Boarfish Pan Seared on a red cabbage & caper slaw mix


 Recipe: Boarfish Pan Seared on a red cabbage & caper slaw mix

The great thing about having a fellow spearo & friend owning a bar/brasserie is that he can accommodate you and your day’s catch should you be stumped for any recipe ideas. Rudy Parlak, a good friend and dive buddy of mine, is the director of Portside restaurant on the Viaduct. He specialises in accommodating odd requests and catering for those special occasions. After a recent spearfishing trip where we targeted boarfish, I was stumped on how to cook my day’s catch. It’s not often that I target them – this summer however, seemed to have good numbers of boarfish on all my local weed lines. So with my prized specimen and an anniversary dinner that night – it occurred to me that celebrating with a nice seafood dinner would be the perfect combination. A quick phone call to arrange a time with Rudy and give him notice for preparation and everything was set. Given enough time, Rudy can arrange to have your catch filleted and cooked professionally to perfection; providing you pay for the cooking fees. Much like paying a corkage fee for a BYO bottle of wine – except it’s BYO fish! This is pretty amazing as not many restaurants I know would let you do this - it offers a new kind of experience - enjoying your own catch in style. So off to dinner with my girlfriend,, where we enjoyed the fresh boarfish that I had speared earlier that day. Combined with a few bottles of sav – fine dining doesn’t get any better than this my friend! Rudy later shared his secret recipe:

1. Slice 1kg of boneless boarfish fillets against the grain; try to keep them as chunky as possible. (100g+ per portion)

2. Pre-heat your oven to 180C

3. Prepare the marinade:

3 crushed garlic cloves

3 finely chopped lime rinds

5 finely chopped stalks of thyme (only chop the leaves)

½ cup of olive oil

a couple of pinches of salt and pepper


combine all the ingredients and stir together.

Place the boarfish fillets into the marinade and allow to sit for 10 to 15mins.

4. Prepare the red cabbage & caper slaw:

3 tablespoons of aioli or mayonnaise

quarter of a red cabbage

one small carrot

35g of capers

4 sage leaves

½ a white onion

juice of half a lime or lemon


Finely slice or grate the red cabbage, carrot, and white onion. Then finely dice the capers and sage leaves – add all the ingredients into a bowl, combine the lime/lemon juice + aioli/mayonnaise to the mixture and stir.  

5. Preheat a grill pan without any oil until it is hot then place a tablespoon of olive oil into the hot pan. Place the boarfish onto it and pan sear the boarfish for 2mins on each side.

6. Remove the grill pan with the boarfish in it and place in the oven for 3 mins (no longer than 3 minutes).

7. Serve the boarfish on top of small fried potato wedges + a few steamed green beans (prepared in advance).

Place the red cabbage + caper slaw mix ontop of the fish to garnish.

Complement the meal with a beautiful, crisp cold bottle of SauvignonBlanc.

Cooking Tips

For best tasting quality, always ensure you use fresh fish.

Always slightly undercook the fish, as it will continue to cook once served on the plate. Overcooking the fish will dry it out- makining it less succulent. Ensure not to leave it in the oven too long. Serve with sav white wine.

  • foot-fb
  • foot-insta
  • foot-utube
PHONE 09 377 0896
Unit 12/2 Tawa Drive
Monday to Friday
9am till 5.30pm
Auckland 0632
New Zealand
Saturday & Sunday
9am till 5.00pm