Gemfish aka Hake, Southern Kingfish, Tikati, Toothy critter, even the Uglyfish by the less charitable.

Commonly spurned by anglers but for those who know… Gem is a great smoking fish.

Not commonly known is that Gem is also a highly prized grill fish in the northern hemisphere for its delicate favour and thick white fillets.

Normally a deeper fish they are common over winter around the north island as shallow as 30m. Not to be confused with a Baracoutta, Gem is unlikely to carry parasites and is much much tastier.

Whack the fillets off, flick off the skin, trim out the bone, portion to suit your pan. Knob in a little butter and on a medium heat cook till about a third cooked through, flip over and same on other side. Off the heat to a warm plate to rest for 5 min then serve.

For this one all we did was fry off chopped garlic, a few chilli flakes and tomatoes with a little butter, deglazed pan with a swig of Chardonnay (because it was already open), reduced liquid by a third, then a good dollop of cream cheese into pan and mixed through till lumps were gone.

Plated up the fish, spooned the sauce on….job done. Forgot to get the green stuff for garnish so swiped one of the bosses indoor plant leaves for the pretty shot. Delish!

Kia Maakona