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Brian McLeish's sea trout, buttermilk, fennel and coriander

Big flavours are key for MasterChef finalist Brian McLeish of Aberdeen's Moonfish Café

Published: June 27, 2015
Categories: ,

Taking part in MasterChef: The Professionals last year was a way of challenging myself and I could have had no better people pushing me than the judges Marcus Wareing and Monica Galetti.

I also thought it would bring awareness to Aberdeen, and what we do, as there is so much less recognition of what happens here, compared to Edinburgh or Glasgow.

I’m pleased to say MasterChef opened a lot of doors for me and Moonfish Café and it helped raise the profile of this part of the world.

Moonfish Café is a fish restaurant but that’s not all we do; we always have meat on the menu and our location means we are absolutely spoilt for choice when it comes to ingredients. Our fish is bought direct from the market in Peterhead and what we offer on our menu will depend on what’s been landed that day. Our customers trust what we do and go with us.

This area has a fantastic range of food and drink and hopefully more people become aware of that through efforts by FoodFest 15 to put the north-east on the gastro tourism map during Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink.


1 Remove any bones and scales from the fish, trim and portion.

2 For the sauce put the buttermilk, honey, vinegar, shallot, potato and crème fraîche into a blender and blitz until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the green leaves from the fennel and keep them for the garnish.

Modern Scottish recipe: Roast salmon with wilted spinach and Old Pulteney whisky cream reduction

3 Thinly slice the fennel on a mandolin and keep it in a bowl of water with a slice of lemon in it.

4 Pan fry the fish and finish for a few minutes in a medium oven, keeping the trout just under cooked and pink in the centre.

5 Pour the sauce into the centre of the plate and decorate with a few pieces of the raw fennel and coriander seeds. Place the fish on top.

Drink recipe: Cadbury Creme Egg Frappuccino


  • 1 side sea trout
  • 360g buttermilk
  • 100g cooked potato
  • 1 banana shallot
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp clear honey
  • 240g crème fraîche
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 bulb fennel
  • slice of lemon
  • 100g toasted coriander seed
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