The success of this simple yet delicious recipe by Stefano de Pieri depends on getting the freshest fish you can lay your hands on. That's the hardest part. Then you just need to wait for the orange, star anise and fennel to work their magic as the fish cures overnight. Serve thinly sliced as an appetiser or with a delicate side salad as a light entree.




Skill level

Average: 3.2 (75 votes)


  • 1 side kingfish, skin on, cut in half lengthways
  • 3 oranges 
  • ¼ cup salt
  • 1 tsp ground fennel seed
  • 1 ground star anise
  • a few sprigs of thyme


Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time 24 hours

You will need to begin this recipe one day ahead.

  1. Zest and juice the oranges. Clean the blood line out of the fish and remove the bones. Place the fillets skin-side down on a tray. Sprinkle half the salt over fish, then scatter with the ground spices, zest and thyme. Cover with orange juice and the remaining salt and wrap the tray in plastic wrap. 
  2. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
  3. To serve, unwrap the fish gently scrape the spices, zest and herbs off the flesh. Starting at the thicker end and working on a 45 degree angle, thinly slice the fish and serve.