Szechuan and Fennel Seed Flake Fillets with Tomato and Saffron Butter Beans

On Friday, March 1st, 2013

  • Cooking time: Less than 60 minutes
  • Cuisine: Chinese-Modern Australian
  • Healthy options: Healthy-Low fat
  • Serves: 4
  • Type: Budget-Seafood-Family


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Few strands of saffron
  • ½ cup vegetable stock
  • 2 x 400g tins butter beans, drained & rinsed
  • Handful parsley leaves, chopped roughly
  • Sea salt flakes & cracked black pepper
  • 1½ tsp Szechuan peppercorns
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 720g flake fillets, or fish of choice
  • Salad leaves, to serve


  • Sharp knife
  • Colander
  • Large saucepan with lid
  • Wooden spoon
  • Large frying pan
  • Mortar & pestle
  • Chopping board
  • Fish slice

Preparation method

Heat half the oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for 7 mins, until softened and lightly coloured. Add garlic and tomatoes and cook for 2 mins.

Add saffron and stock to pan and simmer for 5 mins, then add beans. Reduce heat to low. Cover pan with lid until beans have warmed through. Sprinkle with parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Make pepper mix Meanwhile, place Szechuan pepper, 1 tsp sea salt flakes and fennel seeds in frying pan over medium-high heat for several mins to toast, tossing occasionally until fragrant.

Remove from pan and allow pepper mix to cool, then grind using mortar and pestle.

Heat remaining oil in same saucepan over medium-high heat. Halve fish fillets and cook for about 2 mins each side (depending on thickness) until just cooked through.

To serve Season fish with Szechuan pepper mix and serve on bed of tomato and saffron butter beans, with leafy salad on the side.

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