Vanilla sauces are terribly fashionable in London at the moment. In Madagascar they have been making them for ever. I had the luxury of making this with fresh vanilla and fresh peppercorns, but you will probably have to substitute dried ones. I also used mandarin eau-de-vie, a local speciality, which gives the creamy, slightly spicy sauce a lovely orangey flavour.


approx. 900 g (2 lb) carp (or perch, trout or bass)


50 g (2 oz) butter

1 tablespoon green peppercorns

75 ml (3 fl oz) mandarin or orange eau-de-vie, or orange liqueur

250 ml (9 fl oz) fish stock

200 ml (7 fl oz) double cream

1 vanilla pod, split lengthways



½ a lime or lemon

sprig of parsley


De-scale, clean and fillet the fish. (Ask your fishmonger to do this for you if you prefer.) Season with salt.

Heat a frying pan and put in half the butter. When it is hot add the fish, flesh side down, and fry for about a minute, until slightly coloured. Turn and cook for a further minute or so. Add the peppercorns and cook for a moment to bring out the flavour, then add the eau-de-vie and flambé. When the flames have died down remove the fillets and keep warm.

Add the fish stock to the pan and reduce until you have a syrup. Add the cream, and scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod into the sauce. Cook for about a minute. Cut the remaining butter into small pieces and whisk into the sauce.

Pour the sauce over the fish and garnish with the lime or lemon and parsley.


Serves 4.


country : Madagascar

course : fish dish


source : Floyd on Africa / Keith Floyd