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Fish of the month recipe for Dab

Salt & sansho pepper fried cornish catch of the day

Salt &  sansho pepper fried cornish catch of the day This is Japans answer to Fish and Chips! The crispy fried bones make a wonderful alternative to a chip, and the sansho pepper adds a tart taste, much like the addition of vinegar. The ingredients can easily be found in a Japanese grocery store of course, but most health shops will also stock the delicious and organic Clearspring brand of rice vinegar and soy sauce, while any oriental grocer will stock Chinese chives and white radish. Shiso cress might be harder to come by but can be replaced with mustard cress of coriander.


1 dab (larger the better)
100g daikon white radish (shredded)
20g dipping sauce
5g tempura flour
Pinchsansho pepper
Pinchsea salt flakes
half a lime
1 purple shiso
2 chinese chives
Peanut oil or ground nut oil for deep frying
Dipping sauce 30ml soy (Japanese, not Chinese soy)
150ml dashi water
120ml rice vinegar
20g sugar
10g bonito flakes

Serves 1


Method: Combine the ingredients for the dipping sauce, leaving the bonito flakes suspended. Cleanly fillet the dab, so that the bone is left in one piece. Deep-fry the bones for around 2 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Take the dab fillet and cut into 3cm chunks. Mix the tempura flour, sea salt and sansho pepper and toss the dab chunks in it. Deep-fry the dab chunks for a minute and leave on kitchen paper to drain. Presentation: Spread a handful of shredded daikon on the serving plate and place the fish-bone frame on top of it. Arrange the pieces of the fried dab fillet in the centre of the fish-bone frame Sprinkle two pinches of sansho pepper over the fish and garnish with two wedges of lime, purple shiso cress and Chinese chives. Serve with a small bowl of the dipping sauce.


Deep-fry the dab chunks for a minute and leave on kitchen paper to drain as per preparation instructions.

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Caroline Bennett

Caroline Bennett

Founder and owner of Moshi Moshi, the UKs first kaiten sushi bar, Caroline aims to represent contemporary Japan in the UK. She is actively involved in marine conservation through work managed by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), on a fisheries project called EśInvest in Fish. Moshi Moshi has been recognised for its work on marine conservation and received the Green Apple Award in 2006 and the RSPCAs Innovation Award in 2007. Through Carolines work, with her own restaurant and the Pisces-RFR project, Caroline is both encouraging others to improve sustainability and also making this improvement more logistically possible by directly connecting restaurants with responsible fishermen. Caroline was also recently lauded as a 2009 international Seafood Champion by SeaWebs Seafood Choices.

My connection with seafood

Caroline originally worked in finance and having spent some time in Japan she returned home and in the 1990s set up the first conveyer-belt sushi restaurant in the UK - the critically acclaimed Moshi Moshi based in London. Japanese cuisine, of course, includes large amounts of fish and it was not long until Caroline became aware of the environmental problems of fisheries, starting with bluefin tuna. She became increasingly involved in food issues and has worked on various projects aiming to find solutions to problems in fisheries. As well as working in her own restaurants to reduce food miles, work with seasonal foods, increase sustainability, introduce direct sourcing, increase links with local food producers and generally act as a responsible restaurant, Caroline has also co-established the Pisces-Responsible Fish Restaurant initiative.

Why sustainability is important to me

I ca not pretend to understand the complexities of science and nature, but I do understand that I am a small but significant part of a complex world. Gaias principles of nature being inherently in balance leads me to understand that both as an individual and restaurateur, I must step up to the mark and play my part in being a custodian of the seas. Knowing a little of the life of the magnificent and noble blue fin tuna makes me appreciate that I am no more entitled to the resources of this planet than they, and that while they would live very happily without us, the same could not be said for mankind without nature. For me, the last word usually goes to Ghandi, "Be the change you wish to see in the world". logo

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