500g fillets firm white fish (blue cod is best but John Dory, monkfish, snapper or hāpuku are also suitable), skinned and boned
3 tablespoons flaky sea salt
2 cups water
1⁄2 onion, thinly sliced
4 small vine-ripened tomatoes (or use a mix of cherry tomatoes), cored and diced
1 green capsicum, roasted over a flame until blackened, peeled, cored, seeded and sliced
1⁄2 cup small pitted black olives
100ml extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped

Nowadays Ray is the consulting food director for Bite in the New Zealand Herald, he’s the Ambassador for FAWC in Hawke’s Bay, offers product and recipe development for private clients, and does food demos all around the country.


Some cooks use smoked fish as a substitute but this makes a very different salad from the original. The light salting of the fish in this recipe, however, approximates as much as possible the raw fish flavour and texture of rehydrated salt cod. The salting of the onion turns even the most pungent onion into a sweet and crunchy salad vegetable.


1.Put the fish fillets into a shallow glass, china or stainless-steel dish and sprinkle all over lightly with 1 tablespoon of the salt.
2.Cover and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours, turning the fillets twice.
3.Remove from the dish and rinse under cold running water for 5 minutes.
4.Slice thinly on the diagonal across the grain of the fish so that you have thin flat leaves of fish.
5.Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons of salt with the water in a large bowl and add the onion slices.
6.Soak these for 20 minutes, drain and rinse well.
7.To serve, layer the salted fish with the onions, tomatoes, capsicum and olives on a large serving platter.
8.Mix the oil, vinegar and garlic well and drizzle this mixture over the salad.
9.Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe Ray McVinnie /  Food styling Ginny Grant / Photography Aaron McLean / Styling Fiona Lascelles

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