Cured beetroot bream

Cured beetroot bream

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  • Medium
  • Carb Conscious
  • 1 hour 15 minutes
  • 20 minutes
  • Graham Beck Brut

“I put this dish on the menu to test how adventurous my guests were. The limited supply of products available meant I had to be creative, soaking Zambezi bream in beetroot juice to make it look like fresh tuna, and making a soya sauce ice cream.”


  • 150 g Zambezi bream fillet (alternatively use kingklip or hake)
  • 1 beetroot, scrubbed
  • 1 T fresh lime juice
  • sea salt and white pepper, to taste
  • pickled ginger, for serving
  • For the ice cream:
  • 2 cups cream
  • 1 cup full-cream milk
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 6 free-range egg yolks
  • ¼ cup soya sauce
  • For the cucumber caviar:
  • 1 L vegetable oil
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 t agar-agar powder
  • For the wasabi mayonnaise, mix:
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 t wasabi paste

Cooking Instructions

1. Remove the skin from the fish and cut the flesh into equal-sized cubes. Refrigerate, covered, until needed.

2. To make the ice cream, combine all the ingredients except the soya sauce in a saucepan and cook over a low heat until the mixture starts to thicken and coats the back of a spoon, about 20 minutes.

3. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, then add the soya sauce and stir well to combine. Place the mixture in an ice-cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a silicone mould and freeze.

4. To make the cucumber caviar, place the oil in a tall container in the freezer to chill. Meanwhile, juice the cucumber, then transfer the juice to a pan. Add the agar-agar powder and season to taste with salt and white pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil to activate the agar-agar, then allow to cool slightly and transfer into a squeeze bottle.

5. Squeeze small droplets of the mixture into the chilled oil – when it hits the oil, it will set to form the cucumber caviar. Once you have a good amount of caviar, strain and chill.

6. To assemble the dish, place the wasabi mayonnaise in a piping bag. Juice the beetroot, combine it with the lime juice, and season with salt and white pepper.

7. Cover the cubed bream with the beetroot mixture and allow to cure for about 5 minutes at room temperature.

8. Remove the ice cream from the mould and place in the centre of a serving dish, then drain the cured bream and arrange it around the ice cream.

9. Pipe dots of wasabi mayonnaise around the dish, and top with slices of pickled ginger and cucumber caviar. Serve immediately.

Photograph: Jan Rasl
Recipes: Aaron Menezes
Food production: Khanaya Mzongwana

Find more fish recipes here.

Aaron Menezes Recipe by: Aaron Menezes
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Aaron is the head cook at Mukwa River Lodge on the banks of the Zambezi.

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