Fish Poached with Tomatoes, Onion and Garlic

8:10 pm on 6 May 2008

This is a very easy and delicious way to cook most fish species. This week I used gurnard.   It is a good method to choose when you're not sure what time guests will arrive, as the sauce can be prepared ahead of time and the fish added just before serving. Canned tomatoes may be used, but the flavour won't be as light and fresh. Red wine is also a possibility, making a rich dark sauce.

(Serves 2)


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon butter (optional)
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • salt and pepper
  • quarter cup dry white wine.
  • 4 large tomatoes, blanched, peeled and cut into chunks
  • half cup water, if needed
  • 400g fresh fish fillets, cut into large chunks
  • freshly chopped parsley



Put the olive oil and butter in a wide saucepan, or deep frying pan and add the onion. Fry gently for a few minutes, then add the garlic, fry for a minute and season with salt and pepper. Add the wine and cook until it evaporates.

Add the tomatoes and water and simmer for 15 minutes until the tomatoes are cooked. Check seasoning and set aside until ready to cook the fish.

Bring back to the boil and add the chunks of fish, adding a little water if the sauce is very thick.  Lower the heat and spoon the sauce over the pieces of fish. Cook very gently for about 10 minutes until the fish is just cooked. Add freshly chopped parsley and serve with plain boiled rice and a simple rocket or radicchio salad.

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm

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