Trevally, a firm, oily fish with a strong flavour, is perfect for robust cooking methods such as smoking. If you prefer to lose the smokiness you can also make this pate with any leftover pan-fried, baked or barbecued fish.
Serves 6 as an entrée
400g mullet fillets, skin on, pin-boned
50g butter, softened
Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
1⁄2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon crushed caraway seeds
1⁄2 baguette, thinly sliced and toasted
Extra caraway seeds, to garnish
1 cup smoky tea (such as Russian Caravan or Lapsang Souchong)
1 cup raw white rice
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1. Making Smoking Mixture: combine all ingredients. Completely line a thin metal wok with aluminium foil, extending 30-40cm over each side. Mound the smoking mixture in the centre of the wok, burying the bay leaves and thyme in the mixture. Place a wire cake rack into the wok, it’s important that it doesn’t touch the smoking mixture (if it does, use a wider cake rack or remove some of the mixture).
2. Place fish onto the cake rack, skin side down, and fold the foil up above the fish to form a ‘tent’, so that it isn’t pressed against the fish and smoke has room to circulate around the fish. Fold foil to seal as well as possible. Place the wok over a high heat until it starts smoking, usually 2-4 minutes, then reduce heat to medium and continue smoking for a further 10 minutes. Remove wok from heat, open the foil, check fish is cooked through, if not return it to the wok for a few more minutes, then set fish aside to cool.
3. Peel skin off fish and remove any bloodline and remaining bones. Flake fish into a large bowl, add butter, lemon juice and crushed caraway seeds and beat with a wooden spoon until well combined but still textured. Put into a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate until firm, preferably overnight.
4. Serve spread on toasted baguette, sprinkled with extra caraway seeds.
Alternative Species: Australian Salmon, Australian Sardines, Tailor, Shark Mackerel
Visit the FISHline pages at www.sydneyfishmarket.com.au for more great seafood recipes; advice on seafood purchasing, storage and cooking; species information and answers to frequently asked seafood questions. FISHline is Sydney Fish Market’s free consumer advisory service.