Hapuka Fillets with Smoked Mussels

4

PORTIONS

Ingredients

  • 150g butter 6 anchovies, chopped (more if you like) 
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley (or other soft herbs) 
  • 28 smoked mussels (4 roughly chopped, 24 whole) 
  • 4 hapuka fillets (about 180g each) 
  • salt and pepper, to season 
  • flour, to dust the fish in 
  • about 1–2 Tbsp oil, for frying 
  • about 25g butter extra, for frying 
  • seasonal steamed vegetables (enough for 4)

Suggested wine match -  2014 Waipara Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

From The Food Show 2015.

Method

Firstly, prepare the anchovy butter. Soften the butter, don’t let it melt. Combine softened butter with anchovies, herbs and the 4 roughly chopped mussels. Set aside at room temperature.

Make an incision in the hapuka fillets large enough to stuff 3 mussels into each. Season the fish then dust with flour.

Get a frying pan nice and hot and add just enough oil to coat the pan. Carefully place the fillets in the pan, avoiding splashing yourself with hot oil. Once the fish is in the pan, add the extra butter around the pan evenly so that all the fillets can soak it up. Once you have a nice golden colour on the fish, flip the fillets over and place in the oven. Depending on the thickness of the fillets, this will take more or less time, somewhere from a couple of minutes to maybe 5 or more. As you can eat sashimi raw, I recommend slightly undercooking fresh fish rather than overcooking, which often results in a tougher, drier meal. If you are confident pan-frying fish, you can cook the fish the whole way through in the pan.

A couple of minutes before the fish is finished cooking, add the remaining 12 mussels to the pan to warm them through.

Place a spoon of anchovy butter on top of each fillet just before you serve it. Place the fish on top of the steamed vegetables and the remaining mussels around the plate. Drizzle the pan juices over the fish and enjoy.