Chef's Recipes

Three Blue Ducks' raw fish, buttermilk, ginger, rhubarb and fennel

Australian Gourmet Traveller feature recipe for Raw fish, buttermilk, ginger, rhubarb and fennel

By Darren Robertson & Mark LaBrooy
  • Serves 6 - 8
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 5 mins cooking (plus pickling rhubarb overnight and cooling)
Raw fish, buttermilk, ginger, rhubarb and fennel
Raw fish, buttermilk, ginger, rhubarb and fennel

"Raw fish is an excellent hot weather entrée," says Darren Robertson. "We've used flame-tail snapper, but use whatever is best at the market on the day. Snapper and kingfish are always great options." Start this recipe a day ahead to pickle the rhubarb.


  • 200 ml buttermilk
  • Juice of 1 lime, finely grated rind of ½, plus extra wedges to serve
  • 1 tbsp finely grated ginger
  • 500 gm sashimi-grade white fish fillet
  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthways and sliced
  • Fennel flowers or fennel pollen (optional) and extra-virgin olive oil, to serve
Pickled rhubarb
  • 100 ml white wine vinegar
  • 2½ tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 rhubarb stalk, thinly sliced
  • 1 long red chilli, thinly sliced


  • 1
    For pickled rhubarb, stir vinegar, sugar, star anise and 100ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat to dissolve sugar, then bring to the boil. Remove from heat and cool (15-20 minutes). Add rhubarb and chilli and refrigerate for at least 24 hours to pickle.
  • 2
    Whisk buttermilk, lime juice and rind, ginger and about 1 tbsp drained pickled rhubarb in a bowl to combine. Season to taste.
  • 3
    Thinly slice the fish across the grain with a very sharp knife, then combine in a bowl with cucumber and a little buttermilk dressing. Toss to coat, then arrange on a serving plate, scatter with pickled rhubarb and fennel flowers or pollen, drizzle with extra buttermilk dressing and extra-virgin olive oil, and serve.


Drink Suggestion: Lemony, chalky dry sémillon. Drink suggestion by Max Allen

  • Author: Darren Robertson & Mark LaBrooy