Confit ocean trout with pickled cucumber and minted labne

Confit ocean trout with pickled cucumber and minted labne

Elisa Watson

This is the ultimate buffet table dish – it looks stunning, tastes sensational, and can be prepared ahead of time and assembled at the last minute. To confit the fish means to cook it in warm oil, so it remains soft and flakes away, making it easy for people to help themselves. The lightly pickled cucumbers, radish and dill are a refreshing balance to the richness of the fish. If you can’t get ocean trout this is just as nice with salmon.


Quantity Ingredient
315g rock salt
1kg skinless ocean trout fillet
1 lemon, sliced
1 fennel bulb, sliced
1.5 litres olive oil


Quantity Ingredient
1 fennel bulb, sliced on a mandoline
6 radishes, sliced on a mandoline
1/2 lem, juice only
60g dill
2 oranges, peeled and segmented
2 pink grapefruits, peeled and segmented

Pickled cucumbers

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons caster (superfine) or granulated (raw) sugar
250ml white vinegar
3 lebanese (short) cucumbers, sliced on a mandoline

Minted labne

Quantity Ingredient
80g mint
250g Labne
1 teaspoon salt


Quantity Ingredient
60ml olive oil
60ml chardonnay vinegar
or 60ml white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, freshly ground
sea salt, to taste
freshly cracked black pepper, to taste


  1. Prepare a brining solution by combining the salt with 1 litre water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil to dissolve the salt, then set aside to cool completely. Immerse the trout in the cold brine for 12 minutes.
  2. To make the confit, place the fennel and lemon slices in a large roasting tray big enough to hold the fish. Cover with the oil and place over very low heat. When the oil reaches 50°C when tested with a sugar thermometer, immerse the fish in the oil, remove from the heat and leave for 10–12 minutes to confit.
  3. Prepare the salad by placing the sliced fennel and radish in a bowl and cover with water and the lemon juice.
  4. To make the pickled cucumbers, set a saucepan over low heat and add the salt, sugar and vinegar, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Place the cucumber slices in a bowl and pour over the warm pickling liquid. Allow to stand for 15 minutes, then drain.
  5. To prepare the minted labne, combine the mint and 60 ml water in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Put the labne in a bowl and mix in the mint paste and salt until combined.
  6. To make the vinaigrette, whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl and season to taste.
  7. When you’re ready to serve, drain the fennel and radish. Build the salad by layering up the citrus segments, fennel, radish and dill, then drizzle over the vinaigrette.
  8. Remove the fish from the oil and drain on paper towel before placing on a serving platter. Top with the salad and serve with the minted labne and pickled cucumbers.
Jewish cooking
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Dinner party
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