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Seasonal seafood: King George whiting

Eat | Drink | Explore

Winter is the best time of year to fish for and buy King George whiting – stock up the freezer or enjoy the fish now with this simple recipe from Sarin’s Restaurant at Port Lincoln.

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True to its regal title, King George whiting is a sophisticated coastal marine fish. Its sweet, white, flaky fillets are characterised by crisp and delicate ocean flavours echoing its pristine coastal habitat.

It is typically found in sand and weed regions, with the bays and islands of the far west coast of South Australia dominating production during the winter months. The expansive waters of Spencer Gulf and Gulf St Vincent also provide consistent year-round supplies.

Traditionally, January marks an influx of new-season whiting, with production peaking over the autumn and winter months. June marks peak supply, with October to December the lowest. Production is consistent due to a high number of producing regions.

King George whiting is a shared resource, with up to 60 per cent of the state’s catch allocated to recreational fishers. High retail demand means it has become a premium seafood variety, but price does vary with the seasons, so look for good-value buying over the winter months.

The fish is best eaten fresh, although fillets keep well in the freezer for up to six months.

This recipe has been shared by chef David Pedro, of Sarin’s Restaurant at the Port Lincoln Hotel.

Rolled King George Whiting Fillets with Basil Pesto and Lemon Roasted Potatoes


8 medium to large King George whiting fillets, wing and pin bones removed
250g basil pesto (see recipe below)
8 wooden toothpicks
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1kg steamed new potatoes cut in wedges
1 lemon, zest and juice
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
250ml olive oil
½ bunch parsley, chopped
1 lemon, cut into four wedges to garnish


Lay whiting fillets skin side up, brush with basil pesto, season, then roll tail first and pierce with toothpick to hold together. Place on baking tray and cook for 8 to 12 minutes at 200C.

Place cut potatoes, garlic, olive oil, pepper, salt and lemon zest and juice in baking dish. Mix together and cook at 200C for 10 minutes. Add cherry tomatoes to baking dish and cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove from oven, stir in chopped parsley.

To serve, place potatoes on plate, topped with whiting and finish with a drizzle of olive oil.

Basil pesto


100g basil leaves
3 cloves garlic, crushed
80g almond flakes
150ml olive oil
80g grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste


Place basil, garlic and almonds in food processor or blender and drizzle in olive oil till smooth. Add parmesan, season to taste and blend until combined.

Serves 4

More information about King George whiting can be found here.


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