Saturday, 15 March 2014

From Sea to Plate - our favourite King George Whiting

I love fishing - from digging for cockles at low tide to use as bait, finding a likely spot, and patiently waiting for fish to bite. I especially don't mind the messy business of scaling, cleaning and filleting the catch - because it means you caught fish for your table!

My very favourite fish is the famous King George Whiting that is found in the beautiful waterways of Coffin Bay and other Southern Australian waters. King George Whiting is best cooked simply to allow its flavour to shine. The flesh is delicious - sweet, subtle and delicate.

While King George Whiting is my favourite fish I must confess to rarely purchasing it from local fishmongers - due to its very high price. 

Those fish caught by our own efforts when at our Coffin Bay beach house are therefore highly prized, and savoured to the last morsel. In the interests of  absolute freshness, and sustainability, we choose to catch only enough fish each day to feed ourselves - and any guests we may be hosting! 

Eaten on our deck whilst admiring the views below - life doesn't get much better than that!

My top three choices for cooking this beautiful fish are to 
  • deep fry fillets in a light, crisp beer batter
  • shallow fry fillets after coating them with bread or panko crumbs
  • pan frying flour dusted fillets in nut brown butter.
Of these methods the last is a personal favourite! Here is how I cooked them during our recent stay at Coffin Bay!

Quick and Easy Panfried King George Whiting

Fresh King George Whiting fillets - deboned  
*allow 2 or 3 fillets per person depending on the size of the fillets - and your budget if you are buying these!
Plain flour for dusting
100gms salted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt and ground black pepper


Run your fingers along the cut side of each fillet carefully checking for any fine bones. Remove any that you find. Place a generous handful of flour in a large plastic bag. Place the fillets in the bag and gently dust the fillets with flour until evenly coated. Remove the floured fillets to a flat plate.

Over medium heat melt the butter in a large frying pan.  Increase the heat a little and stir until the butter foams and begins to turn golden brown. Add one tablespoon of olive oil and swirl through the butter. Season the butter/oil mixture with sea salt and a grind of black pepper. 

Place the fillets in the pan skin side down. Fry for about 3 minutes then turn and cook the other side for 1 to 2 minutes. When cooked the flesh will be opaque and flake easily when tested with a fork. Remove the fillets gently to serving plates taking care not to allow the fillets to break up. 

Serve immediately with lemon wedges and salad. I prefer a simple shredded lettuce and dill salad together with a tomato, cucumber and onion salad both dressed in olive oil. Hot, salty chips and a tangy tartare sauce are optional extras!


  1. How very delicious, Marian! Freshly caught, freshly cooked and with that view! Outstanding!

  2. One the great - and yet so simple pleasures - in my life, Liz!

  3. I remember going to Coffin Bay several years ago- there is a nice walking trail around there and the oysters are good too! You've presented a simple recipe, but delicious! (Fran from G'day Souffle')

  4. Thanks, Fran! The beautiful walk aroud the bay is aptly called The Oyster Walk! Glad you liked the recipe!


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