Recipe: Josh Niland's crumbed garfish with yoghurt tartare and herb salad

SERVES 4

GARFISH
4 200 g garfish, scaled, gutted and gilled
1 cup plain flour
4 eggs, lightly whisked
2 cups white panko breadcrumbs
400 ml clarified butter
Salt flakes and freshly ground white/black pepper, to taste
4 lemon cheeks to serve

BREAKING DOWN THE GARFISH: Assuming you’re right-handed (otherwise reverse these directions), place a fish on a chopping board with its head to your left and tail to your right. Draw your knife down the backbone of the fish from the head to the tail, cutting along one side of the bone. Cut again to deepen the initial cut, carefully cutting all the way through to open up the fish, leaving the tail intact. Repeat on the other side of the backbone then, using kitchen scissors, snip out the backbone to make the fish kite-shaped with the tail intact. Use fish tweezers to remove pin bones and rib bones, or alternatively, it may be easier to remove the rib bones with a filleting knife.

METHOD: Preheat oven to 100°C. Place the flour in a bowl, the beaten egg in another and the breadcrumbs in a third. Holding the fish by the tail, dip one fish in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs, pressing gently to coat it well. Place on a tray and repeat with the remaining fish. Heat a third of the clarified butter in a large frying pan over a high heat. When hot, add two fish at a time to the pan and fry for about 2 minutes until crisp and golden, then turn and cook the other side for a further minute or so until also crisp and golden. Place on an oven tray and put into the oven to keep warm. Wipe out the pan, melt half the remaining clarified butter and use to cook the remaining fish. Repeat until all the fish are cooked.

YOGHURT TARTARE SAUCE
Makes about 2 cups
1½ cups natural yoghurt
3 large golden shallots, diced
3 teaspoons small salted capers, rinsed and dried, finely chopped
⅓ cup coarsely chopped cornichons
2 tablespoons finely sliced flat-leaf parsley leaves

METHOD: Place all the ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine well. Set aside until needed.

HERB SALAD
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked
1 bunch dill, leaves picked
1 bunch chervil, leaves picked
1 bunch French tarragon, leaves picked
1 cup picked watercress leaves
1 cup wild rocket leaves
2 large butter lettuces, broken into bite-sized pieces

SHALLOT DRESSING
1 teaspoon castor sugar
35 g thinly sliced golden shallot rings
Pinch of salt
140 ml extra virgin olive oil
50 ml chardonnay vinegar
METHOD Combine the salt, sugar and shallot. Set aside for 10 minutes, then stir in oil and vinegar. Set aside. Combine the parsley, dill, chervil, tarragon, watercress, rocket and lettuce. Toss with enough shallot dressing to lightly coat the leaves.

TO SERVE Sprinkle the fish liberally with salt and pepper and place in the centre of large warmed serving plates. Serve with lemon cheeks, generous spoonfuls of yoghurt tartare sauce and herb salad on the side.

Josh Niland is head chef and owner of Sydney restaurant Saint Peter, and neighbouring seafood shop Fish Butchery.

This article was first published in foodservice's February 2019 issue. To subscribe to foodservice's monthly print magazine, click here.