Working in foliage-packed surrounds is inspiring for Paul Baker. The award-winning head chef at Botanic Gardens Restaurant has a knack for using garden finds.

“Hiramasa Kingfish Crudo is one of my favourite dishes,” Baker says. “It's always on the menu in some incarnation and pretty much always starts our degustation.”

Why?

“It's super fresh and clean,” he says. “What I also love is that it covers a lot of your taste sensors; sweet, sour, salty and savoury (umami).”

The dish is a typical example of the restaurant team’s “garden to plate” mentality. “The fish is from Port Lincoln and the best-quality kingfish you can get in the country,” he says. “The garnishes change depending on what's in season. Sometimes it’s ice plant, radishes and Buddha-hand lemons. In this case it's limes, green apples, sea parsley and pig-face flowers.”

Want to master a starter like Baker? Try it at home.

Hiramasa kingfish crudo, avocado, puffed wild rice, miso, green apple, native sea parsley

Serves four

Avocado Puree
Ingredients:
2–3 ripe avocados
1 lime, juiced
1 tsp wasabi paste
50ml sugar syrup
Salt

Method:
Put all ingredients into food processor and blend until smooth.
Place into a pipping bag or small squeeze bottle.

Miso Dressing
Ingredients:
100g yellow miso
50ml rice-wine vinegar
25ml grapeseed oil

Method:
Whisk vinegar and oil into miso.
Add a small amount of warm water to get required consistency.

Kingfish Crudo
Ingredients:
100g Outback Pride sea parsley
60g wild Asian rice (puffed in hot oil)
1 green apple, 1cm dice
Pig-face flowers
300g kingfish, 1cm dice
1 lime, juiced
1 tbsp black sesame seeds
50ml grapeseed oil
Olsson’s sea salt

Method:
Dice kingfish into 1cm dice and place in a bowl.
Add lime juice, grapeseed oil, sesame seeds and a good pinch of Olsson’s sea salt. Leave for 1–2 minutes to marinate.
Into a bowl place 3–4 tbsp of the kingfish-crudo mix.
Sprinkle 1 tbsp of diced apple evenly over the fish.
Pipe five small dots of both the avocado puree and miso dressing evenly on top of the kingfish and apple.
Sprinkle the puffed rice into the gaps left between the miso and avocado.
Garnish the top with sea parsley and then the pigs-face flowers.

botanicgardensrestaurant.com.au