Crunchy roast whiting with fennel salad

Neil Perry
This fennel and whiting combination is a great mix of flavour and texture.
This fennel and whiting combination is a great mix of flavour and texture. Photo: William Meppem

The crumb coating can be used on any fish. If you slice it thinly, it will be like the whiting and take little time to cook. Leave it in a larger piece if you like, but adjust the cooking time to match.


1¼ cups panko crumbs

2 tsp ground fennel

1 tsp chopped dill

¼tbsp extra virgin olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

8 x 80g King George or sand whiting fillets, pin bones removed

4 tbsp Dijon mustard

lemon wedges, to serve


Fennel salad

1 medium bulb of fennel (fronds reserved)

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

juice of 1 lemon

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil


Preheat oven to 120°C. Spread panko crumbs out on a baking sheet and put them onto the middle rack of oven. Bake until faintly coloured but not brown; remove and allow to cool. Increase oven temperature to 200°C.

For salad, use a mandolin to slice fennel into very thin slices, sprinkle with sea salt and marinate in lemon juice for 10 minutes, then add freshly chopped fennel frond. Add olive oil, give a grind of pepper and set aside.

Put toasted crumbs in a bowl with ground fennel and dill, mix and add olive oil and seasoning.

Using a pastry brush, paint fish pieces, presentation side up, with a thin film of mustard, then coat each fillet in crumb mixture and place on an oiled baking sheet.

Place baking sheet in oven and roast for 5 minutes, or until the fish is cooked.

Divide salad over 4 plates, place 2 fish fillets on each, season with ground pepper, and squeeze over a little lemon juice. Serve immediately.