• Grilled flathead, broccolini and chilli (Food Safari Water)Source: Food Safari Water

Use a seasoned hard wood for the fire, preferably apple wood. Food Safari Water






Skill level

Average: 3.4 (15 votes)


  • 1 flathead (800 g- 1 kg), scaled and gutted
  • sea salt
  • 1 bunch broccolini
  • 150 ml robust, zesty extra-virgin olive oil such as picual, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 red chilli, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp cava vinegar
  • 1 lemon 
  • Sprinkling of fresh sea blite (see note) and brassica flowers, to serve

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.


Prepare the fire and allow to slowly burn down to embers.

Rinse the fish quickly and pat dry well. Trim off and discard the dorsal and anal fins, keeping the pectoral and pelvic fins, which are the gelatinous wings. Season the cavity well, lightly drizzle with oil and place in a fish rack over evenly distributed embers. Grill for 15-18 minutes, turning half way through cooking. The eyes should begin to pop.

Invert the cooked fish onto a tray. Season well and leave in a warm place to rest and finish cooking. You should find it easy to insert the blunt end of a spoon in the spine.

Meanwhile, toss the broccolini lightly in a little olive oil and grill for 2 minutes until slightly charred. Season.

In a small frying pan, gently heat the olive oil and chilli until light golden and pour over the fish along with the vinegar. Holding the fish with a spatula, tilt the tray and pour all the gelatinous fish juices, vinegar and oil back into the pan. Bring back up to the heat whilst whisking continuously, allowing an emulsion to form before adding the parsley.

Place the grilled broccolini on a serving tray and finely grate a little lemon zest over the top. Placing the flathead on top, pour the emulsion over and serve immediately garnished with sea blite and brassica flowers.

• Sea blite is an edible coastal plant related to samphire and can be eaten fresh, sautéed or blanched. Use a little parsley if unavailable.


Maeve O'Meara is back in Food Safari Water starting 8pm, Wednesday 1 August on SBS and then you can catch-up on all episodes via SBS On Demand. Visit the program page for recipes, videos and more.