Flathead would have to be the fish that most people have caught at some stage or another; luckily they are a fantastic table fish and there are plenty of ways to serve them.
Like most fish, they don’t require too much cooking time and can become quite dry if overdone. This recipe lets the fish speak for itself: just a little spiced salt on the fillets is required, and then the fried rice underneath complements the dish.
After your next flathead session when some are destined for the table, give this a try, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!
2 free-range eggs, beaten
½ cup green peas
½ cup corn kernels
3 rashers bacon, chopped
20 green prawns, sliced in half
¼ bunch spring onions, chopped
3 cups cooked two-day-old rice (dry)
1 cup fresh bean shoots
Vegetable oil for frying
SICHUAN SPICED SALT
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
3 tablespoons coarse sea salt
banana leaf to serve on
2 flathead fillets, trimmed and halved, per person
For the fried rice, heat a non-stick pan to low heat and place the beaten eggs in to make a plain omelette. Remove from the pan and cool, and then dice finely.
Break up the rice with your hands so that there aren’t any lumps and it flows freely.
Heat a wok to maximum temperature, add a dash of oil and fry the peas, corn, bacon, prawns, spring onions and bean shoots until cooked through. Remove from the heat and pour into a colander over the sink and thoroughly drain off excess juices.
Clean the wok and return to maximum heat, add some vegetable oil and place the rice in, coating it well with oil to avoid it sticking together too much. Once heated through, place the drained vegetables and so on in with the rice, along with the omelette, and combine well.
Preheat another frypan with a touch of oil and place in the flathead fillets and cook through, turning as required.
To make the salt, place the spices in a pan and dry roast without burning. Cool slightly, then grind to a fine blend. Add the salt and combine well.
To plate up, place the banana leaf down first, put some fried rice on top and finish with the flathead. Serve with a small dish of Sichuan salt and sprinkle on sparingly before tucking in!
The prawns cut up and ready to be cooked.