Monday 16 October 2017

REDFISH (Norway Haddock)


I just spotted this redfish at my local fishmonger down by the harbour and as it was a good price decided to buy it.  I had assumed by its appearance that it was Norway haddock a deep water fish found in the Atlantic and around Scandinavia and Iceland. It is also marketed as Ocean perch, red perch, Atlantic redfish and sometimes erroneously red bream

The name can be confusing, however, as the name redfish is also used to describe the red drum (or croaker) found in the South Atlantic and southern oceans - a fish related to the European corvina, popular in Spain and Portugal (see my blog).  I knew it wasn't red drum as my fishmonger only sells locally landed fresh fish and fishing boats from the Gulf of Mexico don't land their catch in Sussex!  To add to the confusion, the term redfish is also applied (especially in the US) to the red sea bream as well as to red snappers.

When filleted, redfish can be treated as any firm fleshed white fish such as haddock or cod and is often skinned before cooking if being pan fried.

I decided to pan fry it very simply with the skin on.

Ingredients (for two)

1 redfish fillet app. 250-350g
olive oil
herbs or spices of choice
1 lemon


Cut the fillet in two and rub both sides with a little olive oil. Season both sides with salt and pepper.  I then seasoned the flesh side with a little dried oregano and a pinch of sumac. Almost any flavours will suit - a sprinkling of pimenton/parika, hot or sweet according to your taste or rubbed with a little crushed ginger.... it's up to you.

Having seasoned the fish, I left it for 15 minutes to absorb the flavours.

Rub a heavy frying pan with garlic then bring to high heat, place the fish fillets skin-side down and press down to ensure all the the skin is in contact with the pan. Lower the heat to medium and cook for 2-3 minutes.  You will see the flesh gradually turning opaque as it cooks. At this stage you can add about a tablespoon of olive oil whilst is is cooking.

After 3 minutes turn the fish over and cook for a further 2 minutes.  When it is cooked, drizzle over the juice of a small lemon and serve skin-side up.  The skin should be very crispy and is popular with some people; if you don't like the skin it can easily be peeled off in one piece.

I served the fillets on a bed of spinach with steamed new potatoes - just because we have loads of both on the allotment.  It goes equally well with lemon or garlic mash potatoes or served with a green salad and of course a glass or two of chilled white wine!

John Austin

Hove, September 2017