Australian chef and all-round fish guru Josh Niland has a new book out - Take One Fish, published by Hardie Grant - and it's all about getting home cooks excited about the culinary potential of one fish.
Niland revolutionised the way we think about fish with his scale-to-tail approach to cooking, where almost every part of the fish is used. This book builds on his Whole Fish Cookbook from 2019, in a way that he describes as more 'joyful' and accessible.
With 60 recipes featuring just 15 global varieties of fish, dishes include a whole range of cooking techniques, from Peking-style and salt-pastry baked, to lasagne, kofta and tacos al pastor. There's even a dessert recipe for custard tart with sardine garum caramel.
If you tend to play it safe, opting for fillets or steaks, when it comes to fish, this could be the definitive cookbook to take you out of your comfort zone. Niland serves as an inspiring teacher gently encouraging the homecook to cook parts of the fish they'd probably never even considered, from elaborate to easy, small to large, but always head to tail. And, if you don't have access to the fish he uses, not to worry, he lists alternatives, using the recipes as a framework for locally available fish.
Niland, from sustainable seafood restaurant Saint Peter in Sydney, also recently opened an informal fish shop in the city, Charcoal Fish, based on the grilled-chicken shop model. The menu centres on the locally available Murray cod fish and includes whole rotisserie cod with chips, grilled collars with fermented tamarind hot sauce, gravy made from the heads, frames and fins, even caramel ice cream using rendered cod fat.
Take a look at some of the incredible dishes, plus recipes, included in Take One Fish below:
Charcoal sardines in saffron vinegar and almond oil
Charcoal flounder with celeriac coleslaw and flounder gravy
Potato tart with trout roe dressing
Custard tart with sardine garum caramel
TAKE ONE FISH: The New School of Scale-to-Tail Cooking and Eating by Josh Niland (Hardie Grant, £26) Photography: Rob Palmer