Taste of Hampton Street
Fazio’s Kingfish Fillets with Salsa Verde.
Hampton Street is a foodie’s heaven. We’re spoilt for choice some of the best local produce and seafood right on our doorsteps. Fazio’s owner Sam strongly believes in using fresh, local ingredients and has decided to share some seafood secrets for us to try at home…
First Things First – About Kingfish.
This species is most commonly called kingfish, yellowtail kingfish, yellow-tailed kingfish, yellowtail, king, kingy or “kingi”.
Although when I look at a Kingfish I see a warrior, a samurai warrior a fish that marauds the southern coastline of Australia in a school of torpedo shaped brethren, slicing through the ocean on a constant lookout for a feed of anything small enough to fit into their mouths that is unlucky enough to be in the way of this high speed eating machine.
A warrior too, because of their amazing fighting and ‘never say die’ attitude when hooked up to a fishing rod. Some anglers refer to them as “hoodlums” because of their habit of out of nowhere grabbing bait in their strong jaws and taking off at high speed, leaving behind broken tackle and a mystified angler wondering “what the hell was that”. However when hooked up pound for pound they rank with the best fighters in the ocean, a true fighter – a warrior.
All this high speed swimming develops very firm flesh with a medium to strong flavour. This firmness makes the kingfish an ideal fish to use in casseroles and curries, however I believe the best way to eat this magnificent pelagic fish is with little or no cooking at all. While up until the sixties the kingfish was considered of little value and a nuisance, the Japanese were enjoying it as sushi and sashimi, and the Japanese know a thing or two about what’s good that comes out of the ocean.
If I was going to be a fish I would be a kingfish, not just because of its warrior like attitude but because “it’s good to be the king”
When it comes to cooking these fish I think simplicity is the way to go, either as a cutlet or fillet, grilled or pan seared and finished off in the oven. Simply dressed with a fresh salsa verde will compliment it perfectly.
Salsa verde, (green sauce) is a versatile and popular sauce used to add flavour and colour to a wide range of food. It goes especially well with grilled or panned seafood dishes and lamb.
Sam’s Kingfish Fillets with Salsa Verde Recipe.
4 Kingfish fillets approx 200gms each (you can get these from Fergs or Fergari Seafood)
2 tablespoons olive oil
80ml (1/3 cup) extra virgin olive oil
2 cups fresh continental parsley leaves
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup capers, rinsed
6 anchovy fillets
Juice of 1 lemon
1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees on bake.
2. To make salsa verde, on a clean chopping board finely chop parsley, mint, basil and anchovies, chop until mixture is well combined. This can be done in a food processor but I prefer the rustic look of hand chopped salsa verde (and I hate cleaning the processor afterwards!).
3. Transfer to a bowl and stir in olive oil, capers and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper.
4. Pat dry the fillets and season with sea salt and cracked pepper.
5. Warm a non-stick frypan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil to just before smoking and carefully place fillets skin side down and cook for 2 minutes 6. Turn and cook a further 1 minute then remove from stove and place in preheated oven (160 degrees) for 5 minutes.
7.Take fillets from the pan onto kitchen paper to dry off any excess oil, arrange on plate and pour over salsa verde. Serve with a cheek of lemon or lime.
– Sam Fazio, owner Fazio’s Pizzeria & Grill