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Vine Leaves with Aromatic Kingfish and Quinoa

Makes about 24


  • 150g white fish fillets, kingfish, flathead or snapper

  • 1 tbsp preserved lemon, flesh removed, skin finely sliced

  • 1 tsp olive oil, preferably lemon infused

  • 1 tbls thyme leaves, picked

  • 24 individual vine leaves (fresh or preserved)

  • 1/4 cup each of red and white quinoa

  • 2 tbsp millet

  • 1 tsp sumac

  • 1 cloves garlic

  • ½ cup pistachios, chopped

  • Sea salt and ground white pepper, ground

  • Lemon infused olive oil – to serve


  • 1.

    Place fillets on wax paper or on a plate in a steamer then top with preserved lemon, thyme and lemon oil.

  • 2.

    Seal the edges to make an enclosed parcel.

  • 3.

    Steam fish in the paper until just cooked (this will depend on the size/thickness of the fillet) approximately 5 – 7 min for a 150g fillet.

  • 4.

    Let cool slightly then flake into medium sized pieces.

  • 5.

    Meanwhile, in a pot bring the quinoa, millet, sumac, garlic and water to the boil then drop it to a simmer.

  • 6.

    Let it cook for approximately 10 min then cover with a lid and turn the heat off. Let it continue cooking in it’s own heat.

  • 7.

    Toast pistachios whole, then finely chop – not ground. Set aside.

  • If using fresh vine leaves::

  • 1.

    Boil a large pot of water and cook leaves in batches of ten for approximately 1 minute or until soft, but not falling apart.

  • 2.

    Remove from hot water and wash cooked leaves in cold water. Drain and set aside.

  • 3.

    If using preserved vine leaves: soak in warm water then wash well in cold water, drain and set aside.

  • 4.

    Mix together the quinoa and pistachios. Season with salt (optional) and white pepper.

  • 5.

    Then fold through the flaked fish – do not squash or mush the fish, keep it in nice flaked pieces.

  • 6.

    Dry each leaf and lay rough side up on board or work bench.


This recipe is from episode 35 of Good Chef Bad Chef series 3.

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