in praise of

Leather Jackets
Oven Baked with Oyster Sauce

go straight to the recipe

Leather Jackets, sometimes called Ocean Jackets remain one of South Australia’s most underutilised fish. The also remain one of the cheapest. This under utilistion is probably because they are best cooked on the bone….get over it! The bones on Leather Jackets are large and easy to avoid and the flesh cooked on the bone is sweet and delicious. I am sure that Cath Kerry and I are not the only people who possess fish knives, but they are for a purpose to easily scrape the flesh from the bone. At Mistress Augustine’s we used to give lessons to convert diners to the deliciousness of fish cooked on the bone.

We come from a fishing family and never put our fish in contact with tap water. This of course, is not possible in restaurants or for fish mongers, but if you’re the fishing type give it a go, you’ll notice the difference.

This would be just as good with fish fillets, but you would need to cut the time to 10 minutes closed and 5 open.



preparation 5 minutes
cooking time 25 minutes [timing is for fish straight from the fridge]

serves two
pre heat oven to 200°C

2 large leather jackets, skinned
4 x 15g slices of cold unsalted butter
3 spring onions, cleaned and cut into roughly 3 cm pieces
Megachef oyster sauce, approximately 120 ml
30 ml Leonardi white balsamic or 2 x ¼ medium lemon wedges

aluminum foil
baking paper

Use a double layer of foil, and a single sheet of baking paper to make your parcel. Put two slices of butter and half of the spring onions on the paper. Drizzle oyster sauce across the top, then place the leather jackets head to tail on top and repeat the process.

Make a package with the baking paper and then a second package with the foil.

Stand on a tray and put in the oven. Set a timer for 15 minutes, when the timer goes open up the packages and return to the oven for another 10 minutes. Check that the fish is cooked and serve sliding the fish onto plates and dividing the spring onion and sauce between the two plates. Sprinkle the vinegar over or serve with the lemon wedge.

If you don’t like the look of a spilt sauce, tip it into a pan, bring to the boil and emulsify, shaking the pan constantly with a couple of pieces of cold butter and a tablespoon of cold water.

  Plain steamed rice is a great accompaniment.  

Rather ugly delicious, we did add a couple of sprigs of thyme to the package, but this is more a method than a recipe.


  • If you are not an oyster lover use 50% Ketyap Manis and 50% Megachef fish or anchovy sauce.
  • Fish cooked like this replacing the oyster sauce with smoked tomato sambal is really good.