Quenelles of Gurnard with Shrimp Sauce


by: Head Chef

Gurnard flesh is described as firm and tender when cooked. The fish serves as an adequate replacement to rascasse, or scorpionfish, in bouillabaisse.


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serves: 4

2 tablespoons (25 g) butter

2/3 cup (150 ml) milk

1 cup heaped (50 g) fresh white breadcrumbs

12 oz (350 g) gurnard (or sea robin fillets, skinned and boned)

1 pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 egg

1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream

Salt and freshly ground white pepper


1 quantity Shellfish Reduction (made with shrimp)

1/3 cup (85 ml) heavy cream

1 teaspoon Beurre Manié

1 egg yolk

Nutrition Facts
Quenelles of Gurnard with Shrimp Sauce

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving

Calories: 427

  • Total Fat: 26.7 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 14.7 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 228.7 mg
  • Sodium: 994.7 mg
  • Total Carbs: 26.7 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 0.4 g
  •     Sugars: 10.3 g
  • Protein: 19.6 g

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1.  Place the fish belly-side down on a chopping board. Make a shallow, vertical cut just behind the head of the gurnard, where the spines of the dorsal fin begin.

2.  Turn the blade of the knife horizontally toward the tail and take the dorsal fin in the other hand.

3.  Slice just under the skin through the bones of the dorsal fin, right the way along the entire length of the fish, and lift them away.

4.  Cut through the backbone where it joins the back of the head, but not all the way through the fish.

5.  Push your thumbs underneath the skin on either side of the head and pull it away slightly.

6.  Take hold of the head in one hand and the body of the fish in the other, and pull the head down toward the belly.

7.  As soon as the head becomes free, use it to help pull away the skin from the body of the fish.

8.  Pull the skin off the whole fish and right over the tail.

9.  To make the quenelles, melt the butter and mix with the milk and breadcrumbs to form a coarse paste. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Make sure all the other ingredients are cold, too.

10.  Cut the gurnard fillets into small pieces. Everything must be as cold as possible before you start. Put the fish pieces, bread, milk and butter paste, egg, lemon juice, and nutmeg into a food processor.

11.  Blend the mixture for at least 1 minute so that everything breaks down to form a very fine paste.

12.  Transfer the mixture to a bowl and set the bowl in a slightly larger one of well-iced water. Add the cream a little at a time, beating vigorously between each addition.

13.  The finished mixture should be light and quite thick in texture. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.

14.  For the sauce, heat the shellfish reduction in a small pan. Add half of the cream and the beurre manie and whisk over a medium heat for a few minutes until smooth and thickened. Keep warm.

15.  Bring a wide, shallow pan of lightly salted water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a slow simmer. Mold the fish mixture into quenelles and drop them into the simmering water. Poach for 3 to 4 minutes, turning them over halfway through, then remove with a slotted spoon to a clean dish towel and let drain briefly.

16.  Divide the quenelles among four individual gratin dishes or one large gratin dish. Preheat the broiler.

17.  Whisk together the egg yolk and remaining cream, and stir into the sauce. Stir over a low heat until thickened, but not boiling. Pour the sauce over the quenelles and broil, close to the heat, for about 1 minute until lightly browned. Serve.

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