Fish Supper? Try This Spicy Favourite…

If you popped by the My Appliances blog last week, you’ll have spotted this delicious little recipe from Paul Squire. This week – and continuing with the spice theme – we’re bringing you another tasty how-to.

This one comes from the book Spice Health Heroes: Unlock the Power of Spice for Flavour and Wellbeing, by Natasha McAller.

Published by Jacqui Small and available from old good bookshops for just £25, the book – featuring photography by Manja Wachsmuth – features all sorts of spicy recipes from a range of chefs.

Today on the blog we’re sharing a great how-to from spice lover, François Kwaku-Dongo – and if you like fish, you’re going to love it. Read on…

Spice Health Heroes - Final Front Cover

Whole Roasted Fish with Cocoa Butter and Tomato-Onion Relish – Serves 4

 “Every country has a street food that is typical of its region. In Abidjan, where I grew up, on the Ivory Coast in West Africa, everyone will tell you about ‘poisson braisé avec attiéké’. It’s a favourite childhood food memory and is basically fish braised on charcoal served with hot sauce and cassava grain. Cocoa butter – a major ingredient in chocolate making, can also be used in savoury dishes. Here, I use cocoa butter instead of butter or oil to roast my fish, which gives it a nutty aroma.” François Kwaku-Dongo

You will need…

For the fish:

4 x 550g (1lb. 4oz.) whole fish such as sea bream, striped bass or tilapia, scaled and gutted

140g (5oz./2/3 cup) melted cocoa butter

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

½ bunch parsley, including stems


For the tomato-onion relish:

1 medium (140g/5oz.) yellow onion, quartered and thinly sliced 1 small (140g/5oz.) vine-ripe tomato, peeled and thinly sliced 1 tsp kosher salt

½ tsp ground black pepper

½ tsp bird’s-eye chili, seeded and minced

60ml (¼ cup) white vinegar

3 tbsp vegetable oil

100g (3½oz./½ cup) melted cocoa butter

1½ bunches curly parsley, chopped


For the cassava grain:

275g (9¾oz./1½ cup) cassava grain or couscous

100g (3½oz./½ cup) melted cocoa butter

40g (1½oz./2 heaped tbsp) minced garlic

40g (1½oz./2 heaped tbsp) minced fresh ginger

1 spring onion (scallion), finely chopped

½ bunch curly parsley, finely chopped

1 tsp kosher salt

½ tsp ground black pepper


 To Prepare:

Preheat the oven to 190C° (375°F/gas mark 5). Set the fish in a large, shallow roasting pan, brush all over with the melted cocoa butter and season generously inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the parsley.

Roast the fish in the centre of the oven for about 20 minutes, occasionally spooning the pan juices over the fish. The fish is done when the flesh is white throughout and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part near the head registers 57°C (135°F). Let the fish stand for 10 minutes, then carefully transfer it to a large platter and remove the parsley.

While the fish is roasting, prepare the relish. Toss all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl.

Prepare the cassava grain. Set up a double boiler. Put the cassava in a medium-sized bowl and cover with cling film (plastic wrap). Set the bowl on top of the boiling water and steam until soft, about 5 minutes. Set aside. (If using couscous, follow package directions.)

Meanwhile, heat the cocoa butter in a saucepan, add the garlic and ginger and cook until soft. Add the cassava grain and stir well. Cook for three minutes then remove from the heat and transfer to a mixing bowl.

Stir in the spring onion (scallion) and parsley and season with salt and pepper.

To serve, spoon the relish over the fish and serve the cassava grain at room temperature on the side.

Will you be giving this fish recipe a go? Let us know by commenting below! Alternatively, head to our Facebook page and join the food-related conversation.

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