Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Succulent and Saucy Nannygai Fish Wings

We were given a kilo of Nannygai fish wings by friends who went on a a fishing trip to the Great Barrier Reef out from Mackay. They caught a lot of fish. I'm not sure whether these were small mouth Nannygai (Crimson Snapper) or Large mouth Nannygai, however both are beautiful eating fish, and I think it would have been easier from what I have read to catch the small mouth ones. Large Fish Wings like this can be found at the fish markets in large cities or direct from fish suppliers, but often they are just made into pet food or discarded which is such a shame, because the wings from large reef fish like these Nannies still contain a lot of meat. I put these straight into the freezer when I brought them home, hoping for inspiration at a later date on what to do with them. The wings from any large fish could be used for this recipe.

This is the recipe I came up with and they were delicious. Baking Fish Wings ensures the flesh is tender and moist and well cooked and then adding the sauce when hot produces a meal which I think could be served proudly in any restaurant. I'm not one for deep frying anymore, as I don't have a proper deep fryer now, and I'm a bit reluctant to attempt this style of cooking in an ordinary saucepan, however deep frying is certainly an option with these and equally delicious. How do you feel about deep frying?

It's the Summer of Seafood, Salads and the beach here in the Queensland Tropics and this is my first post for the year. Happy New Year to all my friends reading this, and to my blogging friends, I will slowly catch up on what you have all been doing. I hope you had a relaxing Christmas. We had a big family Christmas in Cairns and followed that with a nice and relaxing holiday at beautiful Kuranda up on the Atherton Tablelands. What a beautiful spot, and although it was quite wet that didn't deter us in any way from enjoying the splendour of freshwater swimming holes, no crocodiles, the luxuriant rainforest, and lots of delicious local mangoes and fresh fruits.

Let's cook:

1 kg Nannygai or Snapper Fish Wings
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. white wine or verjuice
1 cup water
2 long red cayenne chillis, finely sliced
5 cm piece ginger, finely shredded (1 tblsp.)
100 ml fish sauce
Juice of 3 limes
1 Kaffir lime leaf, finely shredded
2 lemons

Baking the wings:

Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Lay the wings in a single layer on the tray. Pour over the juice of two lemons and cover the tray tightly with alfoil.
Cook in a moderate oven for 20 minutes until the  fish flesh is almost cooked through. Remove the alfoil and cook for another 10 minutes until the fish is well cooked and the fins are slightly crisped up.

Making the sauce:

Bring sugar and water to the boil, simmer until sauce caramelises, about 6 minutes. Stir through the ginger, chilli, soy sauce, lime leaf, wine and fish sauce. Remove pan from the heat and set aside to slightly cool.

Bring the sauce back to the boil, add the lime juice to create a balanced flavour of salty, sweet, spicy and sour.

To Serve:

Remove the fish wings from the oven and place onto a serving dish.

Carefully pour the sauce over the wings and serve immediately with shredded chilli as a garnish over the wings.

Cooking for my family and spending as much time as possible with our Grandson Hugo, still only aged two and half, has taken up a lot of my time over the holidays. However I also enjoyed reading quite a few books. These were my favourites:

Geraldine Brooks - People of the Book. Sydney, HarperCollins Australia, 2014 (A well researched book, set mostly in Bosnia,  about the restoration by a renowned conservator of the Sarajevo Haggadah, one of the earliest Jewish volumes ever to be illuminated with images. This book pieces together the secrets of the Haggadah's miraculous survival over five centuries of history. A story about war, love, art, and survival.) I loved it.

Mira Stout - One Thousand Chestnut Trees. London, Flamingo, 1998. (Mira Stout explores the extraordinary history of twentieth century Korea from 1936 as the Japanese strip away the lands and titles of the Koreans, and Anna's family's survival during the war, and her Mother's eventual escape to the U.S. in 1951. This book made me realise that I knew little about the turbulent history of Korea.) A great read.

For a lighter style novel, I read The Last Dance by Fiona McIntosh just because I needed to and a friend lent me the book.  Fiona is an Australian author from South Australia, writes well researched and entertaining historical adventure romances, and I am now a fan. She also loves to cook and has a cooking blog, which I intend to explore.

Now it's about getting back to the normal daily routines of simple living, doing a bit of this and a bit of that including reading, cooking and sewing, and planning our year.

It's good to be back blogging.

Best wishes for 2019,



  1. i'm with you (and lorraine from Not Quite Nigella) on the frying thing. i just can't do it:) i get hubby to do any frying type stuff out on the back deck under sheets of newspaper so no messy kitchen. What a fab idea and so eco-friendly to cook these wings. sounds delicious. hope you're surviving the heat up there. cheers sherry

    1. Thanks Sherry. The weather here has been pretty good really, not too hot. Fingers crossed it stays that way.

  2. Ooh I love fish wings! I love meat and fish on the bone so I really enjoy eating them. Great recipe Pauline!

  3. Pauline, it's good to have you back blogging and such a lovely holiday you must have had. Sounds like a great subject for a post. Fish wings are one of my favorite ways to eat fish. We have an arrangement with our fishmonger wherein he saves us for a week s worth of large salmon wings, backbones and heads. Wings are usually work fried and served with a chili ginger sauce. But, your recipe looks fantastic as I like the Thai/Malaysian twist to your recipe. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Ron I must try frying them in a wok one day. I thought they might dry out but I'm sure yours are delicious. Thanks, Pauline


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