THIS week in Chris’s Kitchen, we unravel the names and the myths, and attempt to steer you in the right direction to enjoy sustainable seafood here in the UK.
Don’t be put off fish just because you are living in England. Britain is surrounded by some of the world’s most pristine waters and with the recent big push for Marine conservation, the seafood industry is in a very healthy state.
The list of fish here can be found in major supermarkets, but seek out small local fishmongers which we all should be supporting. Befriending your local fishmonger will give you the chance to buy the freshest produce available and introduce you to new and tasty varieties of seafood. And don’t forget to always look for the MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) stamp of approval or eco-labeled fish that certifies correct practices are used to harvest the seas.
The great fish fight
The UK has many varieties of flat fish which, to be honest, when I first arrived was somewhat alien. But once I discovered the sweet taste of Dab, sole or turbot, I was hooked straight away.
You won’t get the bright colours of our coral trout or red emperor fish (and the Pollack and haddock do look like they may have been hit with the ugly stick) but what you do get is some of the best fish in the world, for frying, steaming or however you like them cooked. Check out our easy to convert list, and test your tastes of Aussie fish against the best of Britain.
Aussies v the Poms
Top Australian table fish and their British equivalent:
Barramundi – Cod/Coley/Pacific Cod
Flat head — Gurnard/ Dab
Whiting – Whiting but not as tasty as ours back home
Snapper – Coley/Halibut/Pacific Cod
John Dory – John Dory/Dab
Coral trout — Turbot
Tasmanian Salmon — Loch Duart salmon
Fresh water trout — Scottish or WelshTrout
Calamari/Squid- Scottish Calamari
Bream — Bass/ Bream-farmed
Whole roasted Dab with smoked bacon, rosemary and lemon
What you need
1 small Dab- cleaned and skin scored- ask your fish monger to do this
– 150ml olive oil
– 70grams of diced smoked bacon or pancetta cubes
– 2 sprigs of rosemary
– pinch of maldon sea salt and black pepper
– 2 cloves of garlic peeled
– 150ml of dry white wine
– grilled slices of lemon
What to do
Lay a large sheet of foil on a chopping board. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper before placing the fish on the foil.
Stuff the cavity of the fish with the rosemary, smoked bacon, garlic and lemon slices.
Drizzle the top of the fish with the seasoning and oil and remaining slices of lemon.
Wrap and seal the fish in the foil and place in a pre-heated oven for 20 minutes.
Remove the fish from the oven and place on a large platter. The fish is cooked when the fins are easily pulled from the body.
Serve with fresh salad or steammed garden fine bean