Here’s an easy recipe for strong-flavoured fish like Kahawai that you might not enjoy cooked in a traditional manner.
A few years ago I was living in Newcastle, Australia and a friend had invited me to meet him on the beach early morning for some fishing. Being overly eager as I am, I went through to the beach at around 2:00am even though I was only meeting him at 6:00. Not many bites, but after some time I caught a nice big fish which put on a decent fight. I had not seen this type of fish before. When my friend, Steve, showed up I proudly showed him my fish and he said “oh, you caught an Australian Salmon. They’re rubbish mate, you don’t want to eat that!”. We moved over to where he wanted to fish and all over the beach there were scattered these Australian Salmon (called Kahawai in New Zealand) which the locals didn’t want to eat and didn’t bother throwing back in the ocean. Well, I took my fish home, steamed it and honestly it wasn’t great, but hey, it’s fish and I love fish.
Now living here in New Zealand I’ve come to love Kahawai and the only secret you really need to know about these fish is that you need to bleed them as soon as you catch them. If you don’t the blood spreads through the meat, giving you that black/dark coloured meat. And my wife who generally does not liking cooking happens to be a great lover and “cooker” of fish!
Long prelude, but here’s my favourite recipe for Kahawai and as it turns out it works really well with frozen fish as well. The curry sauce seeps into the fish making the meat tender and equalizing some of that strong flavour of Kahawai. And it’s REALLY EASY.