Catch of the day
Too often left in the shade by brother John, mirror dory deserves its place at the top of the charts, reckons Anthony Huckstep.
It’s mirror dory’s time to shine.
MINOGUE. Her tones don’t really float my boat, but even I can recognise that if she’d been born into another family, she might have had a shot at becoming the Queen of Pop. Sure, she’s done well, but you know, there’s someone called Kylie slapping her in the face with the wet fish of sibling rivalry. Mirror dory is the Dannii of the deep blue.
Big brother John Dory, arguably the world’s most famous fish, has long cast a shadow over mirror dory, making it play second fiddle always and forever (why do I know a Kylie song?).
“Every year, I plan to do something to improve its reputation, and every year, by October, I’ve forgotten to do so and the season has ended,” says John Susman of Fishtales seafood consultants.
Averaging around 30-60cm and ringing the bell at just under a kilo, mirror dory spend most of the year in deep water where it’s dark and much easier to prey on smaller fish using a mix of stealth and a staggering jaw that expands to the size of their head.
Mostly caught from Sydney through to Portland in the South East Trawl, mirror is a sweet, clean and mild-flavoured fish with a simple bone structure, making it easy to cook and eat.
Susman explains there are differences to John Dory – namely that mirror is leaner, has milkier flesh and doesn’t really suit raw applications – but for most cooking methods there is little difference.
“The purists might say it doesn’t have the fine texture and luxurious flavour of the John Dory,” he says. But at a quarter of the price it is a very reasonable alternative. There are two standout ways to cook it.”
The classic crisp skin method sees mirror dusted in rice flour and pan fried in ghee with a fish weight weighing it down, says Susman. Cook the skin side for three minutes, flip and cook for another 45 seconds, then rest for a minute. Served with salad and fries, it’s hard to beat.
“The other way is to pot roast the whole fish on the bone in fish stock. The frame acts as a heat conductor and keeps the flesh from over-cooking,” Susman explains. “The flesh just slides off the bone.”
A gian jaw m dory deep Search delicious.com.au for ‘chargrilled mirror dory with chunky Greek salad’