Our weekend recipe is from e’cco, a modern Australia bistro located on what was once an unfashionable area of the Story Bridge end of the Brisbane CBD fringe. In the past 15 years or so, it has gradually transformed into a series of upmarket apartment blocks, a five star hotel, restaurants, bars and nightclubs – and e’cco, an unpretentious space that is the perfect backdrop for Chef Philip Johnson’s beautifully simple food. e’cco has been the number one restaurant in Brisbane almost since it opened in 1995. If you’re in the Sunshine State capital, don’t miss it.
12 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
500g salmon or ocean trout fillets, skin removed, pin-boned and cubed
500g white fish fillets, skin removed, pin-boned and cubed
24 large scallops, roe removed
25 large raw prawns (shrimp), shelled and deveined, with tails intact
125ml (½ cup) olive oil
a pinch of dried chilli flakes
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
1 red papaya, peeled, seeded and diced
½ lemongrass stem, white part only, very finely diced
1 red chilli, seeded, very finely diced
5 kaffir lime leaves, very finely sliced
a handful of mint leaves, torn
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons grated palm sugar
Thread the seafood onto the skewers, alternating with the salmon, white fish, scallops and prawns. Lay the seafood skewers flat in a flat shallow tray.
To make the marinade, combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Pour over the seafood skewers, turning so they are well coated on all sides, then cover and refrigerate for 3 hours.
To make the salad, combine the red papaya, lemongrass, chilli, kaffir lime and mint in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the fish sauce, lime juice and palm sugar. Pour enough dressing over the salad to moisten.
Heat a barbecue or ridged grill pan to high heat. Sear the seafood skewers on the hot grill for 1 minute each side.
To serve, divide the salad among serving plates and place the seafood skewers alongside Serve with lime wedges.
Note: These seafood skewers also work well served on their own as part of a barbecue banquet or as an appetizer. Drizzle them with an Asian-inspired sauce or dressing (the papaya salad would work beautifully), serve with lime mayonnaise to dip or with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice.