King Fish Crudo

Kingfish Crudo

Serves 4 – 6

Recipe by Tom Hishon

It’s been a cracking summer here in Aotearoa. Last week I was out on the water with a few mates fishing the Hauraki gulf, hoping to catch a Kingfish. The water was glassy and the tide was an hour off high, birds pointing us to the work ups. Kahawai were feeding on anchovies and pilchards. The Kingfish had arrived and we were excited.

It was a successful morning – we landed a Kingy. High fives were given and many cries of YES played out. We caught the fish using a line and hook, then Ikijime to humanely put it to rest on ice. Over the coming week, every part of the fish was utilised by way of hot smoking, curing, sashimi, bbq’d steaks, broth and fish pies. I feel a strong sense of gratitude to have access to a wild fishery at my doorstep. By way of respect I follow a simple rule, take less use more.

I created this dish to reflect the present season and champion a remarkable fish.

Mauri Ora

Tom Hishon
Chef and Co Owner
Orphans Kitchen | Daily Bread
Auckland, Aotearoa


300g kingfish loin – skin off and blood line trimmed
3 passionfruit
180ml extra virgin olive oil
1 green chilli – thinly slice keeping seeds
2 kaffir lime leaves
8 sprigs thyme
1 clove garlic – cracked
Flaky sea salt
Basil (to ganish)


Using a sharp knife thinly slice the kingfish against the grain, the fish should be 2mm – 3mm in thickness and resemble a medallion. Place the pieces of fish close together on a edged dish. Season each piece with the salt and set aside in the fridge for 15 minutes to lightly cure.

In a saucepan heat the olive oil, thyme, garlic, kaffir leaves and ½ the sliced green chilli and its seeds. Infuse the herbs by bringing the temperature up to 115 degrees celsius, once the oil has reached this degree drop the heat immediately. Fine bubbles will appear and this is a good indication that it is infusing, continue this for a couple minutes then take off the heat. If you have a temperature thermometer probe the oil, it should reach 115 degrees, if you don’t then just trust your gut. Strain the oil into a jug and let it come down to 50 degrees before pouring the warm oil over the cured Kingfish. Marinade for a further 10 minutes at room temperature.

Lay 6 to 7 pieces of the fish on a flat plate, and spoon over a little of the left over oil. Place a piece of the sliced green chilli on top of each then repeat this with the basil leaves. Cut the passionfruit in half and using a teaspoon scoop out the seeds dispersing them around the plate sporadically.

This dish is great as an entree or appetizer and is fantastic served alongside toasted garlic sourdough. If you don’t have access to this fish then Kahawai, Trevally, Skipjack tuna, Blue Mackerel will also be delicious.