Jack Stein exclusive: Pan fried herring fillets, hot pickled slaw and fried capers

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Serves 2 as a starter

This delicious and original recipe comes to you from Jack Stein, son of celebrated chef Rick Stein.
Jack has spent years working in the kitchens of The Seafood Restaurant and Rick Stein's Cafe, before travelling to Paris, Australia and the Far East. Upon his return to Padstow, he progressed to sous chef at The Seafood Restaurant before moving onto this current role as head of development for the whole company. 

Salt the flesh side of the herring and leave for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, create the pickling liquid by combining the vinegar, water and dashi granules in a pan and warm gently over a low heat. 

Wash the salt off the herring and lay it on a plate, skin side up and pour over the pickling liquid, so that it covers the flesh side but does not completely submerges the fillets. Leave to pickle for 10 minutes, then remove from the pickling liquid and pat dry, reserving the liquid.
Heat the vegetable oil in a pan and fry the capers until crispy, leave to dry on kitchen paper.

For the slaw, cut the carrot and shallot into thin strips and place in a pan with the juniper berries, peppercorns, star anise, thyme, chilli and a good pinch of salt. Pour the reserved pickling liquid over the slaw, bring to the boil and take off the heat.

Take the herring fillets and fry them skin side down on a moderate heat for 1 & ½ - 2 minutes, add a knob of butter to finish.
Once cooked assemble with some of the warm pickled slaw, the fillets of herring, capers and a few sprigs of chervil. Deglaze the pan with some of the pickling liquor, reduce briefly, and use to sauce the plate.

Sommelier's choice from our selection:

Vouvray Demi Sec 2010 by Les Coteaux Tufiers
A delicious off-dry style of Chenin Blanc with honeyed, nutty aromas. On the palate lush fruit is balanced by an underlining minerality which results in an elegant and long finish. Will cellar brilliantly for as many as ten years becoming even more concentrated and fine.

Torrontes Reserva 2010 by Nieto Senetir
Delicate flower blossom combines perfectly with herbaceous, white peach and orange peel notes. Well-balanced, weighty palate - floral but poised and very drinkable! Exhibits a pleasing perfume of spring flowers, lemon, and tropical fruits leading to a just off-dry, medium-dry finish.

Riesling 2010 by Weinhouse Ress
A crisp, medium-bodied dry Riesling, with lemon, lime and apple fruit flavours, a nice floral lift and a clean finish. Accompanies Asian food, salmon, chicken and tuna

Image courtesy of Robert Sroga

  • 4 herring fillets
  • 100 ml rice wine or white wine vinegar
  • 25 ml water ½ tsp dashi granules (optional)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 50 g carrot, finely sliced
  • 25g shallot, finely sliced
  • 2 juniper berries
  • 2 black peppercorns
  • 1 star anise
  • A sprig of thyme
  • Small pinch of chilli
  • Knob of butter
  • 1 tsp capers
  • A few springs of chervil
  • Salt to taste