First Edition

In celebration of the announcement of the inaugural Austral Fisheries Young Chef of the Sea, we’ve brought the award’s finalists together to produce a cookbook filled with recipes for making the most of delicious, sustainable seafood. Looking to up your seafood cooking game? Start right here.

The 2024 WA Good Food Guide saw the announcement of a new award, the Austral Young Chef of the Sea, awarded to a local chef who demonstrates promise and talent with seafood cookery, coupled with deep appreciation of sustainable farming practices.

A collaboration with our partners at Austral Fisheries, the new industry initiative saw a statewide search for the state’s foremost young seafood chef, with the winner, Yu Hung Cheng, announced at our major hospitality awards night held on 20 November, 2023.

Building on the existing work of Austral Fisheries in unearthing and nurturing emerging talent in the seafood industry, the competition instigated a statewide search – from Albany to Broome and everywhere in between – to uncover the next emerging star seafood chef in Western Australia.

Candidates were selected based on their applications, which detailed their experience working with seafood, their approach to seafood cookery and sustainability, and recent dishes they’d created. Shortlisted applicants were then interviewed by a panel including Austral Fisheries CEO David Carter, General Manager Dylan Skinns and WA Good Food Guide Director Georgia Moore and asked to submit three seafood recipes for review.

Our four finalists, made up of Cheng, Madalena’s colleague Amelia Bell, Lulu La Delizia head chef James Higgs and Mojo’s head chef Fabiano Pedroni, participated in a cook-off held at the WAGFG Cooking School at European Concepts, with Cheng taking out the ultimate prize, which includes a work-experience opportunity under world-leading seafood chef Josh Niland.

Here, in this digital cookbook, Cheng, along with the finalists, present their recipes, a mix of achievable home cooking and aspirational project recipes, developed exclusively with premium Austral Fisheries products. Here’s to many meals of incredible seafood cookery, made with the very best.

To read more about Austral Fisheries leading the way in commercial fishing, see article here.

Thank you to our judging panel; Chef Stephen Clarke, Chef Russell Blaikie, Editor-in-Chief WAGFG Georgia Moore, General Manager Austral Fisheries, Dylan Skinns.

Images by West Australian photographer Craig Kinder



An applicant from seafood specialist Madalena’s in South Fremantle, who joined the team in 2022, Amelia Bell cites working at WA Good Food Guide’s 2024 Restaurant of the Year as opening her eyes to what sustainability means. “I believe as a collective industry we need to be leading the task of raising the standards of seafood that we put on our plates, looking at sustainable status with the same gravitas we look for in quality,” she wrote in her application. Her two dishes, one with Skull Island Tiger Prawns, the other with Glacier 51 Toothfish, wed those ideals with fast-developing technical prowess that puts the focus where it belongs: on exceptional produce.


James Higgs, head chef at three-star Lulu La Delizia, is no stranger to great produce, with the restaurant renowned for its sourcing as much as its Italian flair on the plate. Higgs seafood dishes range from the first one he ever had grace the menu at Lulu, a plate of saffron- and gin-cured kingfish with celery hearts, juniper vinegar and lemon-infused olive oil (still on the menu after five years) to those like the ones he presents here, from corzetti topped with succulent flakes of Glacier 51 Toothfish, through to prawns served with a laksa sauce made on a base of prawn heads and shells. “I’m currently really loving the versatility of prawns. From small, sweet and creamy ama embi, which are best served raw, to the clean, crisp and meaty texture of king prawns,” Higgs says. “There’s very little wastage with the prawns, as the shells can also be used to create wonderful stocks and oils.”


Fabiano Pedroni applied for the award as head chef at Mojo’s, a Bunbury staple. Line-caught fish and other sustainable seafood is a focus for Pedroni, who thinks that the closer you get to the supply chain, the better the result. “I prefer to work with and collaborate directly with the fishermen so that we can utilise the best-quality seafood, rather than buying it from third parties, where more hands and stages are involved,” he says. “By working this way, I can approach the seafood differently, because I can maintain parts of the fish that are often discarded, such as offal, cheeks and wings, having a “scale-to-tail” approach, not just valuing the fillet.”

2024 austral young chef of the sea


Yu Hung Cheng, who began cooking in 2017 and is now sous-chef at Madalena’s, the WA Good Food Guide Restaurant of the Year, is passionate about the precision that comes with handling and preparing fish, as well as combining nods to his Taiwanese heritage with a wider palate. In our cook-off, his dish of toothfish with ginger-shallot and gochujang stood out for its refinement and flavour. The prize, which includes a stint working with Josh Niland in Sydney, will only serve to nurture his talent. Throughout his seven-year career, Cheng’s interest in seafood has only grown, spurred on by the range of seafood that comes through the door at Madalena’s – WA tuna, Augusta nannygai or Shark Bay snapper, for example. “Sustainable seafood means seafood that has been caught or farmed in a way that ensures the long-term health and viability of fish stocks, minimises harm to marine ecosystems and supports the livelihoods of people who depend on fishing,” says Cheng. “Maintaining a balance between human consumption of seafood and maintaining the health of the ocean is essential.”


  • Skull island tiger prawns in spiced honey glaze with green papaya salad

    Amelia Bell shares her recipe for a refreshing summer salad that puts Skull Island Tiger Prawns in the spotlight.

    Serves 4

    ½ tablespoon white peppercorns
    2 tablespoons coriander seeds
    1 tablespoon cumin seeds
    12 Skull Island Tiger Prawns
    6 cups (540g) shredded (use a julienne peeler if you have one) green papaya (or green mango)
    2 Lebanese cucumbers, halved, seeds removed, shredded
    1 cup (150g) cherry tomatoes, halved
    ½ cup (50g) thinly sliced snow peas
    4 sprigs native thyme (or Thai basil), leaves picked
    ½ cup (10g) mint leaves, torn
    1 cup (30g) coriander leaves, torn, plus extra to serve
    ½ cup (70g) roasted salted peanuts, chopped, plus extra to serve
    Vegetable oil, for drizzling

    1 lemongrass stalk (white part only), coarsely chopped
    2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
    1 birdseye chilli, finely chopped, plus extra to serve
    Finely grated zest of 1 lime, juice of 2
    4 makrut lime leaves, shredded
    1 tablespoon grated palm sugar (or honey), to taste
    1½ tablespoons fish sauce
    1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
    2 tablespoons roasted sesame oil

    Honey glaze
    ¾ cup (260g) honey
    1 birdseye chilli, halved
    2 native thyme sprigs (or Thai basil)
    Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime

    Dry-roast the spices in a frying pan until fragrant. Allow to cool briefly, then grind finely in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle. Transfer to a bowl, reserving 1 teaspoon for honey glaze.

    If the prawns are still snap-frozen, dissolve 2 tablespoons salt in 1 litre (4 cups) water, then submerge the prawns in the brine until defrosted (this will help retain the flavour). Peel the prawns, keeping heads attached, and devein. Toss the prawns with the reserved spice mix and refrigerate until ready to cook.

    For the dressing, pound the lemongrass, garlic, chilli, lime zest, makrut lime leaves with a mortar and pestle for a few minutes. Slowly add the lime juice, while grinding, to create a saucy paste. Mix in the palm sugar, fish sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil with a fork, then taste and balance the sweetness, saltiness and spice to suit your preference – it should make your tastebuds sing!

    Soak the green papaya in iced water for 10 minutes, then drain thoroughly and place in a large bowl. Scrape the dressing into the bowl, then add the cucumber, cherry tomatoes and snowpeas. Massage together for a few minutes, then leave at room temperature until ready to plate. Just prior to serving, add the native thyme, mint, coriander and peanuts and adjust with extra salt if needed.

    Meanwhile, for the glaze, combine the honey, chilli, native thyme, lime juice, zest and reserved spice mix in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half, approximately 5 minutes (the glaze will become stickier once cooled, so be careful not to reduce it too much). Add a small pinch of salt, to taste, then cool to room temperature.

    Heat a barbecue or char-grill pan to high heat, drizzle prawns with oil, then cook, turning halfway, until just cooked through, about 3–4 minutes. Remove from the heat and add to the honey glaze, tossing to coat.

    Toss the papaya salad with the dressing, divide among plates, top with prawns and drizzle with extra honey glaze. Serve topped with extra coriander, peanuts and chilli.

  • Glacier 51 Toothfish with crisped skin, black barley pilaf and grapefruit sauce

    Amelia Bell runs hard at texture with crisped Glacier 51 Toothfish skin, flaky flesh and a pillowy pilaf where black barley shines.

    Serves 4

    4 Glacier 51 toothfish fillets, skin on
    Steamed seasonal vegetables, to serve

    Black barley pilaf
    200g black barley (or freekeh)
    2 cups (500ml) chicken stock
    1 large garlic clove, lightly crushed with back of knife, plus 3 minced garlic cloves
    1 thyme sprig
    60g slivered almonds
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    2 eschalots, finely diced
    Sea parsley stems (or celery), finely chopped, plus sea parsley leaves to serve

    Black barley dressing
    Finely grated zest of 1 grapefruit plus ¼ cup (60ml) grapefruit juice
    2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
    2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
    1 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil
    ½ tablespoon honey
    A squeeze of lemon, to taste

    Grapefruit sauce
    ½ cup (125ml) chicken stock
    1 tsp ground black pepper
    150g unsalted butter, diced and chilled
    Finely grated zest of 1 grapefruit, plus ¾ cup (180ml) grapefruit juice

    For the black barley pilaf, place the chicken stock, crushed garlic, thyme and 1 cup (250ml) water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the barley, reduce to a simmer, cover with a lid, then cook for 30 minutes or until tender. Drain well.

    Meanwhile, roast the almonds in a dry frying pan until golden. Roughly chop, and set aside to cool.

    Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the eschalots, minced garlic and add sea parsley stems and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. Season to taste, then add the drained barley and sauté for 1-2 minutes, tossing to combine. Leave to cool.

    Now, make the dressing. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk well. Set aside until needed.

    Preheat the oven to 180°C. Remove the skin from the fish fillets with a sharp knife, pat it dry with paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Sandwich the skin between two pieces of baking paper, then place on a baking tray. Place another baking tray – smaller or the same size – on top so that the skin is pressed flat and makes contact with both trays.

    Now, season the toothfish fillets with salt, wrap in baking paper, then place on the top baking tray.

    Place the whole tray stack into the oven on the centre rack. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the fish parcels from the top tray and transfer to a plate to rest. Leave the trays and the skin in the oven for a further 2 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven, remove trays and paper, and leave to cool. The skin will become crisper as it cools.

    Finally, for the grapefruit sauce, heat the chicken stock and pepper in a shallow frying pan until simmering. Allow to reduce slightly, then add the butter, a couple of cubes at a time, whisking as you go until emulsified and thickened. Mix in the grapefruit zest and juice and season to taste with salt.

    Just prior to serving, mix the black barley dressing with barley, then add the almonds and finely chopped sea parsley. Adjust salt, and add a touch of lemon juice as needed, then toads to coat.

    Spoon black barley pilaf onto plates, add toothfish fillets and steamed vegetables, spoon the sauce around, then top with crisp skin and sea parsley leaves to serve.

  • White wine corzetti with roasted Glacier 51 Toothfish

    Glacier 51 Toothfish is the incredible finishing touch on this handmade pasta dish from James Higgs, with totally moppable cherry tomato sugo.

    500g Glacier 51 toothfish
    100g butter
    1 rosemary sprig
    2 garlic cloves

    Cherry tomato sugo
    200g neutral oil (such as canola or vegetable oil)
    5 garlic cloves, sliced
    500g onion, finely diced
    100ml white wine
    500g cherry tomatoes
    2 anchovy fillets
    Tomato passata, as required
    20g tarragon leaves, chopped

    White wine corzetti
    750g pasta (‘00’) flour
    10 egg yolks
    Splash of olive oil
    200ml white wine

    Sift flour into a bowl, add egg yolks and a splash of olive oil and the white wine, then with a fork, beat the eggs and bring the dough together. Knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Roll out on a lightly floured surface or through a pasta roller, until 2-3 mm thick, then cut into circles with a cutter. Alternatively, you can buy any pasta of your choice.

    For the cherry tomato sugo, add the oil to a heavy-based saucepan and place over medium heat. Fry the garlic in the oil, then add the onions and cook, stirring, for 15-20 minutes until sweet and soft. Add the wine and cook until it reduces down and is nearly evaporated. Season to taste, then add cherry tomatoes and anchovies, plus a splash of passata for colour. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes and anchovies are broken down and saucy. Remove from the heat and stir in tarragon to finish.

    Heat the oven to 200°C. Place toothfish in a baking tray, add butter, rosemary and garlic and roast, spooning melted butter over the fish once or twice, for 6-10 minutes or until cooked through.

    Cook the pasta for at least 4 minutes in a large saucepan of boiling water until al dente, drain, then divide among plates. Spoon the sugo over the top, then flake the toothfish into large pieces and spread it over. Drizzle with olive oil to finish.

  • Laksa-glazed Skull Island Tiger Prawns

    Laksa is given new life in James Higgs’ spin on the Southeast Asian classic, where the soup base turns into a sauce for pan-fried Skull Island Tiger Prawns.

    10 Skull Island Tiger Prawns, peeled (tails intact) and deveined (reserve the shells and heads)
    ¼ cup (60ml) vegetable oil
    1 cup (250ml) fish stock
    Coriander leaves, to serve
    Lime wedges, to serve

    Laksa paste (see note)
    3 eschalots
    2 garlic cloves
    1 knob of ginger
    3 lemongrass stalks
    1 bunch coriander roots, scraped clean
    Finely grated zest of 1 lime
    5g ground coriander seeds
    3g ground cumin
    2g ground turmeric
    Splash of vegetable oil
    Coconut cream, to taste
    Belacan (shrimp paste; optional), to taste
    Sambal oelek (optional), to taste
    Butter, to taste

    Quick-pickled shallots
    1 eschalot, thinly sliced into rings
    ¼ cup (60ml) white wine vinegar
    ¼ cup (55g) caster sugar

    For the quick-pickled shallots, combine all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl and set aside until ready to serve.

    For the laksa paste, combine all ingredients, except coconut cream, belacan, sambal and butter, in a blender and blitz to a paste.

    Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add the prawn heads and shells and fry until nicely caramelised and the oil takes on their colour. Strain, reserving oil for later, then add the stock to the saucepan, add prawn heads and shells back in, and simmer away gently until slightly reduced and nicely flavoured, about 10-15 minutes.

    In a separate saucepan, heat a splash of vegetable oil over medium heat, add the laksa paste, stir briefly, then pour in the prawn stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a thick sauce-like consistency.

    Strain well, adjusting with belacan and sambal to taste, then seasoning to taste. Add the coconut cream and butter to taste, simmering until the sauce is thickened and enriched.

    Finally, heat the reserved prawn oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, then add the prawns and cook, turning once, until almost cooked through.

    Divide the laksa sauce among bowls, arrange prawns on top, then top with pickled shallots and coriander and serve with lime wedges.

    Note: If you’re not up for making your own laksa paste, a good jarred one will do nicely.

  • Savoury cannoli with Skull Island Tiger Prawn tartare

    Italian, but not as you know it, Fabiano Pedroni’s crudo of Skull Island Tiger Prawns is stuffed into savoury cannoli for added crunch and extra interest.

    Serves 2-3 as a starter

    6 x 15 cm Skull Island Tiger Prawns, peeled and deveined (reserve heads and tails to serve if you desired)
    Strained juice of 2 mandarins
    1 sprig bush mint (or any other mint), leaves finely chopped
    Finely ground pink (or black) peppercorns, to taste
    Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
    6 dried cannelloni pasta tubes, for rolling
    Microherbs, to serve

    Cannoli – note as a cheat, you can pre-purchase ready-made cannoli from your local Italian store
    88g butter
    88g white wine
    10g salt
    500 plain flour
    Vegetable oil, for deep-frying

    For the cannoli, melt the butter in a small saucepan with the white wine and the salt, stirring to combine. Allow to cool briefly, then add to the flour in a bowl and knead until smooth. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to rest.

    Mince the prawn meat finely with a sharp knife (not too fine or the mixture will become mushy). Place in a bowl, add mandarin juice, bush mint and a grind or two of pepper, then season with a pinch or two of salt flakes and a drizzle of olive oil. Toss to coat, then refrigerate until needed.

    Roll out the cannoli dough on a lightly floured work surface to thin sheets, then cut into rings with a 6 cm ring cutter or glass.

    Half-fill a large saucepan or deep-fryer with oil and heat it to 170°C. Grease the cannelloni pasta tubes with oil to avoid the dough sticking, then roll a circle of dough around each tube, sealing gently. Gently lower each piece into the hot oil and fry, turning occasionally, until crisp and golden. Drain on a wire rack, then once cool enough to handle, slide the cannoli off the tubes. Leave to cool. (Alternatively, you can buy premade cannoli.) If you like, you can briefly deep-fry the prawn heads and tails to give them colour, too.

    Arrange 2 cannoli on each serving plate, stuff with the prawn tartare, and arrange the prawn heads and tails at either end to serve. Garnish with some microherbs and enjoy with a glass of pet-nat or franciacorta.

  • Stuffed pappardelle with whipped Glacier 51 Toothfish, creamed peas and dill oil

    A dish from Fabiano Pedroni that turns pappardelle into ravioli, stuffed with whipped Glacier 51 Toothfish and topped with creamed peas.

    Serves 4–6

    Fresh peas, to serve
    Dill sprigs, to serve
    500g fresh pappardelle (see note)
    Eggwhite, beaten, for brushing

    Whipped toothfish
    2 teaspoons olive oil
    1 eschalot, finely chopped
    10 peppercorns
    1 bay leaf
    Splash of white wine
    1 litre milk
    1 potato, cut into 1 cm dice
    1 Glacier 51 Toothfish fillet, skin removed

    Creamed peas
    2 teaspoons olive oil
    1 eschalot, finely chopped
    400g fresh peas
    Splash of white wine
    Pinch of guar gum (optional)

    Dill oil
    100g dill
    100ml canola oil

    For the whipped toothfish, heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add the eschalot, peppercorns, bay leaf and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3-5 minutes.

    Add the splash of white wine, scraping the bottom of the pan, then pour in the milk and add the potato and toothfish.

    Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potato is cooked through and the fish is on the point of breaking down.

    Strain through a fine sieve and transfer the solids to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Whip the toothfish mixture, adding a little of the reserved liquid if necessary, until mostly smooth. Transfer to a piping bag, then chill.

    For the creamed peas, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add the eschalot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3-5 minutes.

    Add the peas, stir to coat, then add a splash of white wine, scraping the bottom of the pan. Add ½ cup (125ml) or so of boiling water, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for no more than 3 minutes until peas are tender.

    Strain, reserving the liquid, then transfer pea mixture to a blender and blend, adding a little of the reserved liquid as needed, until smooth (you can also add a tiny bit of guar gum here to help the texture).

    Strain again, pushing it through a sieve with the back of a spoon, then set aside.

    For the dill oil, plunge the dill into a saucepan of boiling water for a minute, then transfer to an ice bath. Once it’s cooled, drain it well, then place it into a clean tea towel and squeeze it as dry as possible. Transfer to a blender, add the oil and blend until the oil turns green. Strain oil through a Chux, muslin or oil filter – letting it drip by itself and not forcing it.

    Spread the pappardelle on a bench, pipe a thin line of filling along half the strands, then brush with a little eggwhite and seal each piece with another piece of pappardelle. Coil each piece into a spiral-shaped nest, sealing it with a little eggwhite.

    Cook stuffed pappardelle in a saucepan of salted boiling water for 3 minutes, then arrange on plates or bowls. Top with any reserved whipped toothfish, along with the creamed peas, some fresh peas, the dill oil and some dill leaves to serve.

    Enjoy with a glass of sémillon sauvignon blanc or a ribolla gialla.

    Note: If you can’t get fresh pappardelle, you can boil the pasta briefly until par-cooked, then strain it, lay it out and stuff it, then seal and finish boiling.

  • Nori-wrapped Glacier 51 Toothfish with honey-citrus miso

    A dish from Yu Hung Cheng that shows off the sweetness of Glacier 51 toothfish, accenting it with crisp nori and a sweet, citrus-infused miso sauce.

    Serves 4

    4 Glacier 51 toothfish fillets
    4 nori sheets
    1 tablespoon vegetable oil

    Honey-citrus miso
    1 teaspoon vegetable oil
    20g finely chopped ginger
    80g white miso paste
    200g chicken stock
    240g orange marmalade
    Finely grated zest of 2 oranges
    Finely grated zest of 1 lime, plus extra to serve

    For the honey-citrus miso, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add the ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant.

    Add the miso, chicken stock and marmalade, mix well, then bring to the boil. Boil, swirling occasionally, until reduced to a sauce-like consistency. Pass through a fine sieve, then stir in the orange and lime zest.

    Place a toothfish fillet in the centre of a nori sheet, trim off excess nori on the left and right side (keep the top and bottom), then wrap the toothfish in nori, brushing the edges with a little water to help seal. Repeat with remaining toothfish and nori.

    Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat, add the oil, then the nori-wrapped toothfish and cook, turning halfway, for 4-6 minutes until nori is gently toasted and the fish looks set (to test it, use a needle or clean paperclip and slide it into the fish – if there’s no resistance, it’s cooked).

    Cut each piece of toothfish into four slices, plate with the sauce and finish with extra lime zest.

  • Steamed Glacier 51 Toothfish with curry panko and mirin soy sauce

    Yu Hung Cheng presents a dish that keeps things simple, letting the Glacier 51 toothfish be the star, with just enough interest from crisp curry-flavoured breadcrumbs.

    Serves 4

    4 Glacier 51 toothfish fillets
    Olive oil, to serve

    Curry panko
    1½ tablespoons vegetable oil
    60g panko breadcrumbs
    10g white sesame seeds
    20g Sichuan chilli bean paste (doubanjiang; from Asian grocers)
    6g light soy sauce
    20g caster sugar
    10g coriander, finely chopped
    30g spring onion, finely chopped
    3g curry powder

    For the curry panko, heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the panko and sesame seeds and fry, stirring, for 3-5 minutes or until lightly golden.

    Add chilli bean paste, soy sauce and caster sugar, stir until well combined. Then add the coriander, spring onion and coriander and toss to combine. Season to taste and set aside until needed.

    Place the toothfish in a steamer and set it over a saucepan of boiling water to steam for 5-10 mins, depending on how thick the fish is (to test it, use a needle or clean paperclip and slide it into the fish – if there’s no resistance, it’s cooked). Alternatively, you can wrap the fish in baking paper and bake it in a 170°C oven for about 10 minutes.

    To serve, divide the fish among plates and top with a couple of tablespoons of curry panko. Drizzle with olive oil to serve.

  • Skull Island Tiger Prawns with toasted coconut, makrut lime and lemongrass

    Coconut, makrut lime, lemongrass, a herb salad. Skull Island Tiger Prawns never had such firm friends than in this dish from Yu Hung Cheng.

    Serves 2-3 as a starter

    15g shredded coconut
    15g peanuts
    15g brown sugar
    1½ tablespoons lime juice
    3 teaspoons fish sauce
    1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    10 Skull Island Tiger Prawns, peeled and deveined, heads and tails intact
    15g finely chopped lemongrass
    5 makrut lime leaves, finely chopped
    1 small handful mint leaves, roughly chopped
    1 handful coriander leaves, roughly chopped
    ¼ long red chilli, roughly chopped

    Toast the coconut in a dry frying pan, tossing, until lightly golden. Remove and set aside, then do the same with the peanuts.

    Mix the brown sugar, lime juice and fish sauce in a small bowl to dissolve sugar and set aside until needed.

    Heat a frying pan over high heat, pour in the oil, swirling it around, then add the prawns. Fry until golden, then turn and repeat with the other side until almost cooked through. Pour in the fish sauce mixture, allow it to reduce slightly, then add the remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Season to taste.

    Divide prawns among plates to serve, or serve them all on a platter.

  • South West Octopus salad with Yakult feta and citrus dressing

    Yakult you say? Here the supermarket staple brings added interest to Yu Hung Cheng’s creamy whipped feta, which underscores a fragrant South West octopus salad.

    Serves 4

    400g South West Octopus tentacles
    ½ fennel bulb, thinly sliced, plus fronds to serve
    ½ red onion, thinly sliced
    80g cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
    ⅓ bunch Thai basil, leaves chopped, plus extra whole leaves to serve
    ¼ long red chilli, thinly sliced

    Yakult feta
    200g feta
    1 packet of Yakult
    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

    Citrus dressing
    ¼ cup (60 ml) orange juice, plus finely grated zest of 2 oranges
    2 teaspoons Sriracha
    1 teaspoon paprika
    ½ garlic clove, minced
    200ml lemon-infused olive oil

    Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, add the octopus and boil, topping up water as needed, for 40-50 minutes or until tender (if a skewer goes into the flesh easily, it’s done).

    Plunge the octopus into cold water and leave to cool. Once cooled, refrigerate until needed.

    For the yakult feta, mix the feta, yakult and olive oil together until well combined (use a stick blender if you’d like a smoother texture).

    For the citrus dressing, whisk all ingredients, except the oil, together in a bowl, then slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking as you go until emulsified.

    Slice the octopus into bite-sized pieces, then toss with the fennel, onion, tomato, Thai basil and chilli. Toss with the dressing and season to taste.

    Spread some of the Yakult feta on plates or a platter, and arrange the octopus salad on top, topping it with reserved fennel fronds and basil leaves to serve.

  • South West Octopus with crisp potato, romesco, caramelised grapes and mozzarella

    Classic flavours combine in another dish from Yu Hung Cheng, with char-grilled South West Octopus, crisp-fried potato and sauce-of-the-moment, romesco.

    Serves 5
    1kg South West Octopus tentacles (about 5-6 legs)
    Fennel fronds and thinly sliced radishes, to serve

    Crispy potato
    4 royal blue potatoes
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    3 garlic cloves
    4g smoked paprika
    ½ bunch of chives, thinly sliced

    1 red capsicum
    1 long red chilli
    1 tomato
    75g roasted almonds
    3 garlic cloves
    1½ tablespoons chardonnay vinegar
    4g smoked paprika
    2½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

    Caramelised grapes
    10 white grapes, cut in half (cut in half)
    1 mozzarella ball, torn into small pieces

    Rinse the octopus well. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, then plunge it in and remove it three times to help tenderise it, before putting it back in and boiling it for 45-60 minutes, until tender (if a skewer goes into the flesh easily, it’s done; or you can always taste a little). Remove from the heat and let the octopus cool completely in the liquid.

    Meanwhile, for the romesco, grill the capsicum, chilli and tomatoes over a direct flame (either a barbecue or directly over a gas flame), turning occasionally, until blackened all over and soft. Transfer to a metal bowl, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and stand for about 10 minutes. This will help loosen the skins.

    Once cool enough to handle, peel and discard the skin (try not to rinse them) and remove any seeds by hand. Transfer to a food processor or blender, add remaining ingredients, except the oil, and blitz until a coarse or fine purée, depending on your preference. With the motor running, slowly add in the olive oil until emulsified. Set aside.

    Peel the potatoes and dice into bite-sized pieces. Place in a saucepan filled with cold water, then bring to the boil. Once boiling, cook for another 2-3 minutes until almost tender – a knife should slide in, but not too easily. Pour out the water, then cover the saucepan with a lid or plate and shake the pot four or five times to agitate the potato and rough up the sides (this will help give it a crisp skin).

    Heat the oil in a frying pan over high heat, add the potato and cook, turning occasionally, until crisp and golden all over. Add the garlic, toss until golden, then add the chives and smoked paprika and season to taste with salt.

    For the caramelised grapes, in a separate frying pan over high heat, add the grapes, cut-side down, until they just get colour. Remove from the pan and toss with mozzarella.

    Finally, heat a large frying pan until smoking, then add the octopus and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until nicely charred. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    To serve, spread some romesco on plates, top with the octopus, crispy potato and caramelised grapes and finish with fennel fronds and radish.

  • Pan-fried Glacier 51 Toothfish with leek, ginger-shallot sauce verde and gochujang

    Yu Hung Cheng’s riff on a Cantonese favourite sees Glacier 51 toothfish accented with ginger-shallot sauce, then given just a little heat with a drizzle of gochujang to finish.

    Serves 5

    70g garlic, thinly sliced
    25g long red chilli, thinly sliced
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus extra for brushing
    190g leek, thinly sliced
    145g onion, thinly sliced
    25g ginger, thinly sliced
    1 tablespoon hua diao (Chinese cooking wine; or Shaoxing)
    20g coriander
    Few drops of Worcestershire sauce
    5 Glacier 51 toothfish fillets, skin removed
    20g cornflour

    Ginger-shallot sauce verde
    100g spring onion, roughly chopped, then blitzed quickly with a food processor
    60g ginger, roughly chopped, then blitzed quickly with a food processor
    ⅓ cup (80ml) vegetable oil
    16g caster sugar
    1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn oil
    1 teaspoon salt
    2g white pepper

    Seasoned gochujang
    25g gochujang
    1 garlic clove, finely grated
    2 teaspoons mirin
    2 teaspoons white vinegar
    1½ teaspoons sesame oil
    1 teaspoon tomato sauce
    1 teaspoon caster sugar

    For the ginger-shallot sauce verde, heat the oil in a small saucepan until just smoking. Pour the oil over the spring onion and ginger in a heatproof bowl, stirring to coat. It should sizzle and soften. Cool, add remaining ingredients, then pulse in a food processor to a coarse paste.

    For the seasoned gochujang, stir all ingredients together in a small bowl.

    To make a garnish, place the oil, garlic and chilli in a frying pan, then place over high heat. Stir until the fragrance comes out, then add the onion and ginger. Stir-fry until it begins to turn golden, then add the hua diao in a couple of batches, letting it reduce each time, to deglaze. Turn off the heat, then add the coriander and Worcestershire sauce and season to taste with salt and white pepper.

    Preheat the oven at 170°C. Brush the toothfish with some oil, then toss in cornflour to coat. Heat a frying pan over high heat until smoking, add remaining oil, then add the fish. Fry for 1-2 minutes until golden, then flip over and do the same on the other side. Transfer to the oven and cook for a further 2-4 minutes until just set (to test it, use a needle or clean paperclip and slide it into the fish – if there’s no resistance, it’s cooked). Spoon ginger-shallot sauce verge onto plates, top with toothfish and leek garnish, then drizzle seasoned gochujang around to serve.