Spice-rubbed Stargazer with Hummus

Stargazer are a bottom-dwelling fish that partially bury themselves in sand or mud, with their heads looking up to spot passing prey, thus their name. They are sometimes incorrectly referred to as Monkfish, as their firm flesh is the closest we have in Australia to this prized northern hemisphere fish.


⅓ cup coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 tablespoon salt flakes
2 teaspoons harissa (see notes)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil 
750g Stargazer fillets, skin off, bones removed, cut into 10cm long strips

300g cooked chickpeas, drained
⅓ cup lemon juice, or more to taste 
⅓ cup tahini, or more to taste
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup water
1 clove garlic, crushed
Salt flakes, to taste

Tomato & Herb Salad
2 Roma tomatoes, finely diced
2 tablespoons chopped dill
2 tablespoon chopped mint
2 tablespoons oregano leaves
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 


Toast coriander, cumin and fennel in a dry frying pan for a few minutes, until fragrant. Place in a spice grinder with salt and grind to a fine powder. Combine with harissa and oil to make a paste, rub all over fish, cover and set aside for 30-60 minutes.

Meanwhile, make Hummus: combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until very smooth, taste and add more lemon juice or tahini if you like. Set aside.

Make Tomato & Herb Salad: combine all ingredients and set aside. 

Heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add fish and cook for 1-2 minutes each side, until flesh flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Smear a large spoonful of Hummus in the centre of each plate, top with fish then Tomato & Herb Salad.


Harissa is a North African chilli paste, substitute ½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes if unavailable.

Alternative species:

Albacore, Mackerels, Salmon, Swordfish, Tuna.

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