Smoked Trevally Pate


Trevally, a firm oily fish with a strong flavour, is perfect for robust cooking methods such as smoking. You could also make this pâté with any leftover pan-fried, baked or barbecued fish, but you’d lose the smokiness.

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

Smoking Mixture

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 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.



Let us keep you up to date with our weekly MiNDFOOD e-newsletters which include the weekly menu plan, health and news updates or tempt your taste buds with the MiNDFOOD Daily Recipe.