olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
1 onion, diced
large pinch of saffron threads
250g arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
about 1½ litres good chicken, vegetable or fish stock, hot
sea salt and black pepper
zest and juice of ½ lemon
about 250g smoked kahawai
small handful of dill

We are so lucky with our kai moana in New Zealand. I do feel, however, that we take it a little for granted. I know how easy it can be just to go for one of the usual three: snapper, terakihi or salmon. I challenge you, dear reader, to make an effort to get something interesting. Be aware of what is abundant and what isn’t. Kahawai, trevally, ling – amongst others – they all make excellent eating and are completely underrated. Smoked kahawai is cheap, abundant and sustainable – make the most of it.

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1.Bring a large saucepan or flameproof casserole up to a moderately high heat, add a glug of olive oil and the butter and let it melt and bubble up.
2.Add the diced onion and fry gently for 5-6 minutes until soft and translucent.
3.Add the saffron and rice and fry for another 2 minutes or so to toast them slightly – don’t let it catch and burn though.
4.Pour in the wine and wait until it has been absorbed before stirring in a ladleful of hot stock and allowing it to be absorbed before adding more.
5.Repeat and continue until the rice is al dente.
6.Taste and season with salt and pepper and squeeze in a little of the lemon juice.
7.Scatter the flaked kahawai over the top and garnish with the dill and lemon zest. Serve immediately.

Recipes and images
extracted from

Food Worth Making

Volume II
by Sam

and styling by Sam

Mannering. $65 from