Serve with the orange and ginger sauce.

3. Avocado Seafood Salad


The key to the success of this salad is finding the best ingredients you can. If you can’t find rock lobster or bugs use a mixture of lobster and perhaps some langoustine, it’s the mixture of species size that’s important – large medium and small crustacea are needed eg lobster, langoustine, prawn. Avocados are a great way to make the more expensive seafood ingredients go further.

Serves: 2


1 cooked rock lobster tail
1 cooked Balmain bug
6 cooked prawns, shelled, cut into 3
1/2 large ripe avocado, cut into small chunks
2 tbsp chopped macadamia nuts
1 tbsp runny honey
1 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard

Carefully take all of the flesh out of the rock lobsters and Balmain bug, cut into bite-sized pieces, put into a salad bowl. Add the prawns, avocado and nuts.

Make a dressing, mix the honey, lemon juice, olive oil, white wine vinegar and mustard in a jar, shake well. Pour over the salad. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for an hour or so.

Serve with fresh bread and a chilled Australian white wine.

Variation: Also good with a little firm cooked white fish. You could extend it with some crisp chopped red peppers or a touch of lettuce, although some of the richness may be lost.

4. Serve yourself sushi and sashimi


Hand-rolled sushi, temaki-zushi, is a perfect way to celebrate good fresh fish: raw, cured, smoked or pickled.

Arriving at our friends Heechang, Shinano and Aru, on the outskirts of Tokyo, we find that we’re all making sushi for lunch. I’m a little worried – sushi always looks rather intimidating. Today though, we’re at the easy end of sushi making – temaki-zushi, which are little folded squares of nori seaweed filled with rice, vegetables and fish. As easy as making a sandwich. The essential wrapping ingredients are sheets of nori seaweed. Also key is the use of Japanese rice with kombu stock and rice vinegar, though jasmine rice is a good substitute. The fillings shouldn’t follow a slavish sushi-wish-list; use local and seasonal vegetables and fish.

If I were making this in Scotland I might use fresh mackerel, salmon roe and some smoked fish – salmon, mackerel or trout. In Venice I’d try Adriatic squid, octopus and crabmeat.

Serves: 4


28g bag of nori seaweed (10 sheets)
Vinegared rice
290ml water
250g Japanese rice
12cm strip of kombu (dried kelp)
40ml rice vinegar
1 tbsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt


2-egg omelette, sliced into thin strips
200g sushi-quality fresh fish (see above), cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cucumber, cut into thin strips
2 avocados, cut into thin slices
1 handful small lettuce leaves
Wasabi paste (optional)
Mayonnaise (optional)
Soy sauce (optional)

To make the vinegared rice, simply wash the rice well, drain and leave to dry for one hour.

Put the rice, water and kombu into a pan, bring to a boil then remove the kombu.

Simmer over a moderate heat, covered, for five minutes then reduce the heat to as low as possible and continue to cook for a further 15 minutes. Turn up the heat for five seconds, remove from the heat.

Leave covered.

Add the vinegar, sugar and salt to a small pan, heat gently until dissolved.

Using a flat wooden spoon gently turn the rice into a wooden bowl, fanning it between spoonfuls and slowly add the warm dressing. The aim is to cool the cooked rice whilst gradually adding the vinegared dressing.

To keep the rice warm place a damp cloth over the bowl.

Lay out your various fillings on a plate, gather round and start making your own hand-rolled sushi. Place a 12cm square sheet of seaweed in your hand, add a small spoonful of rice in the middle, maybe a smear of wasabi, then some fish, vegetables, omelette and mayonaise – roll into the shape of a cornet, dip a corner into soy sauce, and enjoy.

Recipes are from travelling chef Jake Tilson's new book In At The Deep End, where he travels from Venice to Tokyo on a journey of discovery of the sea and fish cookery. His book is available now on Amazon and from Quadrille publishers.

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