Freshly caught yellowtail is a glorious fish and like all fantastic ingredients requires the minimal amount of interference to cook a delicious meal.
However, spear shot yellowtail is something you can only dream about getting your hands on. The quality and the texture is far superior to that which has struggled on the end of the line. There is no lengthy battle between man and creature, with muscles tightening and stress being created. The fish gets killed instantly whilst happily swimming around in its habitat.
My friend Dirk is an adventurer of note and continues to inspire me. From building his own yacht from scratch, then sailing it up the east coast of Africa, to freediving and spearfishing in the ocean. An endurance MTB racer and ex kite surfer, he is a beautiful free spirited human being and I so enjoy time spent with him. He married a very good friend of mine, has two delightful children and lives in Canada. The time I get to spend with them all is very precious to me, and we have a lovely arrangement, Dirk hunts and gathers and I often land up doing the cooking.
The yellowtail I made in this recipe was part of the many fish he shot recently in the South African spearfishing championships. When I visited them a couple of weeks ago at their house on the sea, I pan fried the fish in small fillets which I dusted in flour seasoned with salt and pepper. A knob of butter and squeeze of lemon juice in the pan was all that was required to make the perfect meal.
I was lucky enough to bring home some more of the yellowtail and knocked something similar up.
To a handful of flour, I added a good few pinches of smoked salt, lots of black pepper and a few grinds of smoked chilli flakes for a little extra kick. I sliced the fish into small fillets and dusted each piece in the seasoned flour mixture, shaking off any excess. I fried them in batches in a pan with olive oil. I melted about a tablespoon of garlic and parsley butter and drizzled it over the fish and served with fresh lemon.
I can’t wait to visit them soon and hopefully get to play in the kitchen with more of the ocean’s bounty.