Kingfish are great to catch and awesome to eat. If you’re reading The Captain, you probably knew that. But did you know just how versatile kingfish flesh is? No, you didn’t. I reckon kingfish is the black angus of the ocean, full of Omega 3 fatty acids and ideal for serving raw or crispy skin, in curries or pan-roasted.
Kingies also have a tidy bone line so they’re easy to fillet and portion. You’ll look like a sushi samurai at the filleting table — or when you part with some flesh for the boss. I remember one particular battle with a 116cm monster kingie. I was on board with Sharkmen Charters, hunting around the entrance to Port Phillip Bay and had bloody sore forearms for a week. If you’ve ever seen the video, you’ll know I was more than a little excited. Anyway, here’s one of my favourite recipes for fresh kingfish — ceviche. I bet you haven’t tried this one before. The flesh is cured in fresh citrus juices, herbs and spices. It’s a feast fit for a, er, king.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Equipment: food processor, sashimi knife, chopping
board, mixing bowls
Plating: shot glass, 2 small bowls
• 1 tbs olive oil
• 1 small stick of celery
• 1 long fresh red chilli
• 1 garlic clove
• 1cm piece fresh ginger
• ½ bunch coriander
• juice of 2 lemons
• juice of 1 lime
• 300g sashimi-grade kingfish fillet, cut into 1cm dice
• ½ Spanish onion, thinly sliced
• 1 ice cube
• 2 shots of vodka
Poached sweet potato
• 200ml (6½ fl oz) water
• 200g (7oz) caster sugar
• 1 star anise
• 1 sweet potato (250g/8oz), peeled
To make poached sweet potato, stir water, sugar and star anise in a small saucepan, over low heat, until sugar is dissolved. Add potato. Boil gently until potato is just tender. Drain. Place in a bowl. Drizzle with lime juice. Meanwhile, place oil, celery, chilli, garlic, ginger, coriander and half the lemon and lime juice in a small processor. Process until smooth.
Place in a serving bowl. Add fish, onion and ice cube. Stand for four minutes. This allows the acid from the citrus juice to cook the protein in the fish.
Place a shot of vodka in each shot glass. Add a splash of the cloudy citrus juice from the fish. Serve ceviche with sweet potato and vodka shot chaser. Serves two. Garnish with shaved radishes for a great crunch — rather like the kingie that monstered my bait!