John Dory with new season Asparagus, citrus fruit and Chorizo salad


By Ben Batterbury, True South Dining Room, Queenstown


400g John Dory or other white fish
12 spears of New Zealand asparagus
1 Ugli fruit (can be substituted for orange)
½ chorizo
1 tbsp chives, chopped
100ml pomace oil
1 tin of chipotle in adobo sauce
2 egg yolks
250g clarified butter
2 tbsp tarragon vinegar or white wine vinegar
Micro coriander or coriander leaves
Rice flour
1 lemon


  1. Put the egg yolks into a heatproof bowl with the vinegar, a tbsp of water and a pinch of salt. Place over a pan of boiling water and whisk until it is thick and creamy and warm to the touch. Remove the bowl from the heat and very slowly whisk in the warm clarified butter until it is thick and creamy. If it is too thick add a little hot water to loosen. Reserve in a warm place.
  2. Hand blend the chipotle to make a paste. If you don’t have a hand blender then finely chop the chipotles and mix back through the adobo sauce. Mix into the hollandaise to taste.
  3. Remove the woody ends from the asparagus and blanch the spears in boiling salted water for 30 seconds before plunging them into iced water. When cold, drain them on a paper towel.
  4. Chop the bottom ends of the asparagus spears and separate the asparagus tips.
  5. Take the ugli fruit or orange, remove the skin and segment the flesh. Chop the segments and reserve. Squeeze the juice from the leftover fruit and reserve.
  6. Mix the chopped asparagus bottoms with the chopped ugli fruit segments, chopped chives and a pinch of salt.
  7. Chop the chorizo into small dice and lightly fry with the pomace oil. Cool and mix with the asparagus and ugli fruit add the leftover juice from the citrus fruit and reserve.
  8. Place a non-stick frying pan onto a medium to high heat and add a little oil. Season the fish with salt and then dip the skin side into a little rice flour and pat to remove excess. When the pan is hot lay the fish fillets away from you one by one (skin side down) and reduce the heat to medium. Give the fish a little shake to make sure it is loose in the pan and leave to fry gently.
  9. Take the asparagus tips and ideally BBQ or use a chargrill pan to colour a little and finish cooking. Toss these with a little oil and salt.
  10. When the fish is golden brown on the skin, and the skin feels crisp (around 3-4 minutes) add a tbsp butter. When it bubbles turn the fish over and leave to cook for about 1 minute. Squeeze a little lemon juice into the pan, remove the fish and drain.
  11. Arrange the salad onto a plate and arrange the grilled spears next to this. Drizzle a little of the hollandaise around this and then place the fish on top. Garnish with micro coriander or coriander leaves if not available.