Credit: Earl Carter

Grilled kingfish collar with tare and yuzu kosho

David Moyle is a chef. He is a food editor of The Saturday Paper.

Credit: Earl Carter

What is more fitting for summer lunch on an island continent than fresh seafood? Because my chef brother-in-law is also a keen diver, our family meals are often brimming with whole fish, abalone, clams and crayfish. How lucky are we?

The beauty of working with whole fish is that each part tends to be suited to a different style of preparation. The top loin is generally best served raw. The tail is ideal steamed or baked. The belly is best for smoking. The head is great for stock. And the wing/collar is perfect for grilling.

Grilling or smoking loves sweetness and tends to capture and accentuate the taste of the wood. This method is more about basting than marinating, but often such recipes call for the fish to be brined.

I find that with kingfish the best results occur from a gentle bath in tare prior to putting it on the grill. And befitting of the season these collars are best eaten with your hands. And your mouth, of course.

Wine pairing:

2016 Ruggabellus Quomodo white blend, Barossa Valley ($44) – Mike Bennie, wine and drinks journalist.


Serves 4

  • 2 kingfish collars


  • 300ml mirin
  • 200ml fish sauce, plus a 10ml splash
  • 30ml rice wine vinegar
  • 15ml of kombu extract
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • ½ tsp minced garlic

Yuzu kosho mayonnaise

  • 100ml mayonnaise
  • 60ml yuzu kosho
  • 15ml lemon juice
  1. Place the mirin in a small pot and reduce by half before adding the fish sauce.
  2. Reduce by a further half then transfer the mix to a steel or glass bowl, add a splash of the fish sauce to help the liquid cool and let it all come back to ambient temperature before adding the vinegar, kombu extract, ginger and garlic.
  3. Once the liquid has cooled add the kingfish collars to steep for 10 minutes. In the meantime, mix the yuzu kosho mayonnaise and check for seasoning.
  4. To grill the kingfish, place skin side down on your favourite grill arrangement. Grill for 70 per cent of the cooking time, or about 12 minutes depending on the heat, then flip and glaze the underside using a pastry brush with some of the tare.
  5. Continue flipping and glazing for a further six minutes then let the collars rest in the remaining tare.
  6. Serve with flaked salt and the mayonnaise on the side.

This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on January 26, 2019 as "Wings of desire".

For almost a decade, The Saturday Paper has published Australia’s leading writers and thinkers. We have pursued stories that are ignored elsewhere, covering them with sensitivity and depth. We have done this on refugee policy, on government integrity, on robo-debt, on aged care, on climate change, on the pandemic.

All our journalism is fiercely independent. It relies on the support of readers. By subscribing to The Saturday Paper, you are ensuring that we can continue to produce essential, issue-defining coverage, to dig out stories that take time, to doggedly hold to account politicians and the political class.

There are very few titles that have the freedom and the space to produce journalism like this. In a country with a concentration of media ownership unlike anything else in the world, it is vitally important. Your subscription helps make it possible.

Select your digital subscription

Month selector

Use your Google account to create your subscription