Cured wild bream with fennel, citrus fruit and pastis soured cream

Cured wild bream with fennel, citrus fruit and pastis soured cream

By
From
Fish Kitchen
Serves
4
Photographer
David Loftus

Wild black or gilthead bream is fantastic when cured. Its flesh has a slightly oily quality that responds particularly well to the curing process. I’ve done it so many ways, but this is my favourite (well, for now anyway!). The citrus and fennel go so well together with the bream. I’ve also made this successfully with grey mullet and bass.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 wild black or gilthead bream, filleted, skinned, pin-boned and trimmed

Cure

Quantity Ingredient
2 lemons, finely zested
2 limes, finely zested
250g sea salt
500g caster sugar
25g honey
5g fennel seeds
10 tarragon sprigs
100ml pastis

Fennel and citrus fruit

Quantity Ingredient
1 fennel bulb, trimmed, feathery fronds reserved
1 orange
1 lemon
1 pink grapefruit
2 fennel herb or dill sprigs, chopped
100ml cold-pressed rapeseed oil
cornish sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Pastis soured cream

Quantity Ingredient
250ml soured cream
2 tablespoons pastis

Method

  1. For the cure, put the lemon and lime zest, sea salt, sugar, honey, fennel seeds, tarragon sprigs and pastis in a bowl and mix together well.
  2. Lay the bream fillets on a tray (that will hold both the fish and cure) and pour the cure over them, making sure it is evenly distributed and the fish is covered all over. Cover with cling film and leave to cure in the fridge for 2 hours.
  3. Wash off the cure well with cold water, pat the fish dry with kitchen paper, then wrap tightly in cling film and place back in the fridge for an hour or so. (At this stage, you can freeze the fish for up to a month.)
  4. To prepare the fennel, remove any tough outer layer, then slice very finely, using a mandoline if you have one. Immerse in ice-cold water for 20 minutes to firm and crisp the slices.
  5. For the pastis soured cream, whip the cream with the pastis until it is firm, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  6. Peel and segment the orange, lemon and pink grapefruit, removing all of the white pith and membrane, then cut into small pieces and place in a bowl with the chopped fennel herb (or dill) and the rapeseed oil. Turn to coat in the dressing and season with salt to taste; put to one side.
  7. To serve, carefully slice the bream. Drain the citrus fruit and set aside, reserving the dressing.
  8. Drain the fennel and give it a good shake in the colander to remove excess water. Add the fennel to the reserved dressing, mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Lay the cured fish neatly on individual plates or a large sharing plate and top with the citrus fruit. Place a nice pile of fennel alongside and garnish with the feathery fronds. Spoon the pastis cream around to serve.
Tags:
seafood
fish
Kitchen
British
Nathan
Outlaw
Michelin
star
restaurant
chef
high
end
fine
dining
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