Shane Delia’s Chemen – cured Kingfish with preserved lemon and Pul Biber

This is one Maha’s signature dishes and Shane says, “This dish sums up the cooking at Maha. I think this pairing of the spice, dressing and the Kewpie mayonnaise with the fish is a knock-out.” He adds the fact the Kingfish stays moist through the curing process and is not over-cured maintains the integrity of the fish, “sometimes, you can taste the spice too much and you don’t get the characteristics of the fish,” he say, “but not with this recipe.”

Serves: 10

Preparation time:

Cooking time:



750gHiramasa Kingfish fillets – skin removed (ask your Ocean Made fishmonger to prepare this for you)

For the Chemen Cure




75gcoriander seed



400gm white sugar


Mix all the spices together. Place the fillets in a deep dish and cover them with the spice blend. Place in the fridge for 24 hours.

Take the fillets out of the blend and pat dry with a paper towel.

When ready to serve, slice the fish into 3 cm slices (75 gm per serve).

For the Black Aleppo dressing


50gm black PulBiber (Aleppo pepper)

150ml olive oil

5shallots, finely diced

1 whole preserved lemon, finely diced


Combine ingredients raw and drizzle over fish when plated.


1/2 bunch kale

Kewpie mayonnaise

Lemon balm leaves




Mix salt with all-spice in a separate bowl.

Deep-fryor shallow fry kale leaves ensuring they are crunchy (not brown) and they keep

their green colour.

Season the fried kale with the all-spice and salt mix

Sprinkle on top of fish when serving.

To assemble

Place sliced fish on plate

Gently drizzle dressing over fish

Place small dollops of kewpie mayonnaise on fish

Place pieces of fried kale on top of fish