Eat Recipes

Chef Masterclass – Josh Niland’s Whole BBQ Aquna Murray Cod, Smoked Gremolata and Cabbage Salad 

The holidays are the perfect time of the year to try a delicious new Chef Masterclass recipe that you might not usually have the time to tackle. This Whole BBQ Aquna Murray Cod recipe from fish maestro Josh Niland, will impress your family and loved ones and is the perfect centerpiece for your dining table.

About Aquna Murray Cod

Aquna Murray Cod is known as the ‘goldilocks’ of white fish due to it’s heightened flavour profile while incorporating the best of salmon’s smooth flaky texture. Aquna Murray Cod has sustainably-farmed murray cod back from the brink of extinction, winning the NSW Excellence in Sustainability award, and becoming Australia’s premium sustainable native fish.

Josh Niland’s Whole BBQ Aquna Murray Cod, Smoked Gremolata and Cabbage Salad 

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 x whole 800g Aquna Cod, gutted & scaled 100 ml (31⁄2 fl oz) 

Extra Virgin Olive Oil 

sea salt flakes 

freshly cracked black pepper 


300 g (101⁄2 oz) good quality tinned hot smoked sardines, bones removed (optional), finely chopped 

zest and juice of 4 lemons 

3 garlic cloves finely grated 

100 g (31⁄2 oz) fresh horseradish, finely grated 

300 ml (10 fl oz) extra-virgin olive oil 

sea salt flakes 

freshly cracked black pepper 

20 g (3⁄4 oz/1 cup) flat-leaf (Italian) parsley leaves 


It is important when you take the cod out of the packaging you purchase it in, to firstly wipe it thoroughly inside and out and then transfer it to a wire rack. 

Place in the refrigerator and allow the fan in the fridge to dry the skin out overnight. 

The next day place the whole cod in the centre of a cutting board and begin to scissor the fins from the top of the fish and from the collars on both sides. 

To make the gremolata, place the sardine meat, lemon zest, garlic, horseradish and olive oil in a bowl. Stir to combine, then season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Set aside at room temperature.

For the charcoal grill, make sure the grill is hot and the charcoal has cooked down to hot embers. Divide the coals across the floor of the charcoal grill to create a cooler side and a more intense side. 

When you are ready to cook the fish, remove it from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before cooking. 

Brush the skin of the body, and head with a little oil and season liberally with salt flakes. Place the body of the fish, skin side down, on a wire rack that sits on the grill bars over a high heat. 

Cook for 3 minutes on each side or until nicely coloured, then move to the cooler side of the grill. 

Cook the body, for approximately 10 minutes on both sides, or until a probe thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the fish reaches 42°C (107°F) at its thickest part. Remove from the heat and set the wire rack over a tray to rest.

While the fish is resting, stir the parsley through the gremolata.

On a large plate, spoon the gremolata into the centre of the plate and then place the rested grilled Aquna Murray Cod on top of that. Bring cutlery to the table to divide up and share. Serve alongside the Cabbage Salad (recipe below).

Cabbage Salad


3 packed cups of finely shredded white cabbage 

1 cup coarsely cut parsley 

Buttermilk Dressing

250g mayonnaise 

150ml buttermilk

30g Dijon mustard 

3g onion powder 

25ml apple cider vinegar 

To make the dressing – Combine all these ingredients together in a mixing bowl, thoroughly. 

Pickled Currants

100g dried currants

150ml red wine vinegar to cover 

To make the Pickled Currants – Place currants in a container and cover with vinegar. Best marinated for 1 day to soften the currants and lightly pickle. 

Salt & Vinegar Pepitas

125g pepitas 50ml sherry vinegar Pinch of salt 

Combine all ingredients in a baking tray and mix together. 

To make the Salt & Vinegar Pepitas – Set oven to 150C and bake for 5 mins at a time, stirring every 5 min.  Bake until all liquid has evaporated, and a uniform golden-brown colour is achieved. 

To Assemble the Salad

Place the shredded cabbage and herbs into a large mixing bowl and dress liberally with the buttermilk dressing to take it to a stage that resembles a coleslaw, this is at your discretion based on how wet you want the finished salad.

Add pickled currants to taste and then a big handful of the pepitas as these are salty, acidic and crunchy and will make the whole salad come together. Serve immediately alongside the fish.

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