The Hungry Girls – Cherry Tomato, Herb and Chilli Fish

by Jenny Butler
Tuesday 17th January 2012

Leah, Rachel and Katherine are back today sharing their first delicious recipe with us- YUM! As part of their Guest Blog this week the Girls are giving away a set of all 3 editions of The Hungry Girls’ Cookbooks. To go into the draw, simply leave a comment on any of this weeks HG posts before 10pm on Thursday the 19th. The winner will be drawn at random and announced on Friday- good luck! -Jenny x

I don’t have much luck with fishing. I love the idea of it – casting in, sitting around on the shore, then reeling in something beautiful and glistening from the deep. But this last bit never happens! At least not in the last few years of fishing attempts over summer.

As a fisherwoman I started out with a bang on a camping trip to the Glenelg River near the South Australian border. There was a group of us sitting on a small jetty tucked into the reeds, a line of craggy limestone cliffs facing us on the other side of the river. Somehow I managed to be the one catching all the fish! I think I got two bream, which isn’t exactly a huge haul, but was at least more than anyone else caught. I thought, this fishing caper is fantastic! So easy! The seasoned fishermen wanted to throw me in after I said this a few too many times.

My husband likes fishing even more than I do but we share the same current tide of bad luck. His purchases of fishing licenses and bait go a-wasted. On Boxing Day he was fishing in Portland with my brother, who’s been catching decent whitings, snappers and even a 1.1 metre gummy shark in the region lately, but nothing while we were there!

Ah well. I can content myself with purchasing a nice fresh snapper from a fishmonger and getting it filleted. This is a delicious way of cooking it – in a pan on a bed of buttery cherry tomatoes, herbs, garlic and chilli. The fish gets cooked quite gently, and the tomatoes taste so delicious and caramelised you could eat them by themselves on toast. While I wouldn’t normally cook with skinless fish fillets, skinless actually works best for this recipe because of the gentle cooking, and so the fish absorbs the flavours. The recipe comes from The Hungry Girls’ Cookbook.

Cherry tomato, herb and chilli fish

Serves 4

1 whole white-fleshed fish weighing around 1.5 kg, filleted and skinned, each fillet cut into two pieces

4 x 150–200 g white fish fillets
salt and pepper
75 g butter
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
2–3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1–2 red bird’s eye chillies (depending on their heat), finely chopped
2 punnets cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons chopped basil
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped chives

Pat the fish fillets dry and rub with a little salt. Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan over medium–high heat until the butter foams, then add the garlic and chilli, frying until the garlic begins to colour.

Add the tomatoes and fry for 30 seconds, then add the herbs and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine, and make sure the tomatoes cover the base of the pan fairly evenly. Lay the fish fillets on top and gently press them into the tomatoes.

After 2–3 minutes, when you can see the fish turning opaque up the sides, turn the fillets. Try to pick up some of the tomatoes underneath so they end up on top. Cook for another 2 minutes.

Take the pan to the table and serve. The fish is great served on top of green beans or with a green salad, and with some crusty bread.

Rachel, Leah and Katherine x

by Jenny Butler
Tuesday 17th January 2012


  • mish 5 years ago

    The fish looks delicious!

  • Rebecca 5 years ago

    With fresh basil, parsley, chives and tomotoes growing in the backyard at the moment – this receipe sounds perfect… And so YUM!! THANKS!!

  • Kate 5 years ago

    After reading today’s recipe, I’m looking forward to receiving the rest of the week’s! Looks fantastic, and if the photography is anything to go by, the books must look great. Well done!

  • Melissa Simonetta 5 years ago

    This is perfect, I bought fish and tomatos yeterday for dinner tonight and didnt even think of putting them togetrher! Will def be making this tonight for my boyfriend!

  • Niccola 5 years ago

    This looks so lovely! I love the fact that you hand bind all your books too – so much love!

  • kanani 5 years ago

    i have a thing for unique cookbooks..and my goodness, these just blew everything else out of the water…so charming.

  • Camila Freitas 5 years ago

    I’ll definitely be trying this recipe…maybe dinner tonight. Looks so delicious and very simple to cook. Thank you for sharing it!! :-)

  • Clare 5 years ago

    Yum! I’ve been gorging on white fish recently. We have loads of homegrown cherry tomatoes and chillis right now too, so I think this might be on the menu next week. Will make a change from the classic salt/ pepper/ lemon combo I’ve been sticking with.

  • Meg 5 years ago

    Beautifully presented book and recipes – yum, yum, yum,glad I read this at lunchtime and I am eating while reading – otherwise it would be terribly tempting and agonising to look at such lovely pictures of the Hungry girls food!

  • Claire 5 years ago

    I am a ‘hungry girl’ – always thinking what to cook next, I bought the first book for a girlfriend and have been coveting for myself!

  • emma aiston 5 years ago

    yum yum pigs bum!

  • Claire Evans 5 years ago

    I’m always looking for new recipes to get fish in my diet and what a delicious one this is!

  • Frances Victor 5 years ago

    Fish recipe looks so easy and delicious. Now I’m a hungry girl!

  • Leah 5 years ago

    Looks delicious! Can’t wait to try out the recipes!

  • Rachel 5 years ago

    yummy for my tummy

  • Nikki G 5 years ago

    Delicious! I was wondering what to do with my salmon for dinner tonight! Thanks girls

  • Clementine 5 years ago

    I am trying this tonight!

  • Andrea 5 years ago

    Yuuuum… For a moment there I thought you’d be showing the whole fish-preparation process! Thanks for sparing!

  • AK 5 years ago

    Love the hand bound design ethic and thinking seriously about the recipe you’ve shared even though I don’t really eat fish because it looks so fresh. Nice work!

  • Laure 5 years ago

    Oh wow, it just looks SO yummy !! You just made me hungry !!
    Love the pics, thanks for sharing !

  • Jenny 5 years ago

    I love the story-telling around your fishing expeditions as well as beautiful photography. The close-up of your delicious fish ‘n’ tomato brew has inspired me to try the recipe with fresh salmon. Thanks.

  • elissa c 5 years ago

    I want to try this next weekend! Gorgeous photos, too.

  • Georgie 5 years ago

    That looks absolutely delicious. I can’t wait to make this next week!

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