Gurnard, orange and coriander seed

Serves 2 Starters and mains

ONSUNDAYS 20230316 5259



  • 2 x 1kg whole gurnards, butterflied (see method)
  • oil, to brush
  • 150g fish skin stock (see recipe below)
  • 1 orange

For the coriander seed butter

  • 10g coriander seeds
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 125g unsalted butter


For the seed butter, put the coriander seeds in a small pan and toast over a medium heat until fragrant, then remove and let cool slightly. Grind to a fine powder using a pestle and mortar. add the garlic and a pinch of salt, and grind to a smooth paste. Add the butter and work it through.

If butterflying the fish yourself, lay the gurnard on a cutting board with the belly side facing you. Using a sharp knife, cut horizontally along the spine from the end of the belly opening to the tail. Carefully work your knife to the top of the spine bones, making sure to cut through near the top of the back. Repeat this on the other side. Remove the head and lay the fish resting on its back so the fillets splay open. Using a pair of kitchen scissors, cut along the spine bones as close to the skin as you can. Again, using the scissors, trim the dorsal and pectoral fins as they will burn while getting grilled. Using your knife again, cut away the rib cage bones and then remove any pin bones with a pair of fish tweezers.

Light a good fire and let it burn down to a solid bed of coals. When ready to cook, lightly oil and season both sides of the fish and lay flat in a fish grilling cage. Place the fish over the coals, skin-side down, and grill until evenly golden. You may need to move the fish into a higher position over the fire to finish cooking it through without overly charring. When just done, remove from the cage and transfer to a serving plate.

For the sauce, put the fish stock and 2 good spoonfuls of the coriander seed butter into a small pan to warm through. When warmed enough, season the sauce with salt, microplaned orange zest and a touch of lemon juice. Spoon the sauce over the fish and serve.

Fish skin stock: Put 1kg fish skins in a pot and cover with cold water. Slowly bring up to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes, regularly skimming any foam that rishes to the surface. Carefully ladle off the liquid and strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Makes 1kg of fish stock.

Recipes and photographs taken from On Sundays by Dave Verheul, photography by Kristoffer Paulsen (Hardie Grant, £25).
ONSUNDAYS 20230316 5259
Recipes and photographs taken from On Sundays by Dave Verheul, photography by Kristoffer Paulsen (Hardie Grant, £25).


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