Mark Hix recipe: Blackened plaice with tomato and coriander salsa

Serves 4

Plaice is a perfect fish for cooking with blackening spices; it may have softer flesh than other flat fish but with the skin left on, the flesh holds together nicely with the spices. Mark Botwright recently made some powder out of the dried garlic scapes which automatically made me think of incorporating it into a blackening spice to use with local fish. You could dry some green garlic tops yourself if you grow your own, or buy dried garlic powder.

The top fillets from a couple of 1kg plaice
Vegetable or rapeseed oil for frying

For the salsa

4 firm red or mixed-coloured tomatoes
1 large spring onion, finely chopped
A handful of coriander, chopped
2-3tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
The juice and grated zest of 1 lime
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the blackening spices

1tsp paprika
1tsp ground dried thyme
1tsp cayenne pepper
1tsp finely ground black pepper
1tsp finely ground white pepper
1tsp garlic powder

First, make the salsa: mix all the ingredients together and season to taste.

Next, mix all the ingredients for the blackening spices together and transfer to a plate. In a non-stick or reliable frying pan, heat the oil, then dip the flesh side of the fillets in the spices to coat, and fry for about 2-3 minutes on the spiced side on a high heat until the fish blackens. Then turn them over and cook for another minute or so, depending on the thickness of the fillets.

To serve, place the fish on warmed plates with the salsa.

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