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.

delicious - - CONTENTS - POOR DANNII @huck­ster­gram @an­thuck­step

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 de­li­ for ‘char­grilled mir­ror dory with chunky Greek salad’

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