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Wednesday, 25 April 2012

South African Fish: Pan fried garlic Kingklip

(photo credit chefkock)
I am going to feature a few popular South African fishes and the local methods of cooking them.
Kingklip is an amazing South African fish. As it is fished by long-line method, and caught in deep water, it has a low negative ecological impact. That is, it is targeted, and very few other species are caught as a by catch. Those that are, Hake, are also sustainable. Certainly in Southern African waters.
Enough. We can now eat with a good conscience!!

You will need for 4 people the following:
1kg fillets cut into 4 portions. I far prefer to leave the skin on because there is a lot of Kingklip flavor there.
2 finely chopped garlic segments.
1 egg beaten
Cake flour.
Knob of butter
oil for frying. (I use a very light mild olive oil)

Tip: If your 1 kilo of fish is in one long fillet like the photo above, then cut it in half lengthwise and then in half crosswise. Just make the tail side a bit longer to compensate for weight. The thick pieces will need to be fried on the three side not just two like the flatter tail portions.
beat the egg thoroughly together with the finely chopped garlic. Coat the fillets well and then roll them in the flour and allow them to set for at least 30 minutes. This protects the delicate flesh from drying out and imparts a beautiful garlic flavor. Don't overdo the garlic though or else you will lose the fish flavor.

Then in a non stick pan, melt the butter into about half a cup of oil and bring the temperature up until the butter solids are beginning to brown. Drop the fish in and start watching. As soon as it is browned turn it over. Brown all sides and remove. I have finally converted to the Jamie Oliver method of cooking fish skin side down first. With thick fish like Kingklip, if you do it skin side up first, when you turn it over the skin contracts and pulls the fish apart. I wish Jamie had told us all that that was the reason!!! Grrrr!
If you have any doubts about whether the fish is cooked, just gently lift and break a thick portion. It should flake right through and be white inside not pink. I cannot overemphasis how important it is not to overcook any fish. Kingklip can go rubbery and then can dry out very quickly. Be careful.Serve with a squeeze of lemon.
Bon apetit!


  1. Thanks so much for dropping by my blog and for your kind words - I always love discovering bloggers I've never met before, so it's great to meet you... I know NOTHING about South African cuisine, so this post is very interesting for me. I've subscribed via Google Reader so I can keep up...

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  2. Great and thanks for the support! I am following your very interesting blogs too and recommend all foodies to do the same.

  3. This is simple and delicious. I love fish especially when it is done like this!

  4. Thank you. Yes simple seems to be the way to preserve the essential flavor of the particular fish. Even the garlic in the recipe is very little..just a hint of flavor.

  5. This looks delicious Archi! And so simple!

  6. Thanks! So often though, we mess around with the natural flavors too much and end up enjoying a medley of spices and herbs!

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