Kingfish with hazelnuts, beans & brown butter

This simple kingfish dinner is lovely with potato puree. For a lighter option than the butter sauce, use extra virgin olive oil instead, and serve with a potato salad dressed with oil and lemon juice.


  • 300g baby green beans, trimmed
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 eschalots, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 4 kingfish fillets
  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper


In a pot of boiling, salted water, blanch the green beans for 1 minute. Remove and plunge into iced water. Drain well and reserve.

In a saucepan on a low heat, warm 1 tbsp olive oil and cook eschalots with salt until softened (about 8 minutes). Stir through blanched beans, then remove saucepan from heat. Reserve.

Warm remaining oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Pan-fry the kingfish fillets for about 2 minutes each side (cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fillets). Remove fillets from heat and allow to rest somewhere warm.

Place saucepan with beans back on a medium heat; warm through for a minute.

Place butter in a separate frying pan on a medium heat. Once it begins to foam and just as it is starting to turn brown (about 5 minutes), add vinegar, hazelnuts and a pinch of salt. Allow to cool.

Place kingfish fillets on four plates, top with beans and eschalots, and spoon butter sauce and hazelnuts over the fish. Serve immediately with freshly ground pepper.

NOTES: Want something to drink?
Chenin blanc's savoury side works wonderfully with these dishes. The 2013 Kloof Street by Mullineux, from South Africa's Swartland region, offers lively acidity and its flavours of stone fruit, almond meal, orange peel and toasted brioche meld perfectly with the kingfish's hazelnut and brown butter sauce.

First published in the Good Weekend.

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