Salt fish and fennel börek

Salt fish and fennel börek

By
From
The Natural Cook
Makes
2
Photographer
Laura Edwards

Salt fish goes so well with fennel. Both are rich and strong-tasting, but the flavours stand up to each other. This isn’t a traditional börek, but just about fits the criteria as it is made with filo pastry. You will need to salt the fish for six hours, so work that time into your preparations.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 quantity Caramelised fennel, with no added salt
200 g fillets white fish, such as pollack or dab
plenty coarse sea salt
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, roughly chopped
4 sprigs parsley, stalks finely chopped, leaves roughly chopped
2 sheets filo or yufka pastry
or 1 quantity olive oil pastry
light olive oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Method

  1. Place the fish in a non-metallic shallow dish and sprinkle sea salt liberally over the top until it’s covered. Place in the fridge and leave for six hours. (If you have to use fine salt, leave for just three hours.) Wash off the salt and pat the fish dry. Taste a small piece. If it’s salty but tasty, it is fine to use. If it’s inedibly salty, soak the fish in water for 30 minutes. Taste and repeat if it is still too salty. When ready, pat dry with kitchen paper.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Shred the fish into small bite-sized pieces. Mix it with the fennel, lemon juice, coriander seeds and parsley.
  3. Find an ovenproof dish that is about 20 cm wide. If using filo or yufka, lay a sheet into the dish, overhanging the edges. Brush or drizzle with light olive oil, then fill with half the salt fish mixture. Fold the pastry over the top, brush with oil, then lay another sheet of filo over and brush it, too, with oil. Fill with the rest of the salt fish and fold the pastry over the top. If using olive oil pastry, roll it out until it is 5 mm thick. Lay the pastry in the ovenproof dish and fill with all the salt fish mixture. Fold the pastry over the top. Finish with a brush of oil and the sesame seeds. Put in the oven for 30 minutes until hot and a dark golden brown.

Storage

  • Both the fennel and the börek will keep for four days in sealed containers in the fridge. Reheat both in an oven preheated to 180°C, in covered ovenproof dishes, until hot right through.

Cook natural

  • We are rarely if ever provided with the information about where shop-bought salt fish came from or how it was caught. I like to make my own, so that I know. It tastes nicer, too. Look for line-caught fish and check the sustainability of the species at fishonline.org at the time of buying. Other fish also salt well, so experiment with what is freshest on the day.
Tags:
The Natural Cook
Poco
Tom Hunt
sustainability
food cycle
vegetables
seasonal
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