Recipe: Sushil Aryal's whole roasted flounder with diamond clams and bonito butter

Sushil Aryal is the new head chef at playful Japanese joint Tokyo Tina in Melbourne. This recipe is quick to make, and packs a big umami punch for something with minimal ingredients. 

One fish serves 2 to share. 

BONITO BUTTER
3 g katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)
50 g salted butter
Half of one small garlic clove, grated

METHOD Allow the butter come to room temperature in a bowl. Mix the katsuobushi and garlic with the butter and set aside.

FLOUNDER
1 whole flounder (approx. 500 g)
Bonito butter
4 diamond clams
10 g wood sorrel leaves
3 g wakame (dried sea lettuce)
20 ml lemon juice
Salt and pepper

METHOD To prepare the flounder, firstly remove the head and make 4 small incisions with a knife around the surface of the skin on both sides. This will help to cook the flounder evenly. In a bowl, place the wakame in some boiling water and set aside for 20 minutes. When it’s soft, remove it from the water, pat dry and set aside. Heat cooking oil in a hot pan. When the oil has come up to temperature, place the flounder in the pan and press down gently. Brown the skin on one side for a couple of minutes and, once golden, season with salt and pepper and transfer the pan to the oven for 5 minutes at 180 degrees. While the flounder is in the oven, place a small saucepan on the heat. Once it’s really hot, add the clams and a splash of water to help them steam, and cover. Once the clams are open (approximately one minute), remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the bonito butter to the warm saucepan, stirring gently to coat the clams. Add the lemon juice and set aside while you check the flounder. Remove the flounder from the oven and place the pan back on a high heat. Flip the fish and let it cook for another minute until the skin on the second side is golden. To serve, place the flounder on a plate and scatter the strips of wakame and the clams around it. Pour the warm butter and lemon sauce over the fish, and garnish with wood sorrel leaves.

tokyotina.com.au