Chef's Recipes

Escabeche of Murray cod with saffron and currants

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for escabeche of Murray cod with saffron and currants by Brigitte Hafner and Stefano De Pieri.

By Brigitte Hafner & Stefano De Pieri
  • 10 mins preparation
  • 25 mins cooking plus cooling
  • Serves 6
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Escabeche of Murray cod with saffron and currants
"I've always made this classic Italian dish with an oily fish such as red mullet or fresh sardines," says Hafner. "Stefano introduced me to the idea of using Murray cod, which has a firm texture and really lends itself to this style of soused fish."


  • 1 tsp saffron threads
  • 35 gm (¼ cup) pine nuts
  • 800 gm Murray cod fillets
  • For dusting: plain flour
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • 300 ml dry white wine
  • 150 ml white wine vinegar
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 40 gm (¼ cup) currants, soaked in cold water for 1 hour and drained
  • 2 tbsp coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 180C. Toast the saffron threads in the oven for 30 seconds, then soak in 80ml hot water. Toast the pine nuts in oven until golden (6-8 minutes).
  • 2
    Cut fish into bite-size pieces, dredge in flour and shake off excess (you want a fine dusting). Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add half the oil and the fish and until pale golden all over (3-4 minutes). Transfer fish to a deep non-reactive dish.
  • 3
    Sweat onion in remaining oil in a saucepan over low heat until soft and translucent but not brown (6-8 minutes). Add carrot and a sprinkle of salt and continue to sweat with a lid half covering the pan until vegetables are soft and light golden (4-6 minutes). Add wine, vinegar, 125ml water, saffron water, bay leaves and peppercorns and simmer for 5 minutes. Add salt to taste and pour over fish. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least an hour. Serve scattered with currants, parsley and pine nuts.


Drink Suggestion: Moondarra “After Kathleen” 2013. Drink suggestion by James Broadway