Pumpkin seed crusted snapper with curry pumpkin puree and hibiscus fluid gel

By Craig Wong
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Hibiscus fluid gel

  • 1/2 ounce (14 g) hibiscus flowers
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 2/3 ounces (47 g) sugar
  • 2 cups (470 ml) water, boiling
  • 1% agar agar by weight

Pumpkin seed crust

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) pumpkin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1/2 scotch bonnet chili, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 3 sprigs thyme, leaves only
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped (rasp)
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground allspice
  • 6 tablespoons (90 ml) butter, soft

Curry pumpkin puree

  • 1 buttercup pumpkin, peeled and cubed
  • 1 1/2 quarts (1.5 L) chicken stock
  • 1/2 scotch bonnet
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) cold butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon (7.5 ml) Caribbean curry powder
  • Salt


  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 skinless snapper filets, skin on and pin bones removed
  • Pumpkin seed crust
  • Edible flowers, to garnish


Hibiscus fluid gel

1. Add hibiscus flowers, sugar, cinnamon and cloves to a heatproof dish or saucepan. Add boiling water and allow to steep for 45 minutes. Strain.

2. Weigh strained tea on a digital scale to calculate agar agar amount needed.

3. Add strained tea to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Weigh and add agar agar powder. Whisk well and boil for 1 minute.

4. Pour into a dish and chill at least 4 hours until set and firm.

5. Add set jelly into a blender and blend on low. Slowly increase the speed to high until a fluid gel forms. Transfer mixture to a squeeze bottle and reserve for plating.

Pumpkin seed crust

1. In a bowl, mix panko, pumpkin seeds, scotch bonnet, thyme, all spice, garlic, and butter, to form a dough.

2. Roll out the dough very thin (1/4-inch/6 mm) between two sheets of parchment paper and chill completely, about 2 hours.

3. Before plating, cut the dough into the shapes of the fillets.

Pumpkin puree

1. Bring chicken stock to a boil in a medium pot.  Add the cubes of pumpkin.

2. Add the scotch bonnet pepper to the pot. Add thyme.

3. Remove scotch bonnet after 12 minutes of boiling.

4. Cook 20-25 minutes, until pumpkin is very soft. Discard the thyme and pepper. Strain. If desired, reserve the stock for another use.

5. Add cooked pumpkin to the blender with curry powder and blend on high until smooth. Add butter and continue blending until a smooth, glossy puree forms.

6. Season with salt. Reserve and keep warm.


1. Preheat an oven to 425 F (220 C).

2. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Top the skin side of the fillet with prepared crusts.

3. Place fillets onto pan, place in the oven and bake for 7-8 minutes until cooked through and crusty.

To serve

1. Dress the left side of a plate with a series of artfully arranged dots of the hibiscus fluid gel.

2. Add a spoonful of the warm pumpkin puree to the right side of the plate. Lay crusted fillet on left. Garnish with edible flowers.

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