Macadamia Nut Crusted Hapuka with Roasted Fennel and Prawn Bisque


This dish was one I used to enter 2011 Salon Culinere in Auckland in which I was awarded a silver medal. Delicious creamy nuts really matches well with the hapuka but you could use other white fish like snapper just reduce the cooking times. The bisque I made was using prawns but you can use any typical bisque shellfish like crayfish or crab.


Ingredients Serves 4


25g Carrots

25g White onion

25g Celery

25g Leek

1 Clove Garlic

150g Prawns

10g Thyme leaves

10g Rosemary leaves

50g Butter

50ml Oil

15g Tomato paste

Pinch Cayenne Pepper

25ml Brandy

100ml Fish stock

50ml Cream

Salt and pepper to taste



1 Bulb of fennel

25ml chicken stock

Salt and pepper to taste



800g (four fillets) of hapuka or other white fish

70g Butter

200g Macadamia nuts

Salt and pepper to taste



For the bisque:

1. Finely chop all the vegetables including garlic, rosemary and thyme.

2. In a deep pot cook the vegetables and chopped prawns (including shells) in the butter and oil.

3. When softened add the tomato paste and cayenne pepper.

4. After about 5-7 minutes on high heat the tomato paste will start to stick to the pan. Add Brandy and be careful of the flames which are burning off the alcohol.

5. Add the fish stock and reduce by 1/3. (Beware the cayenne it can be hot so be careful when adding)

6. When reduce put into a blender and blend thoroughly then push through a fine sieve.

7. In a clean pot put the bisque back on, add the cream and again reduce by 1/3 until the required consistency is achieved.


For the fennel:

1. In a deep tray add salt, pepper and the chicken stock.

2. Cut the tops of the fennel off so there are no stalks remaining and then cut the bulb into 4 even quarters.

3. Add the bulbs and stalks into the tray for extra flavour and cover with tinfoil.

4. Bake in a hot oven until tender. Discard the liquor and stalks. (You could use the stock for another dish if you like rather than discarding.


For the Fish:

1. Blend the nuts with melted butter until a breadcrumb texture is achieved.

2. Lay flat on glad wrap like a sheet of pastry and chill in the fridge.

3. When cooled cut out pieces the same as you fish. Spread a touch of olive oil on the fish, season and then tightly lay the nuts on top of the fish.

4. Bake and leave in the fridge covered to once again set.


For serving:

1. Gently heat a non-stick pan. Add the fish nut side down and gently cook until the nuts are golden brown.

2. Turn the fish and sear for a further 1 minute then put onto a season and oiled tray in the oven.

3. Re heat the bisque but do not boil.

4. Put the fennel in the oven to re-heat also.