gurnard pan fried in chilli with a rustic avocado salsa

gurnard panfried in chilli with a rustic avo and tomato salsa

When it comes to perfectly fresh and sustainable fish, like these Gurnard fillets I got from Ocean Jewels Fish, there isn’t much you need to do to them in the cooking department.  They are best prepared simply, with little fuss.

spicy, crispy with a little bit of zest

I decided to dust them in a spicy, chilli flour, and then pan fry them in a smoked chilli and smoked red pepper infused olive oil.  I had made these myself so had them on hand, I like layering the flavour. You could of course use ordinary olive oil.

So you will need about 2 tablespooons of flour per fillet and mix this with:

  • 2 teaspoons of salt (fine salt works best for dusting)
  • a generous grinding of pepper
  • 1 teaspoon (or more if you like heat) of dried chilli flakes (I used smoked chilli)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons of oreganum

Mix all the spices with the flour and then generously dust each fillet, coating them on both sides.  Heat a pan and the olive oil and fry the fish fillets flesh side down (always presentation side down first), for a few minutes on either side until golden brown and cooked through.  The length of time will depend on the thickness. Drain on kitchen paper and serve with salad, fries, slaw, wedges, or whatever strikes your fancy.

I made a very simple and rustic salsa using fresh avocado which is so abundant and in season right now, rosa tomatoes, chopped spring onions, fresh coriander and a squirt of lime juice and seasoned with salt and pepper.

crispy chips, and an avocado salsa
add fresh coriander and lemon or lime wedges

Email: oceanjewelsfish (at) gmail (dot) com

Julie says: ‘I sell only the freshest fish caught in and around the False Bay coast line. I am a SASSI (South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative) participant and consider sustainability essential. If you live in the Cape Town area I will deliver to your door. Or collect your fresh fish at my stands at the Neighbourgoods market (Saturday) and Starlings cafe (Wednesday)’.

Visit her blog for info and recipe ideas: Ocean Jewels Fresh Fish

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  1. I could here the township vibe in my ears while looking at these pictures. Lovely!

  2. The photo’s are just magical Samlet. Just love the surface! And the fish looks delicious, even though it’s only 08h30, I’d love some right now! Have a wonderful day! x

  3. Love the surface that you used! Great pics hun and the fish looks so tasty! x

  4. Thanks Sammy, I love this poster and have wanted to put food on it for ages 🙂

  5. Thanks Lolly pop, went a bit bright, but was in a colourful kinda mood.
    S xxx

  6. Thanks Ally, I think I broke every styling rule about the background taking over the food, but just loved all the colour. Sometimes we just need a bit of colour.

    S xx

  7. Thanks Nina, a bit of bright and colourful for this nearly spring Monday.

    Have a super week
    Sam x

  8. Thanks Ilse darling, I love this poster, had it for years 🙂

  9. Oh how I miss gurnard! You hardly ever see it here in the UK. Love the simplicity of this recipe, and the voluptuous curve of the avo ;o) And that funky background – what is it? A tray?? A poster??

  10. Hi Jeanne, its a poster, kind of like a very large photo print which I bought at Design Indaba 3 years. 🙂

  11. LOVE the styling on this. So eye-catchingly gorgeous. Well done. B

  12. Thanks Bern, thought Id break out a bit of colour although I am sure I have broken a few styling rules about the background / props over shadowing the food. 🙂

  13. sam what beautiful pics – stunning!

  14. The photos are stunning, but the dish itself is even more incredible. I made this tonight, and also used the spice mix on some potato wedges (I had some leftover baked potato which I cut into wedges, sprinkled with the spices, then pan-fried – so excellent). Thanks for inspiring me. This was my first time cooking with gurnard and it won’t be my last! I can see this working well with pollock, too.

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