Yellowtail with fennel, orange and a classic butter sauce

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Foto: Francois Oberholster
Foto: Francois Oberholster
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Cooking Time: 28 minutes
  • 15ml - olive oil
  • 1 - small fennel bulb, finely chopped
  • 2 - cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1.3kg - yellowtail, butterflied
  • 1 - naartjie, thinly sliced
  • about 60ml - butter
  • - yellow rice, to serve
  • - SAUCE
  • 1 - small onion, finely chopped
  • 30ml - lemon juice
  • 45ml - white wine
  • 60ml - cream
  • 250ml - cold butter, cubed
Ask your fishmonger to prepare the fish for you: it needs to be scaled and butterflied with the head removed to form a triangle – ready to be filled and cooked over the coals.

1. Heat the oil and fry the fennel for a few minutes until it starts to soften. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute. Cool.

2. Place the fish on a chopping board, skin side down, and arrange the naartjie slices and fried fennel and garlic across the length of one half of the flesh then dot the fennel with half the butter and fold the fish over the filling. Using a sharp knife, score* both sides of the skin three times, then rub in the remaining butter. You can secure the fish with string but a sandwich braai grid or braai basket will also help to keep the fish together.

3. Braai the fish, skin side down, over medium to hot coals for about 5 minutes; repeat on the other side. Braai for about 5–10 minutes or until done (depending on your fire and the thickness of the fish); use your judgment with regards to turning the fish to ensure that the skin doesn’t char too much. If you’re unsure, test a piece – the meat should be white and flake easily when you stick a fork in it.

4. Make the sauce Place the onion, lemon juice and wine in a small saucepan and boil until reduced by half. Stir in the cream and cook for a minute or two. Now beat in the butter cubes, one by one. Allow enough time for the butter to melt properly between additions. Pour the sauce through a sieve to remove the onions then pour into a jug. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with the fish and yellow rice.

* Scoring helps the butter to baste the flesh and you can check under the skin to see when the fish is cooked.

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April 2023

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