Steamed john dory, daikon, mussels, crustacean sauce

Steamed john dory, daikon, mussels, crustacean sauce

Earl Carter

The crustacean sauce here is based on a classic that’s been adapted. I’ve also used the base of this dish for a larger one-pot, slow-cooked seafood stew with great results.


Quantity Ingredient
1 small daikon, peeled and cut into 1 cm rounds
8 spring onions, washed and trimmed, white part only
1 teaspoon chilli oil
12 mussels
4 x 130g pieces of john dory, or other white-fleshed fish, skinned and trimmed
1/2 lemon

Crustacean sauce

Quantity Ingredient
1/4 onion, diced
1/2 celery stalk, diced
1/2 carrot, diced
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 blue swimmer crab or mud crab
1 crayfish head
or 1 cup prawn heads
60ml brandy
250ml cooking sake
500ml chicken stock
250g peeled tomatoes
5cm piece kombu, washed
30g korean chilli paste
30g white miso paste
light soy sauce, for seasoning


  1. To make the crustacean sauce, in a saucepan over high heat, sauté the onion, celery and carrot in the grapeseed oil until golden.
  2. Meanwhile roughly chop the crab and crayfish head, removing the head gills from both. Add them to the pan and cook until aromatic, stirring constantly. Add the brandy and deglaze the pan until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the sake and reduce by half again.
  3. Add the stock, 375 ml water, the tomatoes, kombu and Korean chilli paste and cook gently for 45 minutes. Top up with water if the stock reduces too much. Add the miso paste and continue to cook for a further 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the stock to cool slightly for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with a little light soy sauce if needed.
  4. In a small saucepan, bring 250 ml of the crustacean sauce and 250 ml water to a simmer. Add the daikon and cook for 20 minutes or until tender.
  5. Blanch the spring onions in boiling water for 30 seconds and refresh in iced water. Drain on paper towel and squeeze out the excess water. Finely chop the spring onions and then mix with the chilli oil in a bowl.
  6. Steam the mussels and fish for 3–4 minutes or until barely cooked.
  7. While the fish is cooking, reheat the remaining crustacean sauce until hot. Season the fish with a squeeze of lemon juice.
  8. To serve, place the daikon in four individual serving bowls and place the steamed John Dory on top. Remove the mussels from the shells, pinch out their ‘beards’ and place the mussels on and around the fish. Pour 60 ml of the sauce around the fish and finish with a generous sprinkling of the spring onion.
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