Steamed Daurade with Candied Aubergine

A knockout fish dish from Jason Atherton: basil-infused daurade with candied aubergine and home-made ketchup
By Jason Atherton
Steamed Daurade with Candied Aubergine
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 55 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: hard


For the tomato ketchup

  • 250 g vine tomatoes
  • 40 g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp white peppercorns
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 large sprigs basil
  • 250 ml tomato juice
  • tabasco

For the candied aubergine

  • 500 g (about 1 large or 2 medium) aubergines, peeled and diced
  • 80 g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 handfuls thyme, leaves picked
  • 60 ml hazelnut oil

For the aubergine crisps (optional)

  • groundnut oil, for deep-frying
  • 1 aubergine

For the steamed daurade

  • 4 x 100 g line-caught gilt-head bream, pin-boned
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  • 4 large basil
  • sautéed pak choi, to serve


1. For the tomato ketchup: preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.

2. Mix the tomatoes with the sugar, peppercorns, oil and a pinch of salt, then add the garlic and basil. Roast for 1 hour 30 minutes, then add the tomato juice and roast for a further 30 minutes.

3. Transfer the tomato mixture to a blender and liquidise to a purée. Pour into a pan and cook over a high heat to reduce to a syrupy consistency. Add Tabasco to taste.

4. For the candied aubergine: preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6 and line a baking tray with a large piece of foil.

5. Toss the diced aubergine in a large bowl with the sugar, lemon juice, pinch of salt, garlic, thyme and hazelnut oil.

6. Spread onto the prepared tray and cover with another piece of foil. Bake for 45-55 minutes, stirring the aubergines once or twice, until they are very soft and slightly caramelised.

7. While still hot, transfer the aubergines to a food processor and blend to a rough paste. Cook the paste in a pan over a high heat to dry it out a little, then season well to taste.

8. For the aubergine crisps: heat the groundnut oil in a deep pan until hot. If using a deep-fat fryer, heat the oil to 190C.

9. In a few batches, deep-fry the slices in the hot oil until golden and crisp. Remove and drain well on kitchen paper. Sprinkle with fine sea salt while they are still warm.

10. For the daurade: bring some water to the boil in a steamer.

11. Rub a little olive oil over the daurade fillets, then season well with salt. Place a basil leaf on the back of each fillet and tightly wrap each one in cling film.

12. Slide the daurade parcels onto the steamer rack and cover with a lid. Steam for 6-8 minutes until the fish is opaque and just cooked through.

13. Unwrap the fish and serve with sautéed pak choy, a spoonful of candied aubergine and a spoonful of ketchup. Garnish with a few aubergine crisps.

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