There are so many different species of fish in our waters, yet only a handful of them are regularly eaten. This puts pressure on these species and hikes up the price we pay for them. We’re so used to eating terakihi, snapper and gurnard (and blue cod in the south island), that other types of fish aren’t explored for the dinner table, like mullet, kahawai, trevally or gem fish, used in this smoked fish kedgeree dish.
|4 cups||Long grain rice, leftover - see note below|
|1||Onion, large, finely sliced|
|2||Celery stalks, diced|
|25||Curry leaves, approximately|
|3 cm||Ginger, finely chopped|
|2||Garlic cloves, finely chopped|
|2 tsp||Mustard seeds|
|2 Tbsp||Curry powder|
|1||Long red chilli, finely chopped, optional|
|600 g||Smoked fish, mullet, kahawai, trevally or gem fish, broken into chunks (see instructions on how to smoke your own, below) (Main)|
|½ cup||Fresh coriander, chopped|
|½ cup||Natural yoghurt, unsweetened|
|1 to garnish||Cucumber, sliced|
|1 to garnish||Tomato, sliced|
To smoke your own fish
|2 kgs||Fish, whole, e.g. mullet, kahawai, trevally|
|4 Tbsp||Brown sugar|
- Boil the eggs for about 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and leave in the hot water for a further 8 minutes. Plunge into cold water, peel and set aside.
- Heat butter and oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook onions, celery and curry leaves, with a good pinch of salt, until the onions are soft, about 6 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and continue to cook for a further 1 minute. Add mustard seeds and curry powder and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes (add a little more oil if necessary).
- Add the cooked rice and stir gently to heat through. Add the smoked mullet and chilli. Toss everything together until well combined. Quarter the eggs and gently stir through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Garnish with coriander and serve with yogurt, tomato and cucumber on the side.
To smoke your own fish
- Ask the fishmonger to prepare the fish for smoking; this will involve splitting the fish and removing the backbone and head.
- Scatter the coarse sea salt over the fish and set aside for 30 minutes in the fridge, this draws out some of the moisture and gives a firmer texture.
- Wipe the salt and moisture off with a paper towel and rub in the brown sugar.
- To set up the smoker, line a wok or deep fry pan with tin foil. Place a small handful of woodchips inside, then place a cake rack on top to fit inside the wok/fry pan. Cover the wok/fry pan lid with tinfoil (this helps protect it from smoke discolouration) and place on high heat (gas, electric or induction). After a few minutes the woodchips will be smoking. Place the fish on the rack inside the smoker, skin side down, replace lid and lower heat. Smoke for 15-20 minutes or until the fish is just cooked through. Leave to cool in the smoke for a richer flavour. Smoked fish will last for a week in the fridge.
It is best to use leftover cooked rice that has been left in the fridge for 1-2 days – this is because the rice dries out in the fridge, which gives a nice fluffy kedgeree. But if that’s not possible, you can cook some fresh rice (about 1½ cups long-grain rice), transfer it to a tray and spread it out to cool. Then place in the fridge for an hour to dry out.