Cook on a Shoestring – Blackened Fish with Orange and Watercress

Blackened Fish with Orange and Watercress

Just about any fish works well with this recipe, so I won’t tell you which one you buy. Because fish is such a perishable ingredient with a short shelf-life, shopkeeper’s often run deals and special promotions to help them to sell it all quickly, before it’s no longer fit to be sold. So remember this recipe and snap up those bargains next time you’re out shopping. Buy yourself an orange and a bag of peppery watercress on your way out and you’ll be able to knock up a quick and tasty meal in no time for a fantastic price.

Preparation time 10 minutes plus 10 minutes –24 hours marinating time
Cooking time 10 minutes
Serves 2

2 x 130-150g fish fillets (coley, hake, pollock or salmon work well), skin on or off
1 tablespoon vegetable, olive or sunflower oil

For the marinade
4 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons runny honey
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar (if you don’t have this you can use balsamic vinegar)
1 teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)

For the salad
1 tablespoon runny honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 large orange
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
200g watercress

  1. If your fish has skin on it, score the skin a few times with a sharp knife to allow the marinade to penetrate, then place the fish in a dish. Now make the marinade. Measure out all the ingredients and have. Overnight is great, but if you only have 10 minutes, that’s fine.
  2. While the fish is marinating, make the dressing for your salad. Mix the Dijon mustard with the honey and set aside. Segment surfaces. Using a small sharp or serrated knife, remove the peel and the individual segments, but leave the membrane behind. Do this into a bowl and allow the segments fall into it along with the juice. Once you have finished, squeeze all of the juice out of the pith and membrane that is left. Pour the juice into the mustard-and-honey mixture and stir well before seasoning with salt and pepper and adding the olive oil.
  3. Now it’s time to cook your fish. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan set over a high heat. When hot, lay on the fish, skin-side down if it has skin on it. Cook for 4-5 minutes before turning the fish, pouring any remaining marinade and cooking for another 5-6 minutes. You want the fish to go quite dark and the marinade to be quite sticky and reduced. Once you are happy that the fish is cooked, turn off the heat and leave the fish to rest while you finish the salad.
  4. Mix your watercress with the orange segments and pour over the dressing. Serve the salad and place the fish on the same plate. Pour any marinade over the fish just before serving.

As featured in “Cook on a shoestring: Easy, inspiring recipes on a budget”

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