This was my first attempt at hot smoking in my kitchen at home. It sounds mighty fancy but it really isn't too difficult at all! I first learned this method during a short stint working as an apprentice at Cafe Sydney in Circular Quay. I was only there for a few good months before being offered a position at another hatted restaurant nearby. It was a decision which I fretted over for weeks and sometimes look back on with regret. The Cafe was a place I'm sure I could have learned much from and ultimately I chose something different. It's a bit sad really, but at least I've come away with some fond memories and this awesome smoking recipe. You'll need a pot and rack that will fit inside or alternatively you could use a metal steamer insert. For Culinarty ORR I've made a sort of Asian-inspired pickle salad to go with it.
2 x 300 g kingfish fillets, skin on
180 g castor sugar
200 g rice
16 g green tea leaves
Pat kingfish dry with paper towl and leave in fridge uncovered for a few hours to dry further.
Combine sugar, rice and tea. Set aside.
Line a medium pot with 3 layers of foil and pour in the rice mix.
Place the rack on top, making sure it sits well above the rice.
Heat over medium until it begins to smoke.
Place fish skin side down onto rack and cover.
Smoke for 15 - 25 minutes, checking for doneness by inserting a sharp knife into the thickest part of the flesh. If cooked it should be white through.
Remove fish and rack with tongs and cool.
Allow rice (now burnt caramel) to cool until solid then discard.
Peel away fish skin and flake as desired.
Classic Roasted Aioli
1 bulb garlicRemove the top of the garlic so that all the cloves are exposed.
30 g olive oil
3 g lemon juice
Place in a small pan with 1 cm of water.
Cover with foil, bake at 200ºC for 1 hour.
Remove foil, bake for additional 25 minutes.
When cool, squeeze out the cloves and puree with oil and juice.
Pickled Fennel Salad
150 g baby fennel
240 g telegraph cucumber
22 g castor sugar
12 g sea salt
21 g brown rice vinegar
a few handfuls of coriander leaves
Slice fennel, deseed cucumber and slice thickly.
Toss with sugar and salt to coat, set aside in fridge for 1 hour.
Drain liquid, toss through vinegar, coriander and some kingfish.
Serve with roasted aioli and a drizzle of olive oil.