By Joel Hodgson, Nature’s Kai


The Kai Ika Project is a non-profit initiative bringing communities together to share previously underutilised fish parts, to reduce waste and feed the community while conserving fish for future generations.
This kaupapa [project] is a collaboration between the Outboard Boating Club of Auckland (OBC), Papatūānuku Kōkiri Marae and LegaSea.
Since the project’s inception in 2016, over 300,000kg of previously unwanted fish parts have been collected from various sources and shared with appreciative families and community groups throughout Auckland.
Kai Ika offers a fish filleting service at Westhaven’s Z Pier in Auckland and at the OBC. Filleting services are available to events across the North Island by prior arrangement. This enables fishers to have their catch expertly processed whilst ensuring nothing goes to waste, and 100% of funds raised are reinvested back into Kai Ika.
We aim to demonstrate how people can respect the marine environment by using more of the fish they take, fostering improved behaviours that will enable us to take less.
Through sharing a variety of recipes that cater for a range of skill levels, we hope to empower home chefs to prepare less familiar secondary cuts.
Waste not, want not. For more information visit


For the parsnip purée:
• 2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
• 3 cloves black garlic
• 200ml cream
• 75g unsalted butter
• Salt and pepper to taste
For the pomegranate and persimmon salsa:
• ½ red onion, diced
• 1 red chili, diced
• 1 persimmon, diced
• 80g pomegranate arils
• Handful of sliced coriander
• Juice of ½ lemon
• Salt and pepper to taste
For the fish:
• Kingfish fillets
• Olive oil
• Salt and pepper to taste
For the crispy chicken skin:
• Chicken skin, cleaned and dried
• Salt
For the roasted yellow tomatoes on the vine:
• Yellow tomatoes on the vine
• Olive oil
• Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat your oven to 220°C (425°F).
2. Prepare the parsnip purée: In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine chopped parsnips, black garlic, cream, and unsalted butter. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the parsnips are soft. Once softened, remove from heat and use a blender or food processor to blitz until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
3. Make the pomegranate and persimmon salsa: In a large bowl, mix together diced red onion, diced red chili, diced persimmon, pomegranate arils, sliced coriander, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
4. Prepare the crispy chicken skin: Lay cleaned and dried chicken skin flat on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Bake in the preheated oven until golden and crispy, about 15-20 minutes. Once crispy, remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Break into smaller pieces for garnish.
5. Roast the yellow tomatoes on the vine: Place the yellow tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until tomatoes are soft and slightly caramelized. Remove from the oven and set aside.
6. Cook the fish: Season the kingfish fillets with salt and pepper. In a hot pan with olive oil, sear the fillets on both sides until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the seared fish to a baking dish and place in the preheated oven along with the roasted tomatoes. Bake for approximately 4 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.
7. Assemble the dish: Spoon a dollop of the parsnip purée onto each plate. Place a piece of oven-roasted kingfish on top of the purée. Spoon the pomegranate and persimmon salsa over the fish. Garnish with crispy chicken skin pieces and roasted yellow tomatoes on the vine. Serve immediately.