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A glorious starter with a heady bisque and seaweed butter

Chargrilled Langoustine, Bisque, Buttermilk and Pickled Fennel




12 langoustines   BUY ONLINE



Pickled Fennel

1 fennel

100g of white wine

100ml of white wine vinegar

50ml of water

50g of sugar


1 tsp salt


1 onion, chopped

2 celery sticks, chopped


3 garlic cloves

4 sprigs of thyme

1 bay leaf

1 star anise

1 tsp tomato paste

75ml of brandy

250ml of white wine

250g of tomatoes

2l fish stock


100ml of buttermilk

1 tsp pickled lemon



Seaweed Butter

250g of butter

2 sheets of nori seaweed

To Plate

Sea fennel

Sea purslane

Bronze fennel


Begin by preparing the pickled fennel. Remove and reserve the fennel tops, then thinly slice the bulb using a mandoline. Season with salt and leave to sit for 30 minutes

Meanwhile, make the pickling liquor by combining the white wine, vinegar, sugar, thyme and water together in a pan. Bring to the boil and, once boiling, remove the pan from the heat

Wash the salt from the fennel slices and dry them carefully using kitchen towel. Place into a container or jar and pour over the warm pickling liquor. Cover and leave the slices to steep in a cool place for at least 3 hours

For the langoustine, remove the tails and set to one side, separating the heads, claws and shell for the bisque. Smash the heads, claws and shell into pieces using a rolling pin

Preheat the oven to 180°C

Roast the langoustine pieces in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden. Meanwhile, sweat the onion, celery, fennel and garlic together in a pan, then add the herbs and anise

Add the roasted shell pieces to the pan along with the tomato paste and allow to cook out for 2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the brandy and white wine, then add the tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes

Add the stock to the pan and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat slightly and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave for 15 minutes to infuse, then pass through a fine chinois into a clean pan

Heat until reduced to a thick sauce-like consistency, seasoning to taste, then remove the pan from the heat and keep warm until ready to serve

To make the seaweed butter blitz the nori in a food processor until it forms a fine powder. Beat the butter until whipped, then fold through the seaweed. Set aside in a cool place until ready to serve

For the buttermilk, mix together the milk and lemon juice until well combined. Season to taste and add more lemon juice if required

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and blanch the langoustines tails for 10 seconds, then immediately plunge them into iced water to refresh

Place a griddle pan over a high heat until hot, then peel the langoustines and season with salt and a little oil and place into the pan. Cook for 1 minute until caramelised on one side, then remove from the pan and brush with seaweed butter

To serve, smear a little of the buttermilk across each plate and spoon over the bisque. Arrange a generous serving of the pickled fennel across the centre of the plate and top with the grilled langoustine tails. Blanch the sea vegetables and place on top with the fennel and reserved fennel tops







01261 861204

Downies Fish          40 Low Shore          Whitehills          Aberdeenshire          AB45 2NA          T : 01261 861204          E : info@downiefish.co.uk