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Episode 7: Pan Fried John Dory with Parsnip Mash

Served with lemon butter sauce, popped capers, fennel slaw and green beans.

Pan Fried John Dory with Parsnip Mash from My Kitchen Rules New Zealand

Matt and Kurt from My Kitchen Rules, NZ


Butter x 500g Lemons x 4, cut in half and fry cut side down in a little oil until golden.

Olive oil

Chicken stock x 250ml Garlic X 4 cloves minced Canola oil Parmesan cheese (enough to season)

Fennel bulb, fine mandolin John Dory fillets, skin on, X 4 portions of equal size and thickness

Parsnips x 3 large Capers x 1 jar Green beans, or asparagus x 8 sprigs Flaky sea salt Pepper Milk x 1 litre Fresh Parsley X 1 Tbsp chopped

Fresh basil X 1 Tbsp chopped

Fresh Thyme sprigs Bay leaves Heavy cream x 250ml


Where should I start?

First prepare all your veg, pop your capers and prep your fish. Start your parsnip mash, then blanch your asparagus or beans in boiling water until tender and then straight into iced water. Now make your fennel salad, finish your puree, keep warm while you make the butter sauce. Last of all fry the fish and saute your asparagus in a little oil, on high heat, adding a little butter, garlic and squeeze of lemon to finish. Serve with a glass of Ara Single Estate Chardonnay.

Parsnip Mash

Peel the Parsnips, chop into chunks and place in a pot with the cream. Add a Tsp of garlic, sprig of thyme and chicken stock. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Taste and adjust seasoning. Simmer until the parsnips are tender. Remove from the heat. Add 50 gms of butter and then using a stick blender, pulverise the parsnips until they are silky smooth. Place knobs of butter on top of the puree if you intend to serve later. To serve later, gently heat the puree on a low heat until the puree is warm. Whip with a wooden spoon to stir in the butter.

Lemon Butter Sauce

In a saucepan, add 100 gms of butter and 1 Tsp of garlic and melt butter over a medium heat. Once butter is melted and simmering, add lemon zest and juice of 1⁄2 a lemon and put to the side and keep warm until serving. Just before serving, add the parsley and basil and stir before pouring over the fish.

Fennel Slaw

Using a mandolin, finely slice the fennel. Combine the white wine vinegar and olive oil together and pour over the fennel. Sprinkle over the parmesan and combine. Season with salt and pepper.

John Dory

Dry your fillets, salt the skin and leave in the fridge exposed skin side up for one hour. Then remove from the fridge, pat the fish dry, salt the fish all over and allow to get to room temperature. Heat your frypan to a med- high heat, add a splash of canola oil, put fish fillets in, skin side down, one at a time and press each fillet down until it does not curl, once one fillet has relaxed, at another. Cook until you can see the fish has cooked a third way up the fillet and the skin is crispy and has good colour. Now turn the fish and cook for around 20-30 seconds. Remove fillets from the pan and allow them to rest in a warm place for a minute or two.

Popped Capers

In a medium sized fry pan, pour in enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a pan. Bring the oil to a hot temperature. Drain the jar of Capers and dry the capers by putting them onto a paper towel. Once the oil is hot, add the capers to the pan and deep fry the capers, stirring regularly, until the capers ‘pop’ like popcorn. Once popped, pop the capers onto a paper towel and set aside to drain.


Smear a good dollop of the parsnip puree onto a plate. Gently place the John Dory skin side up on top of the puree. Drizzle a spoonful of the lemon herb sauce over the fish. Sprinkle a decent amount of popped capers over the fish. Place a spoonful of the fennel slaw on the side of the plate. Garnish with micro greens, season and serve.

Wine Match

We love this meal paired with a glass of Ara Single Estate Chardonnay. Enjoy!

As seen on MKR New Zealand on TVNZ 2


Wines of Marlborough, New Zealand

Ara wines ​are crafted on ​the edge of the earth; ​the essence of Pure Marlborough. ​This remote, rugged region is our ​Tūrangawaewae, and we invite you to ​drink in the best of this remarkable place ​with every sip.

We capture and amplify the best of Marlborough in every glass.​

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