Herb-crusted Hāpuku Steaks

Herb-crusted Hāpuku Steaks

Variously known as hāpuku, hapuka or groper with its meaty texture this is a fish much loved by New Zealanders and if you are a
fisherperson and one is part of your catch it is considered you have had a good day on the water.

Found in deep waters in southern oceans hāpuku can weigh up to 100kg, so the steaks can be very big – as were the ones JR got the other day. If the steaks are very large I cook them whole then divide for serving, as with meat and chicken, fish cooked on the bone has great flavour.

Herb-crusted Hāpuku Steaks

A fish steak or cutlet from a large round fish such as hapuku, groper or salmon is cut through the bone of the whole fish and varies in size
depending on the size of the fish.

Serves 4

1 small onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
a good handful fresh coriander
a small handful fresh parsley
4 large green olives, pitted
2 tsp capers, rinsed
1 lemon, zest finely grated, fruit reserved
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
4 x 175g hāpuku or grouper steaks

1              Place onion, garlic, coriander, parsley, olives, capers, lemon zest, a squeeze of lemon juice and a grind of black pepper in a food processor. Pulse to chop, add a good splash of oil and process to make a thick paste – adding more oil, if necessary. Check seasoning and add a little more lemon juice, if necessary.

2              Place hāpuku steaks on a foil lined baking tray. Spread fish with herb paste and set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.

3              Preheat oven to 220°C. Bake fish for 15-20 minutes or until fish flakes when tested with fork – exact cooking time will depend on the thickness of the steaks.

So tell me, do you prefer fish steaks or fish fillets?

Where did the ingredients for this dish come from:
Fish: Tangaroa Seafoods – Napier; Onion, garlic: Krismaw Gardens – Hastings; Parsley, coriander: The Chef’s Garden@Epicurean – Hastings; Olive oil: The Village Press – Hastings; From the garden: lemon; Store Cupboard Ingredients: capers, olives, black pepper.

Note: Many of these producers can be found at the Napier Urban Food Market each Saturday morning and/or at the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’
Market each Sunday morning.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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