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Crispy pan-fried fish with native ingredients| Kleenheat Kitchen

Fire up the barbecue and create the ultimate taste of summer with Dale Tilbrook’s snapper recipe that showcases the uniqueness of Australian native herbs.

Preparation: 20 mins Cook time: 15 mins  Serves: 2


  • 2 x saddle tail snapper fillets
  • 2 potatoes, sliced
  • A pinch of saltbush (dried)*
  • A pinch of native pepper leaf (dried)*
  • A pinch of ground bush tomatoes (dried)
  • A pinch of native lemongrass (dried)
  • 1 cup of cream
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • Macadamia oil


  1. Coat the sliced potatoes in some oil, saltbush, native pepper leaf and ground bush tomatoes.
  2. Heat barbecue or a char-grill pan to medium-high heat and lightly oil grill or pan.
  3. Place potatoes on the barbecue for 15 mins until cooked, turning once halfway through.

For the fish

  1. Pat fish dry with a paper towel
  2. Season with floor and native pepper leaf. An easy way to do this is in a re-sealable zipper storage bag if you’re out camping.
  3. Coat the fish fillets with flour, shaking off most of it. Leave just a thin coat to keep the fish crispy. Too much flour will tend to make a kind of batter that slides off.
  4. Heat barbecue or a char-grill pan to medium-high heat and lightly oil grill or pan.
  5. Lay the fillets down on the barbecue and cook for approximately 5-6 minutes on one side. Turn and repeat until crisp and browned.

For the cream

  1. Heat the cream on medium heat in a small pan and add the butter and native lemongrass. Simmer until the flavour of the native lemongrass is infused into the cream.  If the cream gets too thick, add a little milk.
  2. Spoon the lemongrass cream onto the plate around the fish. If you have any, serve with sprigs of fresh sea parsley or sea celery.


If you don’t have any of the mentioned Australian native herbs, you can substitute them for the following:

  • *Saltbush (dried) = Salt
  • *Native pepper leaf = Pepper

Cooking with native ingredients

As the bush industry has grown, there have been more opportunities to buy plant food. Most native ingredients can be ordered online, and in some cases, you can grow them yourself. Check out some simple tips for setting your garden up for success.

If you can’t order native ingredients because of seasonality or supply, there’s always an equivalent or substitute.

Here are some local WA suppliers to consider:


For more cooking inspiration, check out other recipes in the Kleenheat Kitchen.