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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Basil Crusted Fillet of Red Roman with Asian Styled Noodles

I have been very lucky in being able to live at the coast most of my life, and i really appreciate the salt air, the seagulls and the seasonal smell of fish in the air. I used to fish quite alot myself, but due to mismanagement of time I have not been fishing for a long time, I love fresh fish, there's nothing quite as satisfying than filleting a fish and getting the smell of the sea, I adore it, because i know right then that the fish is going to taste the same!!!!!

I had the opportunity this week to go and visit a local fishery here is St Francis Bay called Balobi, and when we got there they were busy off loading there boat with a fresh catch of Hake, Carpenters and Red Romans, so being the fresh fish enthusiast that I am, I bought one of each to bring back to the kitchen and "test" as us Chefs like to call it. It was absolutely divine, really really fish, i used all the bones to make fresh fish stock which also has the hint of fresh salty sea air to it, got to love it.

Now there was one thing that was bothering me however and that is the fact that I am an avid supporter of SASSI and the WWF when it comes to selling sustainably caught fish and sea foods, so the first thing that I did was research the fishing method that is being employed by this specific fishery and if the fish they were selling was green, orange or red listed, as I prefer to only buy and sell green listed fish species, and as my knowledge served me I knew that Red Roman and Carpenters and Orange listed species and so is long line caught hake.

So at my visit i did ask the questions, how many hooks on your long lines, how many long lines at a time in water, what do you do with you by-catch, how many sea birds to you catch on average, what do you do to try and prevent the capture of sea birds and by-catch. Now I don't want to sound like everything is doom and gloom, you are allowed to still sell orange listed fish species but they are under threat with they are not monitored and a plan is in place to try to sustain the species.

I then phoned SASSI to find out if i would be doing the right thing from buying these fish, and the advice i got was awesome, as everything this fishery does in it's fishing practices are in line and they also explained that they cannot look at each fishery individually, but as a industry on a whole and that is why long lining is orange listed.

I believe in trying to support local where you can, it always helps boosts the towns internal economy, so i am know getting my fish from this fishery, beautiful fresh hake!!! The line fish I am staying away from for other reasons, but this is a recipe that i done with one of the amazing fresh fish that I did buy.

Basil Crusted Fillet of Red Roman with Asian Styled Noodles

Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cooking Time: 10 Minutes
Serves: 2

Part A
2 fillets of Fresh Fish
2 TBSP Basil Pesto (delish does a great one or pesto princess, as basil does not grow in winter I usually substitute with a good bought one)
4 TBSP Butter softened
1 Cup Bread Crumbs
1 clove garlic
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Part B
1 medium carrot
1 small red onion
½ each red, yellow and green pepper
1 large baby marrow
6 cherry tomatoes
1 thumb size piece of ginger
1 clove of garlic
2 blocks Chinese egg noodles (or you can use 2 minute noodles, they are the same thing really)
1 small chilli
2 TBSP Oyster Sauce
1 TBSP Soy Sauce
2 tsp sesame seeds
2 tsp sesame oil
Handful fresh coriander
1 TBSP Olive Oil

Take all the ingredients from part A except the fish and mix them together in bowl.
Then take a piece of cling film about 40cm long and place in on the kitchen counter, put this mixture on top of the cling film and spread it out so that it is about 2 cm thick, then place another piece of cling film over that, now take a rolling pin and roll it out to form an even layer of the mixture that is about 3mm thick, place this onto a cutting board and place it in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to set. Take it out of the refrigerator place the fillet of fish on the rolled out mixture skin side up, using a sharp knife cut around the fish, now take a baking tray and drizzle with a little olive oil and salt, place the fish skin side down on the baking tray, peel the plastic off the crust mixture and place it perfectly over the top of the fish, place in the middle of the oven with only the grill on, and grill for about 10 minutes until the crust is golden brown.

Whilst the fish is grilling cook the noodles in salted boiling water for 2 minutes.  Peel and julienne all the vegetables from part B, fry them on a high heat with the olive oil for about 5 minutes until they start to soften, now add in all the other ingredients and cook for another 30 seconds then add in the noodles and toss until everything has mixed. Place the noodles on the plate, and top with the grill fish, serve with a lemon wedge and freshly chopped coriander.

Now i must urge all of you reading this blog, please whenever you are about to order fish whether in a super market or in a restaurant, always ask the questions like is this fish green listed? if so where is it caught? i reputable supplier of fish will always be able to trace the fish back to which specific boat it was caught on. So they should always be able to tell you!!! and then if a fish is orange listed try to stay away from it as they are under threat unless there is a sustainable program in place by the specific fishery, and lastly if it is red listed report them so SASSI there information is on , as well as all the information of the listed fish species.

Bon apetite enjoy the meal

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