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Adam Wolfers' whole roasted fish with red adjika, toasted pepitas and hawaij spice

Adam Wolfers whole roasted fish with red adjika

Preparation time
1-2 hours
Cooking time
60 minutes

and toasted pepitas and hawaij spice

Adam Wolfers' recipe for a whole roasted fish with red adjika, toasted pepitas and hawaij spice pairs deliciously with Mediterranean white wine varieties - our pick is the Vermentino.


Garlic oil

3 garlic cloves, halved

200ml vegetable oil


Red adjika

200g charred red capsicum, pulp and skins removed

20g confit garlic paste

1 whole dried chilli

25g chickpea miso

210g vegetable oil

Salt, to taste


Toasted pepitas

100g pepitas

30ml garlic oil (from above)

2 tsp Aleppo pepper (chilli madras)

Pinch of sea salt, to taste


Hawaij spice

4 whole cloves

½ tsp cardamom powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 ½ tbsp turmeric

1 tsp coriander seed

1 tsp black pepper

½ tsp cumin

¼ tsp chilli powder

1 tsp sea salt


Whole roasted fish

1 yellow belly flounder or white-fleshed, plate-size fish

2 tbsp hawaij spice (from above)

100ml garlic oil (from above)

1 tbsp sea salt

50g toum (specialty garlic paste)

2 tbsp chives, chopped

4 lemon wedges

Recipe by Adam Wolfers

Photography by Amy Hemmings


1. For garlic oil: Place garlic in a pot with oil and warm until it reaches no higher than 130ºC. Let cook for 1–2 hours until garlic is soft, then strain off garlic.

2. For red adjika: Place capsicum, garlic, chilli and miso in a food processor and blend to form a paste. Add vegetable oil and blend for a further 30 seconds, season with salt and set aside.

3. For toasted pepitas: In a shallow pan on medium heat, add garlic oil and pepitas. Turn down heat and move pepitas around in pan with wooden spoon. Once pepitas are golden brown and popping in the pan, add Aleppo pepper and salt, before turning out of the pan onto absorbent paper to cool.

4. For hawaij spice: Toast all spices in a dry frying pan over medium heat for 2–3 minutes, or until they start to pop and jump around. Let cool, then grind in upright blender or spice blender, adding salt while grinding.

5. For whole roasted fish: Pre-heat oven to 200ºC (fan-forced) or medium-high if using a barbeque, and place fish on a tray (or board). If refrigerated, remove fish from fridge 15 minutes before cooking to cook evenly.

6. In a small bowl, mix the garlic oil and toasted hawaij spice. Massage spiced oil all around fish, adding salt on both sides.

7. If using barbeque, cook fish without oil or spice, lightly caramelising the skin before rubbing spice after grilling to prevent spices burning. Otherwise, place fish in oven on baking paper and roast in oven until cooked (5–10 minutes, depending on the thickness).

8. Once cooked, removed from oven and place on wire rack to cool and rest, approx. 5 minutes. While resting, lightly brush with toum and reserve cooking juices for plating.

9. Meanwhile, mix chopped chives, toasted pepitas, adjika and cooking juices in a small bowl. Place fish on a large serving plate, and spoon mixture over and around the fish, covering the plate. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.

Wine Match


Preparation time
1-2 hours
Cooking time
60 minutes