Taken from The Whole Fish Cookbook, By Josh Niland
Growing up, chicken Kiev was always seen as a fancy dinner option and not eaten very often.
Thinking about how we could apply this technique to a fish, we decided on quite possibly Australia's best table fish – the King George whiting.
At the restaurant, we have the ability to source transglutimate, which helps bind proteins together, so that we can remove all the bones and cartilage and create a seamless finish that holds the butter inside the fish. For a domestic-style recipe, the dish has been held together with toothpicks while frying.
Instead of King George whiting you could use other whiting, herring or mullet.
4 boneless, butterflied King George whiting or other whiting, about 250g
150g plain flour
4 eggs, lightly whisked
180g white panko breadcrumbs
2 litres cottonseed or sunflower oil, for deep-frying
Lemon halves and green salad leaves, to serve
60g salted butter, softened
1tbs flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1tbs chives, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, grated (preferably on a microplane)
For the garlic butter, stir the ingredients together until well mixed, then place on a piece of plastic wrap and roll into a long log, 1cm wide. Freeze until firm, then cut into four even barrels.
Lay the fish out in front of you with the heads away from you.
Position the frozen garlic butter in the centre of the fish, then pull up the belly to completely enclose the butter. Position five toothpicks along the belly cavity to hold in place without any gaps.
Excepting the head, coat the fish in the flour, then in the eggs and then in the breadcrumbs.
Repeat with the remaining fish.
Chill for 30 minutes.
Heat the oil for deep-frying in a large, heavy-based saucepan until the temperature reaches 180°C on a cooking thermometer.
Deep-fry two fish for four minutes.
Remove carefully and take out the toothpicks. Repeat with the other two fish. Serve whole with a lemon half and your favourite green salad.
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