Steamed halibut and rye crispies

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This fantastic steamed halibut recipe by Phil Fanning makes the most of locally foraged ingredients, such as wild garlic and gorse flowers. It takes a little time to prepare, but your effort will be rewarded - the finished dish is not only visually stunning but filled with rich, umami flavours from the kombu and bottarga.

First published in 2015




Pickled fennel and wild garlic berries

Brown onion juice

Braised kombu

Rye crispies

  • 45g of medium crispbread, preferably Peter's Yard
  • 45g of potato flour
  • 155g of soda water
  • vegetable oil, for frying

Steamed halibut


For the pickled fennel and wild garlic buds, bring all of the ingredients except the fennel and garlic buds to the boil, then leave to cool. Add the fennel and garlic buds then transfer to a sterilised jar. Leave in the fridge for a minimum of one week
Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3. For the brown onion juice, cut an 'X' through the root of the peeled onions and place them in a roasting tin. Cover with foil and bake for 6 hours
Remove the onions and allow them to cool, squeeze them through a tea towel to extract the juice and reserve with any liquid in the roasting tin
Gently warm the juice then add the kombu and rosemary. Allow to infuse for 20 minutes, then pass though a fine sieve and season to taste with soy sauce
For the braised kombu, rinse the kombu well then place in a small roasting tin. Bring 135ml of water and 135ml of the onion juice to the boil and pour over the kombu. Add the olive oil and star anise. Cover with a paper cartouche and a sheet of foil and braise over a low heat for 4 hours
Leave the kombu to cool then cut into 3cm rounds. Store in the liquid until ready to serve
For the rye crispies, make the batter by blending the crispbreads in a food processor to a fine powder. Mix with the remaining ingredients, pour into a syphon gun and charge with 2 gas cartridges. Shake well and heat a deep fryer to 160°C
  • 45g of medium crispbread, preferably Peter's Yard
  • 45g of potato flour
  • 155g of soda water
  • vegetable oil, for frying
Squirt the batter through a colander into the fryer so that it creates mini droplets. Fry until golden brown, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on kitchen paper
For the halibut, place the water, salt, lemon zest, dill seeds and dried kombu into a pan and bring to the boil. Add the gorse flowers and allow the liquid to cool
When cool, place the halibut loin in the brine and leave for 1 hour. Remove and pat dry before portioning into 4x 100g pieces
To cook, place the halibut portions into a small roasting tray lined with greaseproof paper, add 3-4 tablespoons of the brown onion juice and cover with cling film. Place on a medium heat on the hob and bring to a simmer, remove from the heat and allow to steam under the cling film for 4-5 minutes
Blanch the wild garlic leaves quickly in a pan, then drain
Finish the rye crispies by mixing with the bottarga, the fennel pollen and chive flowers (if using)
To serve, place the halibut on plates and sprinkle with the rye crispie mix. Garnish with the wild garlic leaves, pickled wild garlic, kombu rounds and fennel fronds, and spoon over a little more of the onion sauce
First published in 2015

Phil Fanning remains one of the brightest, most interesting chefs of the British food scene, creating beautiful, intricate plates of food at the magnificent Paris House in Woburn Abbey.

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