Trout with sour plum, confit fennel and pickled jalapeños

Pan-fried trout is served with soft confit fennel, pickled jalapeños and a sauce made from Persian sour plums (also known as green sour plums or unripe plums) in this delicious Iranian-inspired recipe. Marwa cooks the fennel sous vide in the restaurant, but you can confit it in a pan if you don't have the equipment.

First published in 2022
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Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Trout

Sour plum sauce

Confit fennel

Pickled jalapeños

To garnish

Equipment

  • Blender

Method

1

To make the pickled jalapeños, finely slice the chillies and place in a vacuum bag. Heat the vinegar, water and sugar and stir to dissolve the sugar then leave to cool. Pour the cooled liquid over the jalapeños and seal the bag. Leave to pickle for at least 2 hours. If you don’t have vacuum packing equipment, you can pickle them in a container, but you will need to increase the pickle liquor ingredients  – enough to submerge the chilli slices in

2

To make the confit fennel, slice the fennel into 4mm slices and place in a vacuum bag with the oil, peeled garlic clove and a pinch of salt. Seal and cook sous vide at 70ºC for 1 hour. If you don’t have sous vide equipment, you can cook in a pan, ensuring you cover the fennel with oil and use a thermometer to ensure a steady temperature

3

To make the sour plum sauce, quarter the plums and remove the stones. Place the plums into a pan with the lime juice and salt and gently cook for 10-15 minutes, or until soft. Once soft, pass the flesh through a sieve to remove the skins, then transfer to a blender and blitz with the olive oil until you have a smooth sauce. Taste and season with salt

4

Preheat an oven to 170ºC/gas mark 3. Place a large ovenproof frying pan over a high heat and season the trout fillets with salt on both sides. Once the pan is smoking hot, add a dash of oil and place the fish in skin-side down. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the skin is nice and crispy, then flip over and transfer to the oven for 4 minutes to finish cooking

5

To serve, place a spoonful of crushed pistachios in the bottom of each bowl. Reheat the fennel in a pan with a splash of oil and add the samphire to heat through too. Add a spoonful of the plum sauce and top with the fennel, followed by the samphire. Sprinkle over some pickled jalapeños and top with the trout. Finish with micro coriander

First published in 2022
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Growing up in Saudi Arabia, Marwa Alkhalaf had fresh produce practically growing on her doorstep. After falling in love with Iranian food , she now cooks her own modern, ingredient-led take on the cuisine at her London restaurant Nutshell.

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