Recipe // Raw Snapper at Apero

K Rd’s wonderful wine bar and restaurant seems to have a new standout dish every week, but this simple cured snapper is an enduring favourite. Chef Leslie Hottiaux has given us secret recipe, it’s a perfect summer dish that’s relatively easy to prepare, although some elements do need to be made ahead of time.

Thanks to Les and Mo at Apero for sharing this with us.


Makes one dish: a nibble for two or a starter for one.

For the avocado puree
1 avocado
juice of one lemon
two ice cubes

For the pickled cucumber
cucumber, cut into 1cm cubes or scooped into rounds with a small melon baller
100ml white wine vinegar
100ml water
100gm sugar

100gm fresh snapper fillet
1 pink grapefruit, diced 1mm cubes.
Horseradish root, grated. This can be substituted with fresh wasabi root, a sprinkle of wasabi powder, or a very small amount of horseradish from a jar.
2 shallots
Lemon infused olive oil


The day before
To pickle the cucumber, combine 1 part white wine vinegar, 1 part water and 1 part sugar in a pot and bring to the boil, then leave to cool. Once cool, add your cubes or balls of cucumber. Refrigerate overnight. If you leave in the fridge too long, they’ll lose their crispness and colour.

On the day
Make the avocado puree by blending avocado, the juice of one lemon and two ice cubes in a blender until smooth.

Finely slice the shallots and soak them in milk for one hour, before deep frying them until golden and crispy. The milk reduces the intensity of flavour so they don’t overpower the dish.

To assemble
Sprinkle your snapper fillet with salt and leave for five minutes. Then rinse in very cold water, so that the fillet firms up. Finely slice and arrange in overlapping layers on the plate.

AperoSnapper (2 of 16)

Brush the snapper with cucumber pickling juice using a pastry brush. Squeeze dollops of avocado puree on top. Add pickled cucumber. Add diced pink grapefruit, or, when in season, pomegranate seeds. Grate horseradish root directly on top. Top with crispy shallots. Add a drizzle of lemon olive oil. Finish with finely chopped chives, and/or chive or borage flowers.

AperoSnapper (4 of 16)

AperoSnapper (5 of 16)

Serve immediately.

Mo’s suggested wine pairing is a Vouvray from Bernard Fouquet, Domaine des Aubuisieres (2014)

apero (10 of 12)AperoSnapper (15 of 16)