Crispy fish skin, salt cod brandade, oyster emulsion

  • medium
  • makes 24
  • 1 hour 15 minutes

Looking for a canapé that will impress? Look no further than this elegant arrangement from Lee Westcott, in which fish skin is adorned with dots of oyster emulsion and smoky puréed cod. If you don't want to use cod for this fish skin canape recipe, try salmon, sea bass or trout

First published in 2015




Salt cod brandade

Oyster emulsion

Crispy fish skin

To serve


  • Deep fat fryer
  • Blender
  • Piping bag and fine nozzle
  • Smoking gun
  • Drum sieve
  • Squeezy bottle
  • Dehydrator
  • Thermomix


Begin by submerging the salt cod in cold water, then place in the refrigerator for 24 hours, changing the water 3 times as it soaks. Then, use a smoking gun to give the fish a lightly smoked flavour
To prepare the brandade, place a pan over a medium heat and add the butter. Once melted, add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes with the peppercorns, thyme, bay leaves and garlic. Cover and cook until the mixture sweats but is not coloured
Add the milk, bring to a simmer and add the cod. Cook for 2 minutes, or until the cod is just cooked
  • 500ml of milk
While still warm, add to a blender with the soaked gelatine and blitz to form a very fine purée. Pass through a fine sieve or drum sieve, pressing firmly to extract all of the flavour
  • 6 bronze gelatine leaves, soaked
Transfer the purée to a metal bowl and place over an ice bath, stirring from time to time. Once almost set, fold in 2/3 of the semi-whipped cream, then taste the mix to check the flavour. Add a little more cream, ensuring the flavour of the cod is not lost or diluted. Season to taste and leave to set over the bowl of iced water
Preheat a steam oven to 100°C/212°F
To prepare the fish skins for frying, first clean the skins with a knife, ensuring all of the scales have been removed. Wash, pat dry and lay on baking sheets. Steam for 6 minutes, then use a fork to prick holes in the skins and dry out in a dehydrator until crisp
For the oyster emulsion, blend all of the ingredients (except the oil) in a Thermomix for 2 minutes, then slowly pour in the olive oil or dill oil until you achieve a thick emulsion. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice and store in a squeezy bottle until required
Before serving, deep-fry the skins, moving them around frequently in the fryer. Drain on kitchen paper and season with salt
Transfer the cod purée into a piping bag with a 0.5cm nozzle, then pipe small dots onto the fish skin, repeat with dots of the oyster emulsion and garnish with smoked paprika and dill. Serve immediately
First published in 2015

After formative years with Tom Aikens at his eponymous two Michelin-starred restaurant in Chelsea, Lee Westcott rose to fame at The Typing Room before launching Pensons – a beautiful restaurant with rooms on the Netherwood Estate in Worcestershire.

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