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Healthy, simple and delicious fish recipes from Jo Pratt

Healthy, simple and delicious fish recipes from Jo Pratt

Shake up your supper with these balanced, easy (do-able even after a long day) recipes from celebrated chef and writer, Jo Pratt. Vegetarian? Just swap the fish for vegetables.

Asian green broth

“I’d eat a bowl of this every day if I had half a chance! It gives a wonderful cleansing feeling when you eat it, making you want to go back for more. I’ll often prepare a big batch of the broth with just the stock and aromatics, then chill it in the fridge. Over the next few days, whenever I fancy a bowlful, it’s ready to heat up and finish off by adding the fresh veggies, and that way I know I’ve maintained the nutritional properties and vibrant colour of the greens.”

Time taken 25 minutes

Ingredients: (serves 4)
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 banana (large) shallots, peeled and sliced into rings
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed or grated
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 lemongrass stalk, finely chopped
1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 litre/1¾ pints/4 cups vegetable stock
250g/9 oz green vegetables, such as broccoli, green beans, sugarsnap peas and mange tout (use a combination or just one), cut into 1–2cm/½–¾ in pieces
100g/3½ oz frozen soy beans, defrosted
100g/3½ oz choi sum, tat soi, bok choi or spinach, stalks and leaves finely shredded
juice of 1 lime
handful of Thai or standard basil leaves
flaked sea salt

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the shallot, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and chilli, and gently cook until the shallots have softened but not coloured.

2. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Stir in the cut-up green vegetables, return to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes.

3. Add the soy beans and shredded stalks and leaves and cook for a further 3 minutes.

4. Season with salt and stir in the lime juice and herbs. Serve hot.

To make this into more of a substantial main course, you could spoon the steaming hot broth and vegetables over a bowl of cooked rice noodles. Or, for a seafood twist, add some raw peeled prawns or sliced squid to the broth when adding the green veg. Alternatively, stir through cooked prawns, crayfish or white crab meat when adding the soy beans.

After-work spicy fish parcels

Time taken 25 minutes

Ingredients: (serves 4)
3 tbsp curry paste – your choice such as korma, tikka masala, rogan josh, etc.
1 tbsp sunflower oil
4 thick fish fillets, skin on or off, such as cod, salmon, pollock, hake, haddock or coley
4 handfuls of baby spinach (about 125g/4½ oz)
16–20 baby plum or cherry tomatoes, halved
½ red onion, peeled and very finely diced
juice of 1 lime
200ml/7 fl oz tinned coconut milk
handful of coriander leaves
flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
mango chutney, to serve
cooked rice or naan bread, to serve

1. Mix together the curry paste and oil, then rub all over the fish fillets.

2. Cut four large sheets of foil or baking paper and divide the spinach between them, placing it in the centre. If you are using baking paper, it works better if you really scrunch it up beforehand, which makes it more pliable.

3. Place the fish on top of the spinach, and scatter over the tomatoes and onion. Drizzle over the lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Fold up the foil or paper to make a loose parcel. Pour the coconut milk between the parcels and tightly seal each one by either scrunching the foil edges together or using string to tie the baking paper into a pouch/parcel.

4. Place the parcels on a baking tray, and bake for 15 minutes.

5. Open up the parcel and either serve on the paper or carefully move the spinach and fish onto the serving plates and pour over the sauce. Scatter the coriander, and serve with a spoonful of mango chutney.

As well as trying out various different types of fish for the parcels, you could also use raw peeled prawns or scallops lightly coated in the paste; 125g–150g/4½–5½ oz per person is plenty. If you want a vegetarian option, diced paneer cheese or even some sliced firm tofu works really well.

Harissa and lemon-baked fish and root veg with couscous

Time taken 1 hour

Ingredients: (serves 4)
3 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp harissa paste
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
juice of 1 lemon
4 thick fish fillets
500g/1 lb 2 oz Chantenay carrots
2 red onions, cut into wedges
200g/7 oz radishes
225g/8 oz couscous
375ml/13 fl oz/12⁄3 cups very hot vegetable stock
40g/1. oz toasted flaked almonds
handful of mint leaves
flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp Greek yoghurt, to serve

1. Mix together the olive oil, 2. tablespoons of harissa paste, the garlic and half of the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Use half of the mixture to coat the fish, and set aside to marinate. Toss the carrots and onions in the remaining harissa mixture and transfer to a roasting tray. Roast for 15 minutes, stirring and turning halfway through.

3. Stir the radishes into the roasting tray and roast for a further 10 minutes.

4. Place the marinated fish fillets on top of the roast veggies and cook for 15 minutes, until they are cooked through.

5. Remove the roasting tray from the oven. Place the fish and roasted veg on a separate platter and keep them warm. Add the couscous to the roasting tray, stirring to coat in the harissa baking juices. Pour over the very hot stock, briefly stir, then cover with foil. Leave for 5 minutes.

6. Run a fork through the couscous, and lightly mix in the roasted veg and remaining lemon juice. Scatter over the almonds and mint.

7. Serve with the fish, some extra harissa drizzled over and a spoon of Greek yoghurt each.

Large field or portobello mushrooms are superb alternatives to fish fillets. Coat in the harissa marinade and add to the roasting tray when you stir in the radishes, giving the mushrooms 25 minutes of cooking time.

The Flexible Pescatarian by Jo Pratt (£20, White Lion Publishing); @quartcooks; @cookwithjopratt


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