Many years ago, I had this as an appetizer during lunch at a restaurant near Toulouse/France. I liked it, so I asked the chef-owner what the ingredients were. He rattled off the list, no amounts or proportions. After lunch (with ample amounts of wine), I wrote down the list as I remembered it. I tried to recreate the recipe at home, and I was quite pleased wit the result. I realized afterwards that I had made one mistake. I had scribbled down "poisson fumé" (smoked fish) instead of "fumet de poisson" (fish stock). Not exactly the same! But I actually like my coulis even better!

  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1.5 hours.
  • Makes 4 servings.
  • The coulis can be made a day ahead.
  • Left-over coulis keeps up to a week in the refrigerator.


  • 4 ripe avocados. This is one per person - if that is too much, make half the recipe.
  • If the fruit lightly (!) yields to gentle pressure in the palm of your hand, it is ready to be peeled. Do not use over-ripe avocados!!
  • 500 grams (2½ cups = 1 pound) raspberries.
  • I buy frozen crushed raspberries - much less expensive!
  • Do not use raspberry jam/confiture as a substitute! The coulis will be much too sweet.
  • Do not use store-bought coulis. It is basically garbage, but may be OK as ice cream topping.
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon finely pureed smoked fish (no skin or bones!)
  • I use smoked mackerel; the filets have soft belly areas where you can easily scrape off the meat - no need to puree.
  • 60 grams (1/4 cup) fine crystal sugar (France: sucre en poudre)
  • 3-4 shallots (about 75 grams / 3 oz. cleaned), very finely minced (quick job in a kitchen machine)
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of your favorite oriental fish sauce
  • I use Vietnamese nuoc mam, but Thai fish sauce is fine too (though much saltier)
  • alternatively: 1-2 tablespoons (smoked) fish stock, or veal stock, or chicken, or duck stock; as with all stock, use home made if you can - it is not that difficult to make.
  • In a pinch, you can use "fumet de poisson" fish stock in powdered form. Make sure to get good quality powder: check the list of ingredients on the package for high fish content - at least 20% - and no glutamate; I found Knorr brand to be OK.
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic paste (crushed garlic may be used in a pinch)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground anise seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of fresh ground pepper


  • sauce pan
  • frying pan
  • fine-mesh sieve
  • large wooden spoon
  • heat diffuser/distributor for between the sauce pan and the stove burner


  • Instructions for the coulis:
  • thaw out the raspberries (if using frozen) or wash the raspberries (if using fresh)
  • crush the raspberries
  • boil in the sauce pan for 1 minute, then reduce heat to a slow simmer
  • strain through a fine wire-mesh kitchen sieve to remove the seeds. This takes at least 15 minutes of work! Scrape the berries through the sieve with a (wooden) spatula or large spoon. Don't forget to scrape the outside of the sieve once in a while.
  • you should end up with about 350 grams (12 oz) of strained raspberry - if not, you just have not put enough effort in the scraping...
  • return the seedless raspberry puree to the sauce pan, and bring to slow simmer again (you probably need a heat diffuser/distributor under the pan!)
  • add the raspberry vinegar, sugar, garlic, lemon juice, smoked fish, fish sauce
  • slowly (!) cook the minced shallots in some butter until cooked, translucent, and soft (not fried, crispy golden!)
  • add to the coulis and stir in
  • over very low heat (you should use a regular heat diffuser/distributor between the pot and the gas burner), reduce the coulis to the desired consistency. This may take at least 1 hour. Stir once in a while.
  • do not cover the pot, otherwise the sauce can't boil down. As raspberry stains are hard to remove, you may want to partially cover the pot with a splash screen.
  • this is not supposed to be a thin, sweet puree!! When warm, it should at least have the consistency of very thick ketchup or BBQ sauce
  • stir in the salt and pepper.

  • Instructions for the avocados:
  • cut the avocado lengthwise around the seed. Rotate the halves to separate. Remove the seed by sliding the tip of a spoon gently underneath and lifting out.
  • The other common seed-extraction technique - stabbing the seed with a knife - can be dangerous, so I should not recommend it.
  • peel the fruit by placing the cut side down and removing the skin with a knife or your fingers, or simply scoop out the avocado meat with a spoon.
  • keep the avocado halves in one piece, don't bugger them up!
  • if you peel the avocados more than 30 minutes before serving, put the peeled halves back into their skin - with the seed! Otherwise the avocado will turn brown. You can also lightly rub the halves with some some lemon juice.
  • place avocado on individual serving saucer, cut-side down
  • cover each avocado half generously with warm raspberry coulis, and drizzle some around the avocado as well



  • the coulis must be served rather warm!
  • do not put the coulis on the avocados until just before serving!
  • serve with dry white wine
  • presentation may be improved by decorating with half slice of lemon + half slice of lime + slice of carambola (star fruit) over which some chopped chives have been sprinkled

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©1987-2016 F. Dörenberg, unless stated otherwise. All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be used without permission from the author.