Oh so crispy skin … Skrei & Tonka Bean

Yes – here comes the Skrei again! This time in an exiting combination with tonka bean. But today´s post is not only focused on this delicious global flavour pairing , but also on crispy skin on a tender fish fillet in general. Years ago I found the perfect method for almost every crispy skin fish fillet in Alexander Hermann´s cookbook “Küchen IQ”. So simple, so good. The main tricks are: dry fish fillet, clarified butter, a little bit of tapioca starch, a cold pan and seasoning with salt only at the last minute.


Here we go:

  • Clean the fillet, remove all bones and dry the fish as much as possible.
  • Dust only the skin side thinly with tapioca starch.
  • Put some flakes of clarified butter (we use ghee) into a cold (!) non-sticking pan. Add the fillet skin side down to the cold (yes – still cold) pan onto the butter flakes. No salt, pepper or lemon at this stage.
  • Now heat the pan: the butter will melt, the skin will start to sizzle. Leave the fish on the skin side until the skin is crackling and golden brown – the fish will be almost ready at this time.
  • Before you turn the fillet onto the other side, have everything ready to serve.
    Just before turning, season the fish with salt and pepper, take the pan from the heat, turn the fillet around and let it rest in the pan for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Assemble your dish and “while” serving add a little bit of sea salt flakes and lemon juice onto the skin (if you do this earlier the skin will get soaky).
Before …
… and after

Very nice on it´s own – but even more delicious with a creamy tonka bean infused sauce and some roasted beetroots on the side – and no, I won´t sing a hymn on one of my favourite ingredients now, the marvellous tonka bean is worth a post on it´s own …
Ingredients for sauce au vin blanc with tonka bean (serves four):

  • 30 g butter
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 5 cl Noilly Prat (or other vermouth)
  • 100 ml dry while wine (we like to use Vinho Verde)
  • 500 ml veal stock
  • 200 ml cream
  • approx. ½ tonka bean, finely grated
  • salt and pepper to season
  • optional: 2 tbsp. whipped cream


  • Melt the butter in a casserole, add the shallots and sauté them in the butter until glassy.
  • Add Noilly Prat and reduce until the liquid is almost evaporated.
  • Add wine and veal stock and reduce again until only approx. one third of the liquid is left over in the casserole.
  • Add the cream and simmer the sauce for another five minutes.
  • Sieve the sauce through a mesh, add the tonka bean, season with salt and pepper – done.
  • To make it even better you could blend the sauce with an electric blender to a foamy consistency and add 2 tbsp. whipped cream.

Crispy skin cannot wait, not even for a good shot!…. Crispy skin cannot wait – not even for a good snapshot!

Recipe source: http://www.arthurstochterkochtblog.com/2011/02/die-farbe-lila.html