Fennelled fish of the day

This recipe from Elena Arzak would be made with whichever fish was in season at the restaurant, but she particularly recommends mackerel. The dish gently layers the flavour and fragrance of fennel seeds, pressing them into the cured mackerel and infusing them into butter. It is served on top of a delicate ajo blanco, a traditional Spanish garlic and almond cold soup.

First published in 2022
discover more:
share recipe:

Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Cured mackerel

Ajo blanco

Dill oil

  • 40g of dill
  • 60g of spinach
  • 130g of groundnut oil

Pear concasse

Candied coriander seeds

Fennel butter

Samphire

For garnish

Equipment

  • Steam oven

Method

1

Wash, fillet and debone the mackerel

  • 1 mackerel, washed, filleted and deboned
2

Mix together the salt and sugar

3

Cover the fish with the salt and sugar mixture and leave to cure, skin facing up, for 20-25 minutes (the precise time will depend on the size of the fish)

4

Flip the fish over and press the fennel into the flesh of the fish firmly. Leave to one side

5

For the ajo blanco, soak the breadcrumbs in cold water. Squeeze out the excess water and then blend with the rest of the ingredients. Adjust the seasoning with salt and vinegar to taste

6

For the dill oil, combine the dill, spinach and oil. Heat to 80°C for 6 minutes

  • 40g of dill
  • 60g of spinach
  • 130g of groundnut oil
7

Transfer the hot oil to a heatproof bowl and rapidly cool over a bowl of ice so that the oil maintains its vibrant green colour

8

Strain the mixture over a sieve to remove the pulp

9

Add the water, sugar, cinnamon and lemon zest to a pan and simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool

10

Pour the syrup over the pear and steam in a steam oven at 90°C for 25 minutes

11

Once steamed, finely dice the pear

12

For the candied coriander seeds, mix all ingredients together in a dish and then immediately strain the mixture to remove the excess sugar

13

Add the sugared seeds to a hot pan and cook until they begin to caramelise

14

For the fennel butter, first scald the vanilla pod in water, and then scrape out the seeds

  • 1/2 vanilla pod
15

Mix the garlic oil with the ground coriander, the vanilla seeds and salt. Slowly incorporate the flavoured oil to your room temperature butter. Finally, add your chopped parsley

16

For the samphire, add the samphire, 40g fennel butter, water and some salt to a pan. Simmer until the water has evaporated, then add lemon juice to taste

17

To serve, add the ajo blanco to a black plate

18

Top with the mackerel, some diced pear, lime zest and a few candied seeds

19

Drizzle with dill oil, and garnish with a few springs of samphire

Brought to you by

In association with

The third generation of Arzaks to run the eponymous restaurant, Elena Arzak has maintained the three Michelin stars awarded to the restaurant back in 1989 and kept the Arzak name at the top table of the restaurant world.

Get in touch

 
Please or register to send a comment to Great British Chefs
 
You may also like
Elena Arzak
Elena Arzak
Spanish
Spanish
Pipirrana
Pipirrana
Angel Zapata Martin
Angel Zapata Martin
Load more