In The Whole Fish, Josh Niland persuades us to rethink our expectations about what it means to eat fish—and about how fish is meant to be handled, sourced, stored, preserved, cooked, and served.
Niland, the chef-owner of Saint Peter*, a fish restaurant, and Fish Butchery, both in Sydney, boldly challenges prevailing fish culture with the same gusto Fergus Henderson's nose-to-tail manifesto brought to mammals twenty-odd years ago. While Nose to Tail Eating looked back to the pleasures of thrift during historically lean times, The Whole Fish is scrupulous with its talk of cost and yield and timely with its coverage of aquaculture diversity. This is a book that inspires you to do better while you eat better.
Niland's "fish-as-meat" ethos extends to recipes for curing, dry-ageing, and working with fish offal. Eyeballs are pureed and puffed into craggy whisps; fresh mackeral milt is emulsified into a mortadella flecked with chunks of cod fat; hearts and spleens are skewered and grilled over charcoal with a hint of fermented chili paste.
The vocabulary follows suit. Recipes titled with steak, rib, chop, and rack feature moonfish, cod, swordfish, and mahi mahi. Clear, comprehensive step-by-step instructions are supported by detailed photographs on filleting, butterflying, and even deboning a fish head.
There are more than 60 recipes for dozens of types of dish with abundant substitutions suggested. Stand out dishes include John Dory liver pâté on toast; an impressive fish cassoulet; swordfish bacon; kingfish pastrami, and even a cobia Christmas ham. Hardcover.
Color photographs throughout.
* In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus instructs Peter to throw his fishing line into the sea of Galilee and, with the first bite, he'd discover a fish with a silver shekel lodged in its mouth. According to legend, Peter caught this fish, along with the coin.