Crispy Skinned Trumpeter with Paua Bonbons and Smoked Bluff Oysters


  • 1 small telegraph cucumber, sliced thinly length ways
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ¾ tsp crushed red chili flakes
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp chopped dill
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 dozen shucked pottled Bluff oysters and oyster liquid
  • 1 litre water
  • 2 tsp white sugar
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • ½ tsp arrowroot powder
  • Reserved Buff oysters from Bluff oyster sauce recipe
  • Manuka wood chips
  • 30 ml Soy sauce
  • 1 cup of minced Paua
  • ½ small onion diced
  • 80gm lean bacon diced
  • ½ clove garlic crushed
  • 2 egg
  • 1 tbls chopped parsley
  • 200gm Plain flour
  • 200ml milk
  • 500gm bread crumbs
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 large fillets of Trumpeter, boned with skin left on.
  • 50 ml Clarified butter
  • 50 ml Canola oil
  • Salt and pepper


In a large bowl add the cucumber and all other ingredients then toss lightly let stand for 10 minutes before adding to the dish.

Add one liter of water to a pot and heat to a light simmer. Add the oysters and the oyster liquid to the pot, lightly simmer but not boil for 20 minutes, stir occasionally. Remove the oysters from the pot and reserve, strain the remaining liquid through a muslin cloth and return to the stove on a low heat. Reduce the liquid on a low heat to100ml or 1/10 of its original volume. Add the sugar and the soy sauce to the pot, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Mix the arrowroot with a little water and slowly add to the oyster sauce to slightly thicken. Taste and adjust seasoning if required

Place all oysters on a baking rack and lightly brush with soy sauce. Prepare your smoker with Manuka wood chips, cold smoke the bluff oysters for 15 minutes. Insuring you doesn’t cook the oysters further. When oysters are smoked place them in the fridge till needed.

Place Paua, onion, bacon, parsley, crushed garlic, 1 egg and 50gm of flour in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix to combine. Roll the Paua mixture into small balls around 3cm in diameter, set aside in the fridge to set for ½ hour.

Prepare a crumbing station
Add the remaining flour to first bowl and season with salt & pepper. In a second bowl add an egg and the milk, whisk till well combined. Third bowl add the bread crumbs. To crumb the Paua ball, place a few at a time into the flour, coating lightly. Secondly add the Paua ball to the egg wash covering completely, lastly add the Paua ball to the crumb mix. Double crumb the Paua ball by repeating stage 2 and 3. Set aside in the fridge till needed.

When prepare the trumpeter fillet, pat each fillet dry with paper towels. Cut each fillet into 3 portions; turn each fish portion skin side up and lightly score by just cutting through the skin of each portion a few times. This will help the portions of fish not rolling their ends when cooking. Season generously Place a heavy base frying pan on medium heat, add the clarified butter and canola oil, when oil is hot and slightly smoking place the Trumpeter potions skin side down in the pan, let cook for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown, flip the Trumpeter and cook the other side for a further 3-4 minutes until cooked. Remove cooked fillets from pan and let rest on paper towel so to absorb any excess oil, season lightly with salt and pepper then serve

Hydrate the sea chicory in water, let stand for 5 minutes. Lightly pickle cucumber, drain and set aside till needed. Lightly heat the Bluff oyster sauce and the smoked Bluff oysters using a little of the oyster sauce to coat the smoked oysters. Fry the Paua bonbons in a heavy based pan with 100ml of canola oil, cook until lightly golden brown, finish in a moderate oven for 8-10 minutes. Cook the fish and let rest for 5 minutes.

Plating Up

Using a warm plate, place a “V” shape line of cuttlefish ink on the plate from 12 to 6 back to 12 on the plate, then place another “V” shape line using the warmed bluff oyster sauce from 9 to 3 back to 9. Place the cooked portion of Trumpeter on the plate of set from centre skin side up, then place three Paua bonbons on the plate at 11, 3 & 8 around the Trumpeter portion. Finally roll three pickled cucumber ribbons and place them between the bonbons, also place 2 smoked Bluff oysters on the plate and garnish with sea chicory and dill then serve.

Chef Simon Henry

Simon is the executive Chef at the well-known Ascot Park Hotel in Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand Simon has more than 20 years’ experience working throughout the South Pacific and Australia, and is particularly fond of working with seafood, and he couldn’t have picked a better spot to continue is love of cuisine that in the Ascot kitchen.

Wine Match

Yealands Rosé
Peter Yealands Rosé 2018
This pretty light peach coloured rosé has an enticing bouquet of pomegranate, fresh strawberries, and honeysuckle. A juicy, rich palate with warming flavours of strawberry shortcake, which is given focus and length by well-balanced acidity.

Ascot Park Hotel

Ascot Park Hotel covers an expansive 17 acres and has been an icon of Invercargill for over 30 years. Today Ascot Park Hotel offers 92 Hotel rooms and 24 motel units, 8 conference rooms, pool and spa facilities, Fitness Centre, fully licensed bar and restaurant, a world class hotel that is a unique gateway into Invercargill and the Southland Region.