King George Whiting, Chive Buds, Chestnut Mushroom

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    : You will Need to Begin this Recipe 1 Day Ahead

Appears in


By Ben Shewry

Published 2012

  • About

One of my happiest memories as a child was eating Chinese takeaway food in Waitara with my youngest sister, Tamie, and our grandmother Elaine. Our family had been going to the same take-out shop for years and always ordered the same things — Westernised versions of egg foo yong, beef and black bean and some unidentified kind of fish (probably blue grenadier/hoki — now endangered) with vegetables in a thick cornflour and soy glaze. We relished the opportunity to have those comforting Anglo-Saxon influenced classics for dinner. Now Tamie and I have grown up but we still reminisce about those innocent times and the simple pleasure of sitting around a table with your family eating Chinese takeaway. It wasn’t until I started writing this book that I realised those meals had inspired dishes such as this one.

King George whiting is a beautiful little fish — its delicate, tender, sweet flesh suits the subtlety of this dish well. It is endemic to Australia and is locally caught from Corner Inlet and Port Phillip Bay in Victoria. They are a fast-growing species with a short life span, which means that currently they can withstand commercial and recreational fishing pressures. It is best to purchase fish that have been handline-caught rather than fish that have been caught by trawling methods resulting in unnecessary by-catch.

To Finish

  • ¼ bunch chives, thinly sliced
  • 6 red radishes, grated on a coarse-blade Microplane*
  • 52 purple chive flower buds
  • 80 wild cabbage flowers

Gently warm the chestnut mushroom stock, taking care not to let it boil. Add the chives and divide among the bowls. Place the grated radish in the centre of each bowl.

Remove the fish from the oven and lightly brush the top with the lemon–ginger. Dip the top of each piece into the crisp quinoa and place on top of the radish.

Scatter the chive buds and cabbage flowers on and around the fish.

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