Bar Lourinha is a small tapas bar nestled out of the way in the heart of Melbourne. While all the tapas is great, the dish that blew me away the first time i went there was the Kingfish pancetta. A beautiful piece of kingfish cured in spices served bathed in oil with thinly sliced spanish onion and thyme. From my first tasting, I was determined to figure out how to recreate it… Well after a number of trials, some relatively successful, some too salty, some over spiced I have started to get close to recreating this terrific dish… I have no idea whether what i have come up with is actually the real recipe but its a close enough approximation and is bound to impress friends and family. So without further ado, here is the recipe…
1/4tsp ground allspice
1/4tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1tsp of paprika (sweet is probably the go first of all but it also works well with smokey and hot paprika although does start to stray from the inspiration for the dish)
A good pinch of chopped thyme
Salt- I’m not sure of the amount, I do it by eye and use a half handful for a side of fish, probably somewhere between 70 and 100 grams
Mix the ingredients above and roll the kingfish sides in it making sure its well covered. Then wrap the fish in cling wrap and put it in the fridge for 4-6 hours.
Then take out the fish, unwrap it and dry it with paper towel. After that simply wrap it in muslin or paper towel and leave it in the fridge for at least 24 hours, but its better if you leave it for two days.
To serve, slice it thinly and arrange it as prettily as possible. Neatly place some thinly sliced spanish onion on the fish, some thyme leaves and pour a lot of good olive oil all over your creation. Just before serving squeeze over some lemon and your done… I think Bar Lourinha’s original is served with a lemon infused oil, but being lazy I haven’t yet tried that and oil and lemon juice works almost as well. Enjoy.
If you do try it. Please post your experiences and any possible improvements. While the current recipe is getting close, its still not quite there and I’m still experimenting a little bit with it. Any help would be much appreciated…
Over the weekend, I also tried a kingfish beetroot gravlax. The beetroot adds and an earthiness and also an insane pink colour to the fish. I am going to play around with the recipe a bit and once I’m happy with it will post it on the blog.