Roasted King George Whiting by Blayne Bertoncello
Enjoy this iconic Australian table fish.
King George whiting are an iconic Australian table fish, caught throughout southern Australian waters. They are prized for their delicate flesh and easy-to-cook nature.
Aquaculture or rather, fish farming, attracts considerable controversy. Some say it’s the most environmentally efficient food system we’ve got. Others say farmed fish are toxic, fed waste products and are polluting our precious oceans. The reality is that all of these things can be true. Let’s discuss.
In terms of broad environmental impact, aquaculture has the potential to grow food more efficiently than most forms of animal agriculture as it can be done with substantially less reliance on natural resources. In the past we have made a lot of environmental mistakes on land and as we increase our focus on fish farming, we are presented with an opportunity to not make those mistakes again in our relatively untouched oceans. This means being incredibly careful in the decisions we make around the species we choose and where we place our farms, the choices we make in feed, and the scale of the farms we are looking to build.
Roasted whiting, Jerusalem artichokes, wild pine mushrooms and garden leaves
By Blayne Bertoncello
- 8 fillets of King George whiting (scaled/gutted and filleted)
- 1-2 native Australian fingerlime (lemon slices as substitute)
- A handful of mixed herbs- chive, sage, rosemary etc
- 500ml olive oil
- 1kg Jerusalem artichoke
- 500g mushrooms cut into rough chunks (Pine mushrooms are great in the Autumn when they are in season)
- Fresh salad leaves (a mix of whatever you have available)
- 300g butter
- 500ml chicken or vegetable stock
- 20ml lemon juice
- 50g shallot
- 200ml white wine vinegar
- Sugar (or simple syrup)
- Sea salt flakes
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
- After the fish has been scaled/filleted and gutted, place fillets skin side down and hold the tail end of the fish while you make a small cut at the tail, press your knife against the skin and run it along the fillet away from you to remove the flesh from the skin.
- Place some foil on the bench, then baking paper down on top. Arrange the whiting in the centre.
- Chop the mixed herbs and place over the fish, drizzle some olive oil and salt. Sprinkle some finger lime over as well (or place the lemon slices). Then wrap in to reasonably tight parcel ready to bake.
- Sort Jerusalem artichokes into bigs and smalls. Peel the larger ones and place in small saucepan with 100g butter and cook on a low heat while stirring for 10-15 mins until tender, then add the chicken stock and some salt. Cook on medium heat for a further 5 mins then blend in food processor to a smooth puree. Return it to your pot and set aside.
- Place the fish in the oven for 15 mins.
- At the same time as the fish going in the oven, melt the rest of the butter with 300 ml olive oil in a pan on med/low heat, once foaming add the smaller artichokes and mushrooms and slowly baste them for 15-20 mins until soft on inside and crunchy on outside.
- Once they are cooked, season with some lemon juice and sea salt.
To make the shallot dressing simply peel the shallots, chop them roughly and place them into a food processor with the white wine vinegar, 200ml olive oil, a pinch of sugar and some sea salt. Blitz on high and season with more sugar and salt to taste