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Whole Fish

Baked fish with sticky sauce

Asian inspired flavours will transport your tastebuds on a culinary journey.  

Ingredients (serves 6)

1 large Whole Milkfish

80ml (1/3 cup) vegetable oil

2 tbs sesame seeds

2 garlic cloves, sliced

1 small piece fresh ginger, peeled, cut into thin strips

2 long red chillies, seeded, thinly sliced

3/4 cup grated palm sugar*

120ml (6 tbs) fish sauce

4 tbs tamarind concentrate*

100ml (5 tbs) lime juice

1 cup Thai basil leaves

2 tbs fried Asian shallots*

Fresh coriander leaves, to garnish 


1. Preheat the oven to 190°C.

2. Scale and clean Milkfish, wash under cold water then set aside

3. Make 3 deep slashes in one side of the fish, brush with oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Place in a greased baking dish and bake for 25 minutes.  

4. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok over high heat. Add garlic and cook until golden (don't burn or it will taste bitter). Transfer to paper towel to drain. Add ginger and chilli to wok and stir-fry for 1 minute, then add sugar, fish sauce, tamarind and lime juice. Cook for 1-2 minutes until syrupy. Transfer to a jug and set aside.

5. Clean and dry wok. Add remaining oil over high heat. When hot, add Thai basil (ensure basil is completely dry) and fry for 1-2 minutes until crisp.  

6. To serve, place fish on a platter, pour sauce over and garnish with garlic, basil, shallots and coriander. 


Sweet and Sour Crispy Flounder

Ingredients (Serves 2)

2 Whole NZ Sand Flounder

1 beaten egg


Salt to taste

3 tablespoons grape seed oil

Sweet and Sour Sauce:

1 small onion, cut in half and sliced long ways

3 pineapple rings, chopped

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 tablespoons vinegar

1/2 cup red and green capsicum, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon tomato sauce

2 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely grated or chopped

2 teaspoon cornflour

2 tablespoons water


1. Clean the flounder(s), leaving the head and tail on. Wash and dry well with kitchen towels.

2. Make diagonal cuts into the fish skin and rub well with salt.

3. Dip the fish into the beaten egg and then thoroughly coat in the cornflour. It is now ready to cook.

4. Combine all of the sauce ingredients, except the cornflour and water in a saucepan and cook over a medium heat until all of the sugar has dissolved.

5. Mix the cornflour with the cold water and add to the sauce and stir well over heat until the sauce starts to thicken. Turn down the heat and keep warm while cooking the fish. If the sauce thickens too much, add more water.

6. To cook the fish, put the grape seed oil into a heavy fry pan, or better still, a well oiled wok. Heat the oil until almost smoking and then place the fish carefully into the pan or wok. Spoon some oil over the top of the fish while it cooks. The idea is that it should cook quickly to give a crispy skin, but not burn. Check after a couple of minutes and when crisp, turn the fish over.

7. When crisp on both sides, remove the fish, place on a serving plate and pour over the sweet and sour sauce

Note: The Sweet and Sour Crispy Flounder recipe very easy to prepare and tastes so good! Whole NZ Soles may be used as a substitute if Flounders are unavailable.


White Bait Fritters

Ingredients (Serves 2)

330 g white bait (silver fish if you must)

2 eggs, beaten

1 clove garlic, minced

Herb (optional) I like spring onions, perilla, mint, basil or tarragon

Frying fat, I like to use lard or butter


1. Mix all the ingredients together. Heat fat in a large pot or deep-fryer to 180°C

2. Drop tablespoons full of batter into the pan and fry to golden on each side. Remove and eat with lime.


Battered Flounder

Ingredients (Serves 2)

1 Whole NZ Sand Flounder

1 cup flour

2 tbsp. baking powder

½ cup lukewarm water

1 tablespoon melted fat

Salt to taste

1 egg, separated


1. Clean flounder(s) and set aside on a tray.

2. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into bowl. 

3. Drop egg yolk in center; add 1/2 cup lukewarm water and 1 tablespoon melted fat. Mix well

4. Fold in beaten egg white.

5. Dip flounder into batter, and fry at 365°C degrees for about 6 minutes.

6. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve immediately.

Note: Whole NZ Soles may be used as a substitute if Flounders are unavailable. 


Whole Grilled Flounder with Red Wine Vinegar, Garlic & Parsley Dressing

Ingredients (Serves 4)

Whole NZ Sand Flounder

Salt and pepper

Flour, for dusting

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

4 cloves of garlic, sliced finely

½ cup picked parsley

¼ cup red wine vinegar

2 lemon cheeks


1. Clean flounders and place on a tray ready to season. 

2.  Season the fish with salt and pepper and dust it with the flour.     

3. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium high heat; cook fish skin side down, for one minute. Turn over and cook in a moderate oven for 5 minutes.    

4. Warm the olive oil gently in a saucepan over medium heat and add garlic and parsley. Season, and stir in vinegar; simmer for 10 seconds.  

5. To serve, place fish onto a plate and drizzle over sauce and garnish with lemon cheeks.

Note: Whole NZ Soles may be used as a substitute if Flounders are unavailable.


Fried Whole Flounder

Ingredients (Serves 2)

1 Whole NZ Sand Flounder

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup cornmeal

Whole milk

Lemon wedges

Parsley for garnish

Oil for deep frying


1. Clean flounder(s) and place in a shallow baking dish. Pour in enough milk to cover then aside.

2. In another bowl, combine flour and cornmeal stir to blend. Dredge fish in flour mixture, coating well in both sides. Shake off any excess.

3. Add fish to hot oil and deep fry, turning once until golden brown and crisp on both sides. Serves hot, garnished with lemon wedges and parsley sprigs, if desired.

Note: Whole NZ Soles may be used as a substitute if Flounders are unavailable.