Entertaining this weekend? Pick up some fresh, local seafood for this spectacular summer recipe from celebrity chef Kylie Kwong.
The combination of salty, sweet and sour flavours is evident in so many cuisines – Asian, Middle Eastern, European – and it’s a trio of tastes that I adore. In this recipe, the lemon and honey onions work as a beautiful relish for the delicate flavours of the prawns and fish. In cooler climes, haddock or cod can be substituted for the blue eye.
16 uncooked king prawns
pinch sea salt and cracked pepper
400 g blue eye fillet, cut into large pieces
1 oxheart tomato, roughly sliced
small handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 garlic cloves
8 slices ginger
1 tablespoon sea salt
½ cup (125 ml) olive oil
1 stick of celery, sliced
1 small carrot, peeled and finely diced
1½ tablespoons sliced lemongrass
2 vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced
small handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, cut in half crossways
½ cup (125 ml) white wine
Lemon and honey onions
1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
10 small salad onions, trimmed
1 small red onion, sliced
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1. Peel and devein the prawns, but leave the tail intact. Reserve heads and shells for stock. Butterfly the prawns by making a shallow cut along the back – this helps them to cook quickly and evenly.
2. To make the stock, pound garlic, ginger and salt with a mortar and pestle until you have a fine paste. Heat oil in a small heavy-based saucepan, add garlic paste, celery, carrot and lemongrass, and gently fry for 2 minutes, or until aromatic. Stir in tomatoes and parsley, then add reserved prawn heads and shells and gently fry for 1 minute. Pour in wine and simmer for 2 minutes, or until alcohol has evaporated. Add 1 cup (250 ml) of water and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Have ready a fine strainer over a large bowl. Ladle stock into strainer, gently pressing the ingredients to extract as much liquid as possible. Set aside.
3. For the onions, heat oil in a frying pan and add onions and salt. Gently fry for about 2 minutes, or until onions are lightly browned. Add honey, reduce heat and simmer gently over low heat for 2 minutes. Add lemon juice and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened and caramelised.
4. Season prawns with a little salt and pepper, and cook in a heated, oiled frying pan until lightly browned and just tender. Remove prawns from pan and cover with foil to keep warm while you poach the fish.
5. Return stock to a small saucepan and bring to the boil; add fish pieces and reduce heat. Poach very gently, uncovered, for about 3 minutes, or until just tender. Place sliced tomato in the centre of a large, shallow bowl and arrange prawns and fish on top. Spoon over stock and top with onions. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.