I love the delicate smoked flavour the fish imparts here and the sour sweetness of the tamarind – but vary the tartness to taste by adding another tablespoon of tamarind paste if you love it or omitting altogether if you prefer.
Recipe Tag: chowder
In New Zealand we tend to prefer our fish fillets skinless which is a shame. The skin of fish such as snapper, tarakihi and blue cod crisps beautifully in the pan and adds great texture and crunch to a dish.
At Fishbone we actually buy blue cod skins from one of our suppliers for this dish, as our fishers are loathe to sell us blue cod fillets with the skin on – the request upsets the workers on the filleting line. Of course, if you are buying a whole fish, like we do on occasion, no need to worry about sourcing some skins.
Maine in the north eastern part of the USA is the home of clam chowders and I must have dined on perhaps half a dozen during a road trip there nearly a decade ago. The thin soups, flavoured with dried thyme and swimming with clams and potatoes, were all served with oyster crackers that you crushed with your hands and added to the soup (the crackers were oyster by name only).
Still, when I wanted to tell the story of this trip through a dish at Fishbone I couldn’t pass on the idea of an actual real oyster-flavoured cracker or bread. That seed of an idea blossomed into the smoked oyster crumble recipe and now the crumble, atop a fillet of blue cod and surrounded by a saucey version of chowder, is one of our signature dishes on the menu at Fishbone.
Not only do we use most of the whole fish – blue cod – which we source from our mate Nate in Bluff who catches the fish by hand – but at Fishbone we shuck our own oysters, not always successfully, so this dish makes great use of those broken bivalves we cannot serve.