Roast Hapuka with basil, Parmesan and Panko Crust, Buttered Spinach and Riesling Beurre Blanc




  • 400 g HAPUKA 
  • 10 g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup panko crumbs
  • cream
  • 2 tbsp basil pesto
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 50 g butter
  • salt and pepper


  • 250 ml white riesling wine or verjuice
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 garlic clove
  • sprig of thyme
  • bay leaf
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 250 g unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • salt and pepper


  • 2 cups washed baby spinach
  • 1 tsp unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper

To prepare the hapuka: Trim the hapuka into 2 x 150g rectangle portions. Place the trimmings into a Kenwood FP980 Food Processor, add the Parmesan, pesto, salt, pepper and a dash of cream and process until smooth. Using the back of a spoon spread this mixture onto the prepared hapuka. Place panko crumbs into a bowl, then dip the hapuka into the crumbs.

Place a heavy based frying pan onto a low heat and add a small amount of olive oil. Place hapuka into the pan, crumb side down while the oil is cold, slowly bring the heat up the a medium temperature. Allow the crumb to go golden, lifting the fish carefully to check this. Flip the hapuka over once it is golden, place into the oven for 8 minutes on 180°C.
To make beurre blanc: Peel the shallots and garlic, roughly chop, place into a small pot, add the wine, bay leaf, thyme and peppercorns. Bring to the boil and simmer until reduced by half.

Turn the heat onto low, slowly whisk in the butter a little bit at a time, until the butter is dissolved; make sure not to boil at this stage, or it will split. Take off the heat and strain through a sieve back into a pot and keep warm, ready for serving.
Sauteed spinach: Place a knob of butter in a pan, once the butter begins to bubble up, add spinach into the pan and sauté. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and place onto paper towels.