I can't believe it took me so long to discover pouting. It's like cod with the price tag torn off. Another great sustainable fish is coley, also known as the "poor man's cod". Its flesh is not as pretty as cod, because it's a little grey, but it's a tasty fish with a light texture too, and is highly praised by British chefs like High Fearnley-Whittingstall.
This is a very light refreshing dish, inspired by classic southeast asian flavours like coconut, rice vinegar, shallots and pickled cucumber.
Coconut-crusted Coley Fillets
serves 2 (as a light lunch/starter)
2 coley fillets
1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes (+pinch of sea salt)
1 tsp grated ginger
2 tsp fish sauce
1 tbsp coconut oil
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
2. Pat dry and season the pouting fillets with the fish sauce ginger and pepper.
3. Lay fish on a baking dish greased with coconut oil, and sprinkle the coconut flakes over the top of the fish.
4. Bake uncovered for about 15 minutes (depends on thickness of the fish. You can poke gently with a fork to test for done-ness). Switch to 'broil' for the coconut flakes to toast and brown a little just before the fish is done (or dry toast on a pan and then sprinkle over, if you don't want to risk over-cooking the fish).
Cucumber and Shallot Pickled Salad
1 shallot (I used banana shallot, which is milder and sweeter)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tsp unrefined cane sugar
1/2 tsp fish sauce
pinch of chilli powder
1. Halve the cucumber so you can lay it flat, then slice thinly into little semicircles. Same goes for the shallot.
2. Combine all ingredients and toss well, let sit for at least a couple of hours, preferably longer. This only gets better.
Finish with fresh coriander. It might be a good idea to serve the salad beside, not below the fish instead, makes eating easier.. That said, the sharp pickled cucumbers and shallots really bring out the fragrant aroma of toasted coconut and coley. I also had it with sambal tumis (I will share the recipe soon) and I would say the sambal chilli is also a must, but maybe that's just me hehe.