Whiting Escabeche with Mojo Verde and Toast

  • Appetiser

  • Spanish

  • Seafood


Makes 8 portions

  • 500g school whiting or white fish (such as Kingfish, blue eye, harpuka)
  • 8 sourdough slices, toasted on BBQ

Escabeche sauce

  • ½ large red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely sliced
  • ½ large carrot, quartered and thinly sliced
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • pinch ground allspice
  • 2 g coriander seeds
  • pinch saffron
  • ½ orange, juiced
  • 1/4 lemon, juiced
  • 30 ml chardonnay vinegar
  • 60 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mojo Verde

  • 10 g coriander
  • 10 g mint
  • 3 g horseradish
  • 1 shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 15 ml white wine vinegar
  • 15 ml verjuice
  • small pinch cumin powder
  • 100 g whole egg mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper to taste



Firstly, prepare the marinade.

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan over moderate heat, cook the shallots, garlic and carrots for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened but not coloured. Add the spices, salt and pepper, cook for a further minute or two before adding the orange juice, vinegar and olive oil. Bring to a simmer. Do not reduce.

Season the fish, pour warm liquid over fish and stand or refrigerate. Allow to cool in the marinade and leave overnight.

Drain fish from marinade the following day, store in container or vac pack. Keep the liquor for service.

Mojo Verde

In a mortar and pestle, grind shallots and garlic until smooth, add in coriander and mint, grind again until a rough paste. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the mayonnaise, mix until combined. Mix the mojo sauce with mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble

Spread Mojo Verde mayonnaise on each piece of charred bread, place fish escabeche on top, along with onion, garlic and carrots from the marinade.

About Leigh Robbins

Head Chef, Sebastian Beach Grill and Bar

Leigh credits his cooking style to thorough training and the influence of his grandmother’s nostalgic, home-style recipes. His career as a chef has included work at the Kooyong Tennis Club, Le-Deck at Cap-Breton in Spain’s Basque French region and, as Executive Chef of the Radisson at Flagstaff Gardens.

In 2016 the hotel won the Hospitality Magazine’s Best Restaurant Award. Leigh has also been the runner up in the Magazine's Chef of the Year South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand competition.

With more than 15 years' experience behind him, Leigh was the perfect choice to become Head Chef of the Sebastian Beach Bar and Grill in Williamstown. Adopting a coast-to-coast philosophy, Leigh brings the best of Basque country cuisine to this beachfront venue.

Website: Sebastian Beach Grill and Bar
Address: 26 Esplanade, Williamstown 3016
Phone: 03 9088 8989

Brought to you by
Leigh Robbins, Head Chef, Sebastian Beach Grill and Bar