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Cured kingfish

with blood orange & pickled beet salad

Serves 4

Preparation 25 minutes + overnight curing  

Recipes & Food Styling Hannah Meppem
Wine Matches Peter Bourne
Photography William Meppem
Styling Sabine Schmitz


1 small head fennel, finely sliced
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp lime juice
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
2 blood or navel oranges, peeled and sliced into segments

Citrus-cured kingfish
¼ cup coarse sea salt
¼ cup caster sugar
1 tsp mountain pepperberries, crushed
zest of 1 small orange
1 tbsp orange juice
zest of 1 lime
1 tbsp lime juice
500g sashimi-grade kingfish, skin removed

Pickled beetroot
1 cup of pickling liquid from pickled
vegetables recipe
4 pink peppercorns
2 cups beetroot, peeled and thinly sliced
½ small red onion

TO SERVE: fresh chervil and dill


1To make citrus-cured kingfish, place salt, sugar, pepperberries, orange zest, orange juice, lime zest and 1 tbsp lime juice in a bowl and mix to combine.

2Place a large rectangle of cling wrap on a clean working surface. Place half of curing mixture on base, in shape of kingfish fillet. Place fillet on top and cover with remaining curing mixture. Wrap tightly in cling wrap and place on a tray. Place another tray on top and weigh down with items that are least a kilogram in weight. Refrigerate for 24 hours.

3To make pickled beetroot, heat pickling liquid in a saucepan with peppercorns and simmer for 1-2 minutes or until aromatic. Layer beetroot and red onion in a glass jar and pour over pickling liquid. Seal with lid and refrigerate until ready to use.

4Toss fennel with olive oil, lemon and remaining lime juice and season with salt and pepper.

5To assemble, scrape curing mixture off kingfish and wipe down with a damp paper towel. Thinly slice kingfish and place on base of a serving platter. Scatter fennel over fish and top with orange segments and pickled beetroot. Drizzle over any extra dressing and garnish with fresh chervil and dill.

Wine Match

2017 Alessandro di Camporeale Vigna di Mandranova Catarratto, Sicily, Italy, A$52

This fish salad has Mediterranean flavours stamped all over it, so pairing a Mediterranean white is a natural fit. Catarratto is native to Sicily, the fascinating island plonked in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. Catarratto smells of lemon and white violets with bright, citrus-fresh flavours that are perfectly aligned with the cured kingfish and aniseed flavours of the fennel. The catarratto's mouth-filling, lemon-pith texture completes the culinary accord, leaving the pickled beet salad and the Vigna di Mandranova's innate zest to refresh the palate.