Al Brown's Roasted Groper with Tomato Basil Salad and Tamarind Dressing

I eat dishes like this all the time. Simplicity is the key. Beautiful product handled as little as possible without a whole lot of muddling and confusing flavours on the plate. Super fresh groper (or other fish with thick flakes), vine ripened tomato’s, basil and a terrifically simple Tamarind dressing. Make it, you’ll love it!

Serves 6

Step 1. Tamarind Palm Sugar Vinaigrette


75gm Tamarind 50gm Palm sugar (Brown Sugar is also fine)

2/3 Cup Hot Water

1 Tbl Lemon Juice

1 tsp Salt

Fresh Grind of Black Pepper

¼ Cup Canola Oil


In a bowl, break up the tamarind with your fingers, then rough chop the palm sugar and add along with the hot water. Let this sit for five minutes. Rework with your fingers to make sure the sugar is dissolved, then pass the liquid through a fine sieve and discard the tamarind coarse pulp.

Add the lemon juice, salt and fresh black pepper, then finally whisk in the canola oil. Check seasoning then refrigerate.

Step 2. Rustic Croutons


1 Baguette

40gm Butter

¼ Cup Canola Oil

Salt and Pepper


Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Carefully remove the crust from the baguette. Now with your fingers just rip up the inner white bread into small rough pieces.

Place a skillet or sauté pan on medium heat and add the butter and oil. Once melted, toss in the ripped up bread. Coat with the butter and oil, season salt and pepper, then tip onto an oven tray and place in the oven. Cook for around five minutes until golden. Remove and cool before storing in an air tight container until needed.

Step 3. Cooking and Serving


1.5 Kg Tomatoes

2 Red Onions

1 Bag Basil

1.2 kg Groper Fillet

Cooking Oil

Rustic Croutons

Tamarind Dressing

Sea Salt and Fresh Black Pepper


Slice the tomatoes into rounds and spread out onto a platter. Top these with thin rings of red onion. Randomly rip up the basil leaves and sprinkle over the salad.

For the Groper heat up a skillet or sauté pan over high heat. Cut the fillets into 6 portions and season liberally. Once the pan is hot, add a little cooking oil and cook 3 pieces of the Groper at a time. Once golden on the first side flip on to the other and turn the heat down a little to finish cooking through. Remove from the pan and keep warm while you repeat the process with the remaining 3 portions.

Portion out the tomato salad, spoon over some of the Tamarind dressing then top with a piece of Groper. Sprinkle over some of the rustic croutons and serve immediately.

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