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Challenge Hugh: fish recipe

Hugh's Three Good Things
by Hugh's Three Good Things

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall | Hugh's 3 Good Things | Classic fish stock

Think you can do better than Hugh and the gang? Show us your own brand of Hugh's 3 Good Things alchemy and you could win our biggest, best bundle of River Cottage goodies we've ever given away - worth over £2,000.

How to enter . . .

1) Watch Hugh's classic fish recipe from Monday's show, above. 

2) Next, have a go yourself. Of course Hugh created a classic fish stock using the off-cuts and the skeleton of a bream and some well chosen aromatics. Reckon you can make something tastier with fish as the main ingredient? Here's you chance to show us.

3) Login to Not registered? You can join in seconds here.

4) Post your picture, or your YouTube video in the forum below. Make sure you let us know the three ingredients you have used and what you've done to make them so tasty.

5) Cross your fingers - Hugh will pick the one that impresses him next Monday. Each week he will select his favourite, and decide the overall winner at the end of the series.

6) Keep an eye out for next Monday's final challenge from the store cupboard.

Good luck! Terms and conditions apply

• You can also enter this competition using either Hugh's beetroot recipe from week one, or his lamb recipe from week two of the Hugh's 3 Good Things series.

Enter here


last edited on
by Sir.Sid.O.Phillum

TOTALLY unable to view the above clip.

It, apparently, contains content by Chanel 4 which is "blocked in your country."

Can you explain why chanel 4 would block content in England?


Does this mean we ate all watching chanel DUH illegally? He asked, tongue well in cheek.

This post is still pending moderation!

by Sir.Sid.O.Phillum

In fact, it, specifically says....



This video is unavailable
This video contains content from Channel 4, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.
Sorry about that.


This post is still pending moderation!

by JenPhoenix
My 3 things are:  Trout, Broccoli & Almonds
Trout is steamed in a tinfoil tent in the oven with herbs (coriander, or bay, or parsley), lemon, lemon juice, splash of white wine. Almond flakes are fried in butter on the hob.  These two things taste amazing with broccoli.  It's really yummy and you would have to work hard to beat this combination, Hugh!  :)  The butter fried almonds does something amazing to trout & broccoli.  It's like magic.  :D
Trout, Broccoli, Almonds

This post is still pending moderation!

last edited on
Brian & Net
by Brian & Net

My 3 good things are...

Fishing tackle...The Devon/Dorset coastline...and Mackerel

There's nothing better than catching your own fish, especially mackerel. It doesn't cost a fortune to set your self up either.

I know it's a cliche but teach someone to fish in this case in was my wife and daughters and it paid dividends. catching over 60 mackerel this summer while on holiday in Lyme Regis Dorset. I will let you into a secret this great fishing spot was recommended to me by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall . Hugh once told me to try Seatown in Dorset to fish off the beach and it has never disappointed, just get the tide and time right...cheers Hugh

The best thing ever once you have caught your mackerel is to BBQ or pan fry your catch on the beach, it's not fancy but you will never forget the freshness or the experience.

Happy cooking and fishing...Brian


 This picture of my wife catching her first mackerel even has a mackerel sky

Below our catch simply grilled for 4 minutes each side.

The 3 good things here are 2 mackerel and lemon!

Above grilled mackerel, boiled potatoes and green beans

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by penelope12

Poached Smoked Haddock, Horseradish Seasoned Rosti with Parsley Sauce

The Basic Ingredients

Haddock, Potato and Horseradish

  • Smoked Haddock Fillet (I used dyed haddock but you can use non dyed)
  • Milk
  • Parsley
  • Large teaspoon of butter
  • 2 Large potato (I used a Picasso)
  • Small onion
  • A chunk of fresh horse-radish (mine was freshly picked from the garden)
  • Seasoning (salt pepper and thyme)

Where to start...

  • Peel and finely slice the onion
  • Peel and grate two large baking potato, squeeze a much moisture as possible from them both. (you can use kitchen paper or a clean tea towel)
  • Peel and finely grate the fresh horseradish
  • Bind all three with an egg and season with some fresh thyme leaves and salt and pepper.
  • This should make a very large rosti or two smaller ones.
  • Heat a frying pan, and put the mixture in and press down firmly - cook for 4 or so minute until nicely golden and turn over (little tip... use the back of the baking try to turn the rosti onto and then slide it back in the frying pan so you don't have any cracks or breaks in the rosti)
  • Put the rosti onto a baking try and cook for another 15 or so minutes until nicely tender.

Whats next...

  • Gently heat semi skimmed milk in a large frying pan deep enough to cover the fish fillet (you want it to reach a simmer without boiling)
  • Place the Haddock skin side up in the frying pan this helps the fish steam inside itself (I had to pre-cut the haddock to fit into the frying pan)
  • After 2 or 3 minutes remove 4 or 5 large spoonfuls of milk and add to another pan with the parsley and butter and gently reduce this while the fish continues to cook
  • Turn the fish over very carefully after another 2 or 3 minutes.
  • The flesh will start to show the individual flaks when it is cooked.
  • Simply pop the rosti straight from the oven onto a warm plate and place the haddock on top
  • Drizzle with the parsley sauce reduction

And simply enjoy..............


by Yvan

Sea Bass — Cavolo Nero — Peppers

Almost didn’t get one in this week. Busy busy, and Saturday consumed by a very–unfishy venison–oriented day entertaining guests. However, one of the great things about fish is you can knock up something exquisite super-fast. So here’s my quick Sunday dinner…

I’ve picked my other two ingredients on both colour and flavour. With the deep green of the cavolo nero and the bright yellow and red of the peppers this creates a striking plate of food. The light flavour, seaweedy texture, and slight bitterness of the cavolo nero are near-opposite to the rich sweetness of roasted peppers (of which a little really does go a long way). The sweet/bitter combination compliments the lightly-oily creamy texure of sea–bass, which I have taken up another notch by adding a bit of smoke to it in the BBQ. To offset all this I’ve added a light zesty beer in the form of a German-style Weizen… in my quest to stick to British beer though I have picked one from Manchester’s Marble Brewery. This weizen has quite a light rendition of the typical coriander/orange/banana notes and a slight tartness akin to a twist of lemon juice.



  • 2 Sea Bass
  • 300g cavolo nero
  • 1 red & 1 yellow pepper – or pre–roasted equivalent
    • This is one thing I just can’t get used to, back home we call it a “capsicum”… and even after 6 years “pepper” continues to feel confusing and wrong. I’m fine with “aubergine” though (as opposed to “eggplant”).
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • handful of fennel fronds
  • 4 bay leaves
  • salt & pepper
  • A German-style wheat beer, aka weizen
    • I’ve used the Weizen from Marble — a brewery in Manchester
    • Something more sour could be even better, such as a lambic or geuze, but it is very difficult to get your hands on a British one. This style is only just starting to get some attention amongst UK brewers.

You can buy roast pepper, but I usually do my own on the BBQ. Simply place whole peppers over the flame, rotating now and then until part-blackened on all sides. Put aside in a dish covered with foil. When cooled you can simply rub the charred skin off and slice into strips.

Pre-blanch the cavolo nero. I’ve stripped it off the stems, simmered it for 4 minutes, let cool in a colander, then squeezed much of the water out by hand. You will have a hand–compressed lump of cavolo nero now, simply cut this into about 5mm slices and set aside for “the last minute”.

I’ve prepared a herbed–butter by grinding up 2 cloves of garlic, a few twists of pepper, and a couple of fronds of fennel in a pestle and mortar. When pasted I’ve added a couple of tablespoons of soft butter and thoroughly mixed the lot together.

The sea bass should be scaled and gutted but otherwise whole. I prefer the look of a whole fish, it seems a bit sad to serve up the poor creature beheaded. The head also contains some tasty morsels of flesh — sea bass chaps anyone? Make some cuts in the sides of your fish, then rub the fish down with a generous grinding of salt. Next rub the herbed butter all over the fish and into the cuts, pop a knob of butter inside the fish as well, reserve about a quarter of the butter for later. Also into the belly cavity stuff some more fronds of fennel, a crushed garlic clove, and a couple of bay leaves.

Buttered Bass

You now have several options open to you for cooking your fish. Simply pan-fried? Baked in a hot oven for 15 minutes? Or for the hurried: wrapped in foil on a bed of cavolo nero, roast pepper on top, add a splash of weizen then into a hot oven for 25 minutes — slide onto a plate and enjoy.

I’ve taken the plain baking approach, sort–of. My BBQ gets very hot inside with the lid down, near to 300C at peak. So I’ve heated the BBQ up full–bull and onto a hotplate spread some pre–soaked smoking chips. Lid down again and await the moment they begin to produce some smoke, then pop the sea bass right on top of the chips. Lid down again, wait 15 minutes, remove, brush off any woodchips stuck to the skin. Done!

Fish on...

(Yes, I am quite happy to do a bit of BBQing outside while everything is covered in frost. I've BBQed in the snow too!)

Fish done!

Now it is “the last minute”. Place the cavolo nero in a small pan and add about a quarter of a cup of weizen and toss this while heating just to the point that it simmers … now melt in the retained herbed butter and turn off the heat.

Cavolo Nero in weizen

Onto a warmed plate place a bed of cavolo nero, onto this place a sea bass, drape with strips of roast pepper, drizzle with the buttery–weizen from the cavolo nero pan. Serve!

Dinner time, with a nice cool glass of weizen! We enjoyed our sea bass dinner with a side of leftover cous–cous salad and a home–baked bap.


Calories in, Calories out.
last edited on
by adamaki

Well seeing as Hugh didn't specify which fish we should use for this week's challenge I decided to use several! Hope that's not cheating! After watching the episode with mussels (and drooling over the results!) it seems that they all involved steaming the mussels in a pan, so I thought I'd go for a different way to prepare them. So my three good things are (shell)fish (cod, mussels and scallops), breadcrumbs and aioli sauce, which I combined to make fritto misto. Nothing original there, but I added a few twists to make it a bit more interesting. So here's my recipe:

Serves 2


Fritto misto

  • Small bag of mussels
  • 2 scallops in their shells
  • Small cod fillet
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper
Aioli sauce

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 125ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • small handful fresh basil
  • salt and white pepper
  • Wedges of lemon to serve
  1. Heat the oven to 160C. Drizzle a little olive oil over the garlic bulb and wrap in foil. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes. Once cooled, peel and squeeze the cloves out into a bowl to make a paste.
  2. Add the egg yolks to a bowl with the garlic, salt and white pepper.
  3. whisk together and add the oil a drop at a time for the first 50ml, whisking all the time. Slowly add the rest of the oil while whisking continually.
  4. In a pestle and mortar, grind the basil to a pulp and stir into the aioli.
  5. Heat a pan over a high heat and add a splash of water. Add the mussels and place the lid on the pan, shaking a few times for 60 seconds. Take the mussels from the pan and remove one shell from each mussel, leaving the meat inside the other shell.
  6. Skin the cod and cut into 1" pieces.
  7. In a shallow bowl mix the flour with the paprika and plenty of seasoning. In another bowl whisk the egg and in a third place the breadcrumbs.
  8. One by one toss the fish and shellfish in the flour. Pat to remove any excess then dip in the egg, then the breadcrumbs, ensuring they are thoroughly coated.
  9. Heat your deepfat fryer to 170C and carefully place the breaded fish and shellfish in a few at a time. Cook the fish first, then the mussels and scallops. Cook for a couple of minutes until golden and remove to a bowl lined with kitchen paper. Keep warm in the oven while you cook the rest (cooking the shellfish in their shells gives a delicious roast shellfish aroma).
  10. Plate up the fritto misto with the aioli in a ramekin and serve with wedges of lemon.
Fritto misto
Fritto misto with basil and roast garlic aioli. Sorry I forgot to add the lemon wedges in the photo (I'd probably quaffed too much birch sap wine at this point!).
by ClemmaT

A hot fish curry made using river cobbler, okra and cauliflower

Fish makes brilliant curry and it is a perfect dish for cold winter days like today!


A handful of okra

2 filleted river cobblers

A small cauliflower

Curry leaves

One dsp mild curry powder

One dsp tamarind paste

One large onion

Garam masala

4 fresh red chillies

Can of coconut milk

Chicken stock cube

Salt and pepper to taste

1) Put some vegetable oil in frying pan and heat. Cook river cobbler in oil. You do not need the skin so this can be discarded should you wish.

2) Add chopped onions, chillis and curry leaves to a large saucepan or deep frying pan with a little oil and cook until onions start to soften. Add cooked fish, curry powder and garam masala and stir in to mix.

2) Add coconut milk and tamarind paste. Once it starts to bubble, add stock cube and mix to combine.

3) Add cauliflower cut into small chunks and okra either whole or split in halves lengthways.

4) Bring back to boil. You will notice that the sauce starts to thicken as the vegetables cook. Season to taste and serve hot. 




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by Rat

Peas, cod and smoked bacon

Make a pea soup, using onions, garlic and peas. Blend and sieve.

Batter and deep fry the cod fillets. For the batter, use flour and soda water or beer.

Sprinkle the crisp smoked bacon over the top to serve.

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by egehrleinbren

This post has been deleted by its author.

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