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Pricing update

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Since we launched Fresh Fish Daily almost two years ago we have fought hard to keep our prices as low as possible.

In the intervening period we have had to withstand the combined effects of Covid-19 and the UK’s departure from the European Union, both of which have had complex and significant consequences for our business.

You don’t need a degree in economics to understand that restricting the labour market and limiting the areas in which British boats can fish will affect supplies and how they reach the consumer. Fuel increases push up transport costs. Fewer HGV drivers make the supply chain less reliable. The list goes on.

At Fresh Fish Daily we are 100% committed to supplying the best fish on a consistent basis; we stand by our promise of “exceptional fish and seafood – every time”. But it has become impossible to ignore the fact it is now both harder and materially more expensive to meet this pledge. We have therefore taken the difficult decision to apply individual increases to the price of certain products.

Before doing this we conducted analysis of our competitors in the UK and we are confident that the fish and seafood we sell remains the most competitively priced in the market. Put simply, we cannot be beaten on price or quality for fresh fish.

We hope you understand why we have chosen to increase some of our prices for the first time. We are deeply grateful for your custom and look forward to supplying you again in the near future.

George Baxter
Managing Director, Fresh Fish Daily

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Everything You Need to Know About … Lobster

Whole lobster on a stone background

Seafood aficionados will say lobster is a luxurious delicacy worth shelling out for. It’s undoubtedly classy and delicious but often confusing to those who aren’t au fait with the etiquette of how to cook and eat this crustacean. Lobster is still viewed as the ultimate in fine dining, and these days you can easily recreate the experience at home.

WHAT IS LOBSTER?

The common lobster or European lobster (Homarus gammarus) is a species of clawed lobster found all around the British Isles and Europe and a member of the same family as crab and crayfish.

Common lobster hide away in cracks and crevices in rocks 10-15m deep during the day, as smaller lobsters are prey for large fish such as cod, bass and rays. They come out at night to feed, scouring the seabed for marine worms, starfish, other crustaceans and dead fish.

Lobsters become fertile at around five years old, with breeding taking place at any time of the year. The female carries fertilised eggs on her underside for up to a year before they hatch. The larvae are free-swimming for the first stage of their life before taking the same form as the adults and moving to the seabed. Although females carry around 100,000 eggs, only a tiny proportion reach the adult stage.

Growing more than 60cm in length, the common lobster has a segmented body with eight legs, long antenna and prominent eyes. The two claws of the lobster are large and powerful, capable of causing significant damage to humans. The claws are not symmetrical but differ slightly as one is a crushing claw to hold prey and the other a cutting claw.

CLICK HERE TO BUY LOBSTER

Lobster on a stone background

The common lobster is blue with a paler underside, sometimes black and speckled with lighter colours. What does it taste like? Lobster has a strong, sweet taste with luxurious meat in the first pair of claws, abdomen and tail.

Native lobsters are caught off the coast of the UK, usually from June to September. Our lobsters are caught in creels in the north-east Atlantic.

Synonymous with fine dining, this is a highly valued commercial catch. Despite heavy fishing, the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) currently classes the common lobster as a species of Least Concern with a stable population trend.

There are a number of voluntary measures in place to maintain lobster numbers, including minimum size limits, rules to always return berried (egg carrying) lobsters and a system where notches are cut into the tail of female lobsters at peak breeding age and agreeing not to keep these lobsters until the notches have grown out. The IUCN status of this species suggests that these measures are effective at maintaining lobster numbers.

 

The classic dish is lobster thermidor – creamy and cheesy with hot mustard overtones

 

In The River Cottage Fish Book (A&C Black, 2007) Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Nick Fisher say: “Catching lobster is, relative to other forms of fishing, unusually ecologically friendly. Lobster pots do little damage to the seabed, as they are lifted and dropped, and they target lobsters and crabs quite specifically, so that any bycatch can be released unharmed. More importantly, the target stock itself can be responsibly managed: mature females can be returned alive, along with undersized specimens of both sexes.”

The European lobster found in the cold waters of England, Scotland and Ireland (often referred to as a native lobster) is considered the best quality.

IS LOBSTER GOOD FOR YOU?

Like other shellfish, lobster provide protein, vitamins and minerals, the meat is low in fat and a great source of the omega-3 fatty acids, which help protect against thyroid disease, depression and anaemia. Lobsters are also a great source of selenium.

Per 100g boiled lobster
Energy 103kcal
Fat 1.6g (of which saturated fat 0.2g)
Protein 22.1g

Rich in vitamin B12, vitamin E, copper, iodine, phosphorus and selenium

HOW DO YOU COOK LOBSTER?

Our creel-caught lobsters are sold live and should be cooked fresh as soon after delivery as possible.

How to cook lobster is the first question asked by anyone who hasn’t prepared the crustacean at home before. Our advice is to stun the lobster by putting it in a bag in the freezer (at least -10C) for two hours, then plunging it into a pan of boiling water. Under no circumstances should the lobster be added to boiling water before stunning first in the freezer for the correct amount of time.

To extract the meat from a cooked lobster, if you want to know how to prepare it to add to a dish, lay the cooked lobster on a board and twist off the claws. Break them into sections using lobster crackers or a good, solid nutcracker, then pull out the meat. The skill here is in keeping the tail meat in one piece.

Then twist off the legs, flatten them with the back of a knife and tease out the flesh using a pick or the end of a teaspoon.

For the body, split the lobster in half along its length and separate the two halves. Remove and discard the stomach sac, gills and intestinal thread. You may want to keep the liver (tomalley) – it’s considered a delicacy by some. Any coral-coloured roe can be put aside to use in a concentrated lobster butter. The empty shells can be used to make stock, to use as a base for bisque or bouillabaisse.

 

Keep it simple and serve lobster either hot with melted butter or cold with lemon mayonnaise

 

What to serve with lobster? For some, the sweet, mild taste of lobster flesh really doesn’t need any enhancement. The best advice is to keep it simple and serve lobster either hot with melted butter or cold with lemon mayonnaise. On the side serve a tossed green salad, chips, boiled or baked potatoes along with grilled corn on the cob.

Remember, cooking times should be minimal to keep the meat soft and delicate.

The subtle taste of pasta and risotto complements lobster well. Think about ravioli or tortellini stuffed with lobster, or a very sophisticated mac and cheese.

The classic dish is lobster thermidor – creamy and cheesy with hot mustard overtones, you can serve it with raw fennel, green beans or sugar snap peas dressed in garlic.

In Fish and Shellfish (BBC Books, 2014), Rick Stein has a number of lobster recipes, including one for cod and lobster chowder: “Remove the meat from the cooked lobster. Crush two water biscuits to very fine crumbs with a rolling pin. Then mix with the tomalley (liver), other soft material from the lobster head and butter; or blend everything to a paste in a small food processor.

“Heat butter in a medium-sized pan, add salt pork or rindless streaky bacon and fry over a medium heat until lightly golden. Add onion and cook gently until softened. Stir in flour and cook for one minute.

“Gradually stir in milk, then potatoes and a bay leaf, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cod and simmer for four-five minutes. Lift the fish out of the milk, break the flesh into large flakes with a wooden spoon and return to the soup. Stir in the water biscuit paste, lobster meat and cream and simmer for one minute. Season with cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper.

“To serve, coarsely crush two water biscuits and sprinkle them over the soup with chopped parsley.”

 

It’s OK to get your hands messy – just put your napkin on and get stuck in

 

Meanwhile, in F Marian McNeill’s The Scots Kitchen (1929), she offers a recipe for lobster haut gout: “Pick the firm meat from a parboiled lobster or two and take also the inside, if not thin and watery. Season highly with white pepper, cayenne, pounded mace, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Take a little well-flavoured gravy – for example, the jelly of roast veal – a few tiny bits of butter, a spoonful of soy or walnut catsup, or of any favourite flavoured vinegar, and a spoonful of red wine. Stew the cut lobster in this sauce for a few minutes.”

A good tail recipe will serve the meat with lemon, butter, garlic, parsley, Dijon mustard and a pinch of chilli powder.

How to eat cooked lobster is a common question. Ideally you want to have a pair of pliers – called a cracker – to break into the lobster, and a spiked pick called a lobster fork to get all the meat from inside the knuckle. It’s OK to get your hands messy, just put your napkin on and get stuck in.

LOBSTER RECIPES

As we already mentioned, lobster thermidor recipe is a classic – sweet lobster meat and creamy, buttery sauces served with a herby butter made with shallot, tarragon, parsley and spices.

You might prefer a more modern take and try grilled lobster tails with lemon and herb butter.

Alternatively, look for a bisque or chowder recipe or serve the lobster cold with homemade mayonnaise, béarnaise or hollandaise sauce for dipping.

If you really want to push the boat out, go for barbecued surf and turf, pairing lobster with a T-bone steak.

Other recipes to look out for:

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Everything You Need to Know About … Oysters

Oysters conjure an image of decadence and luxury but if you love seafood, don’t wait for high days and holidays to savour the taste of this sustainable and highly nutritious mollusc. No longer the preserve of high-end restaurants, oysters are easy to prepare at home for a regular treat.

WHAT ARE OYSTERS?

The oyster (Ostreidae) is a saltwater bivalve mollusc that’s a pretty incredible feat of nature. It eats algae and other food particles that are usually drawn to the gills and can filter up to six litres of water per hour. With eyes all over its body to help evade predators, the oyster hides in its shell when sensing danger. It sounds like a myth from a fairy tale but every oyster is capable of making at least one pearl in its lifespan.

There are about 200 species of oyster around the world, though only a handful end up on our tables. Many species change their gender at some point and while some may only switch genders once or twice, this process can be repeated multiple times.

Most oysters are irregular in shape with oval shells, which are usually white-grey on the outside and white inside. They are 62-64mm long and weigh about 50g.

The hermaphrodite bivalves produce tiny, free-floating larvae, which attach to firm surfaces such as shells and rocks in salty waters after two to four weeks. This is when they take the form of tiny oysters and start to grow, reaching marketable size at about three years old.

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The growing period requires constant supervision, because as the oyster grows it needs more space and a larger area is required for the bed. It also has to be protected from natural predators, from skate and winkles to crabs, starfish and seabirds.

Thanks to modern aquaculture, cultivated stock is not in short supply and it’s of excellent quality that you can buy online. The bonus is that oyster farms don’t have a negative impact on the environment as there’s little waste.

First time shellfish eaters are sometimes unsure about what oysters taste like. With plump and springy flesh, oysters have a salty, creamy taste. The rule of thumb has always been that native oysters should be eaten in season, which means months containing the letter ‘r’ – September to April – though Pacific or rock oysters are available all year round.

These days, a plate of oysters equates to luxury but it wasn’t always that way. In the 19th century, Charles Dickens wrote that “poverty and oysters always seem to go together. The poorer the place, the greater the call there is”.

 

The Romans grew young seed oysters in beds in estuaries and sheltered bays before transporting them to wealthy Romans living far from the sea

 

The Ancient Britons regarded shellfish as subsistence food, only to be scavenged when meat wasn’t available. It was thanks to the invading Romans that oysters were cultivated and nurtured. They grew young seed oysters in beds in estuaries and sheltered bays before transporting them to wealthy Romans living far from the sea.

In her characteristic wise and witty prose, celebrated American food writer MFK Fisher pays tribute to the delicate and enigmatic shellfish in Consider the Oyster (Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1941). She reminisces about eating them in 1940s California, dining on the shellfish from willow baskets in Dijon in winter and downing them with a Ramoz gin fizz in New Orleans. She remarks: “Often the place and the time help make a certain food what it becomes.”

WHAT’S AVAILABLE?

Native or European oysters breed naturally in British waters and are generally considered the best. They’re sweet, dense and clean with a mineral-like aftertaste, available when there is an ‘r’ in the month. These include Fresh Fish Daily’s Atlantic oysters, harvested in the north-east Atlantic and possessing a fresh, salty taste and firm texture.

Pacific or rock oysters are bigger than native species with a more ridged shell and are available all year round.

ARE OYSTERS GOOD FOR YOU?

Rich in zinc, vitamin B12 and copper, oysters are also a good source of iron, vitamin D and iodine, which means they deliver a potent hit of protein and minerals.

Containing nearly 50 times the amount of zinc and eight times the amount of iron that is found in chicken, oysters pack a nutritional punch. As well as processing the carbohydrates, fat and protein we eat, they help to produce the all-important red blood cells that carry oxygen around the body. Oysters are also a good source of omega-3, helping to protect the heart.

Of course, oysters also have a reputation for being an aphrodisiac – maybe it’s all due to those high quantities of zinc.

Per 100g raw oysters
Energy 65kcal
Fat 1.3g (of which saturated fat 0.2g)
Protein 10.8g
Rich in vitamin B12, vitamin D, copper, iodine, iron and zinc

HOW DO YOU COOK AND SERVE OYSTERS?

First things first: always buy fresh oysters live, with the shells closed. They should feel heavy as they’ll be full of water. To test if the oyster is alive, prick the cilia, which should instantly retract.

The key to a good oyster is freshness. It should smell of the seashore – imagine the scent when the tide is rolling out over seaweed-covered rocks. It should be full in the shell, with a firm texture and brimming with the natural juice that is its life blood, not just sea water.

The heel of the oyster, in the deep part of the shell, should be a creamy or ivory colour. And the frill should be moist and pulsating. The oyster should always look bright. If the shell isn’t firmly closed, it should do so immediately when tapped.

Most of our oysters in the UK are eaten raw and in The River Cottage Fish Book (A&C Black, 2007) Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall waxes lyrical about the shellfish: “The oyster is perhaps the only item on the seafood menu for which, almost wherever you are in the world, the default setting for its preparation and consumption is raw, live, unadorned, straight from the shell. Sure, a squeeze of lemon is nice, and other embellishments – Tabasco, shallot vinegar, black pepper – are favoured by some enthusiasts, but an oyster with nothing but the briny juices of its own shell is by no means incomplete.”

 

Oysters are best served chilled and the classic way to present them is on a bed of ice. A dozen per person is a good portion

 

Larousse Gastronomique (Hamlyn, 2009) firmly agrees: “Oysters are nearly always eaten live and raw, plainly dressed with lemon and accompanied by bread and butter, or with a vinegar dressing containing shallots and pepper.

“They can also be cooked and used in hot and cold dishes. Oysters can be poached, then chilled and served with various sauces, sometimes in barquettes; they can be browned in the oven in their shells or served with artichoke hearts or in croustades.

“Oysters can also be cooked on skewers, made into fritters, croquettes, soups and consommes, and used as a garnish in fish recipes.”

For something more traditional, F Marian McNeill’s offering in The Scots Kitchen (1929) is oysters stewed in their own juice, Scots fashion. Her recommendation is to use the largest oysters you can get.

“Wash them clean through their own juice; lay them close together in a frying pan; sprinkle them with a little salt. Do not put one above another.

“Make them a fine brown on both sides. If one pan is not sufficient, do off more. When they are all done, pour some of their liquor into the pan, mixing it with any that may be left from their cooking. Let it boil for a minute or two. Pour it over the oysters and serve very hot.”

The big question for many first-time oyster eaters is how to open them. To shuck or open an oyster, hold it in a folded tea towel and lever it open with a short-bladed, pointed knife. Position the hinge of the oyster towards you and cup the deeper side of the shell in the palm of your hand. Once the shell gives a little, prise the two sides apart and use the knife to slice through the oyster’s adductor muscles attached to the shell.

 

Like any meat, oysters should be chewed. This releases the full flavour, and the juice from the shell will complete the experience

 

Oysters are best served chilled and the classic way to present them is on a bed of ice. A dozen per person is a good portion.

You can cook oysters and many believe this intensifies the creaminess of the flesh. If you’re looking for ideas on how to cook the shellfish, try recipes that barbecue them in their shells until they pop open, grill them or cook them in a soup or risotto.

The all-important question is how to eat oysters. Oyster flesh has a wonderful texture and, like any piece of meat, should be chewed. This also releases the full flavour, and the juice from the shell wlll complete the experience.

Some people are wary of oysters because of the risk of food poisoning. Elderly people, pregnant women, very young children and anyone with a weakened immune system should avoid eating raw or lightly cooked shellfish to reduce their risk of getting food poisoning.

OYSTER RECIPES

The joy of oysters is that minimum cooking is required. It takes less than half an hour to prepare and serve an Asian-style broth, for example, like our Chinese oyster soup. It’s a similar time to have sophisticated oysters a la Boston on the table, served with gruyere and crunchy breadcrumbs.

All the taste is in the shellfish and they really only need minimal additions, otherwise you’re missing out on that fantastic salty flavour.

Oyster recipes to look out for:

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Everything You Need to Know About … Salmon

Whole salmon on a stone background

You’d be forgiven for thinking that there’s nothing left to learn about the most popular fish sold in the UK, but there’s much more to this mighty creature than meets the eye. It’s time to train the spotlight on an all-rounder that can be served up as a simple supper or an elegant show-stopper.

WHAT IS SALMON?

Salmon is actually the name used for various species of fish. When we talk about salmon in the UK, we’re usually referring to Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar).

A migratory fish that mainly lives in the sea but spawns in fresh water, the salmon is a fish with a complex life cycle. While some populations live their entire lives in inland waters, most leave the river where they were born, going out to sea to feed and grow. At sea, Atlantic salmon feed voraciously on smaller species of fish and when they mature they return to their natal freshwater habitat to spawn.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall describes salmon as “epic survivors” in The River Cottage Fish Book (A&C Black, 2007) because of the journey they make upstream to the tributaries where they were born to reproduce.

“How a salmon manages to navigate across an open ocean to the same estuary mouth that it left several years before is still a mystery,” he writes. “It’s widely believed that they possess some incredibly accurate receptors that can sense tiny differences in the earth’s magnetic field, and perhaps also in water quality, and that they use these as a homing device. But the honest truth is, nobody really knows.”

CLICK HERE TO BUY SALMON FILLETS
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CLICK HERE TO BUY SALMON TAIL FILLETS

CLICK HERE TO BUY SALMON STEAKS
CLICK HERE TO BUY WHOLE SALMON

Salmon fillets on a slate background

The adult Atlantic salmon averages about 4.5kg in weight and 75cm in length. It has a silvery-blue back with scattered black markings that turn orange when spawning, while the sides and abdomen are golden coloured.

Fish stocks in the wild have dropped significantly over the years but thanks to a rise in aquaculture, salmon is available all year round and at an affordable price.

With pink, fatty, highly nourishing flesh, it’s no surprise this is the most popular fish to eat in the UK. It can be cooked fresh, smoked or eaten raw.

Salmon is an oily fish, mostly due to its high percentage of good saturated fats. It’s well to remember that the higher the fat content of the fish, the more powerful the taste. And living in cold water increases that fat content. Salmon is a full-flavoured fish with colourful flesh, ranging from orange to dark red and it has a delicate, sweet flavour.

In the Middle Ages salmon were cooked in stock, potted, braised, served in ragouts, pâtés or soups, or salted.

WHAT’S AVAILABLE?

The most common cuts of salmon are fillets, which are taken from a boned side and cut lengthwise, parallel to the bone. Salmon tail fillets, as the name suggests, come from the end of the fish and are regarded as premium cuts.

Salmon steaks are cut perpendicular to the spine, cutting through the bone. Some people find the bone adds to the flavour, while another advantage of steaks is the typically lower price of them compared to fillets.

Best of all, though, is whole salmon, which is perfect if you’re cooking for a large group or simply wish to indulge in a piece of culinary theatre.

IS SALMON GOOD FOR YOU?

Salmon is not only fresh and delicious, but it’s also packed with healthy nutrients and is low in calories. A great source of lean protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, salmon is also filled with omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for a healthy heart, brain and joints.

Per 100g raw salmon
Energy 180kcal
Fat 11g (of which saturated fat 1.9g)
Protein 20.2g
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, niacin, phosphorus and selenium

HOW DO YOU COOK SALMON FILLETS?

Salmon fillets are delicious prepared in a variety of ways including grilling, poaching, pan-frying and baking, and can even be eaten raw as sashimi or sushi.

Salmon is extremely versatile and when it comes to how to cook salmon fillets there are endless options. When cooking salmon fillets, there is no need to remove the skin as this helps to hold the flesh together while cooking. The fish can be cooked using a range of different methods, but many believe the best way to cook salmon fillets is either pan-frying or roasting in the oven (en papillote or drizzled in olive oil) at about 180C.

 

In the Middle Ages salmon were cooked in stock, potted, braised, served in ragouts, pâtés or soups, or salted  

 

Fillets take no more than five to 10 minutes to cook, depending on the thickness. Pieces of fillet tend to be relatively thick and this makes them robust enough to move around and turn over halfway through cooking. The skin also comes off easily, so if you cook pieces with the skin on, you can lift it off when the fish is cooked before serving of you wish. Once cooked the fish will feels springy and the flesh should be flaky.

Marinading fillets before cooking is a good way to infuse the fish with extra flavour. Try lemon or herbs such as dill, parsley, rosemary or garlic. You might prefer Asian influences with ginger, chilli, soy sauce or a teriyaki marinade.

If you want to impress, try preparing salmon en croute, wrapping the fish in puff pastry and serving the golden baked parcel on the table, ready to cut into slices.

two salmon steaks on a bed of chives

HOW DO YOU COOK SALMON STEAKS?

You can pan fry, bake or grill salmon steaks. Pan-frying is often the best way to cook salmon steaks – it’s quick and easy and only takes 10 minutes.

If you’d like to find out how to cook salmon steaks, try taking a tip from F Marian McNeill in The Scots Kitchen (1929).

Her recipe for Mrs Macleod’s salmon steaks uses salmon, flour, salt, pepper, cayenne, thick cream, anchovy essence and dry sherry.

“Cut two nice-sized steaks in half lengthwise and dip in seasoned flour, to which should be added a dusting of cayenne pepper. Lay them in a well-buttered flat fire-proof dish. Mix two tablespoons of thick cream with a teaspoonful of anchovy essence. Add pinches of salt and pepper and a tablespoon of dry sherry. Pour the mixture over the steaks and bake in a moderate oven for about 25 minutes. Serve in the dish.”

Larousse Gastronomique (Hamlyn, 2009) recommends poaching to get the best out of steaks: “Place some salmon steaks four centimetres thick in enough court-bouillon or fish fulmer to cover them. Bring to the boil, simmer for five minutes then remove from the heat and drain. Serve the steaks topped with pats of butter flavoured with lemon, parsley, chives or tarragon. Alternatively, dress with melted clarified butter flavoured with lemon, maitre d’hotel butter or beurre blanc.”   

One of the easiest ways to cook salmon, whether fillets or steaks, is in a baking dish in the oven, just remember to add a little oil to stop it sticking to the dish. Alternatively, steam your salmon by putting it inside a steamer, or wrap it in foil or paper, then steam or bake it.

Whole salmon on a stone background

HOW DO YOU COOK WHOLE SALMON?

According to Delia Smith, the best way to cook whole salmon is wrapped in buttered foil in the oven. In her Complete Cookery Course (BBC Books, 1989) she writes: “If you are serving it cold, it can stay in the foil to cool and the skin can be taken off just before serving. A whole salmon can feed an entire party.”

If you’re looking for the wow factor, impress guests by serving a whole fish at the table.

Whole salmon can be roasted, barbecued or baked in a salt crust but really the best way to cook a whole salmon is poaching. Ideally you want to have a fish kettle when cooking a whole fish, but you can use a roasting tray covered tightly with foil if you don’t have one. To enhance the flavour, add fennel, star anise, bay leaf or seaweed to the water.

Use this method too if you want to learn how to cook a whole salmon for a buffet. It couldn’t be easier. You can, in fact, do it in advance for a stress-free option.

For a richer flavour, roast whole salmon, either in the oven or on a barbecue. Stuff the fish with lemon and herbs and wrap it tightly in foil, then bake for 20 minutes at 180C. To check it’s cooked, pierce the deepest part of the fish for 10 seconds then lay the skewer on the back of your hand – it should be warm to the touch.

SALMON FILLET AND SALMON STEAK RECIPES

There is no shortage of options if you’re looking for salmon recipes.

Do you want healthy salmon recipes? Then look for simple fillet dishes, salads or fish cakes for a pleasing and nutritious seafood supper.

In Fish and Shellfish (BBC Books, 2014), Rick Stein has a delicious recipe for grilled miso salmon with rice noodles, spring onions and beansprouts. He suggests salmon steaks, best grilled medium rare.

“Mix together red miso paste, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, hot smoked paprika and water for the miso glaze and use to paint the fish steaks. Place the steaks on an oiled grilling tray. Turn on the grill.

“Heat oil in a wok and stir fry garlic, ginger, spring onions and chilli for a couple of minutes, then add the noodles, beansprouts and coriander.

“Grill the fish steaks for about five minutes, turning once. Stir fish sauce into the stir-fried vegetables, then arrange on plates and top with the fish to serve.”

If you have a family to feed, salmon is the perfect ingredient for a hearty fish pie or look for baked recipes and serve with new potatoes and steamed seasonal vegetables. A good tip is that you’ll want an oven on a low heat if you want to learn how to bake salmon at its best.

Easy salmon fillet recipes can be on the table in less than 30 minutes. Try steaming fillets with couscous or noodles, wrapped in tinfoil or baking paper, along with spring onions, herbs and sun-dried tomatoes for a fast and tasty dinner.

Other salmon recipes to try:

WHOLE SALMON RECIPES

Pleasing whole salmon recipes either poach, roast or barbecue the fish to maximise its flavour. Try stuffing a whole fish with lemon and herbs and roasting it on a bed of fennel and potatoes.

Even the most basic of chefs can turn out an impressive centerpiece of a whole cooked salmon for a get together. If you don’t want to try anything too technical, look out for simple whole salmon recipes.

Wrap the fish in foil and cook slowly in the oven if you have a large number of people and want to spend the minimum of time in the kitchen. Whole salmon cooking time is around 50 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of the fish. That leaves plenty of time to prep vegetables and side dishes.

Other whole salmon recipes to try:

  • Spiced roast side of salmon
  • Roasted salmon
  • Poached salmon with dill and avocado

DO IT YOURSELF

Now you understand the different cuts of fish and the best ways to cook them, you might want to learn how to fillet a whole salmon.

You’ll need a sharp, flexible knife and a pair of kitchen pliers. Lift the fin behind the gill and cut at an angle towards the head. Stop when you get to the back bone. Twist the knife back towards yourself and in big sweeping motions cut with the knife. Then flip the fish over and repeat.

To trim the fillets, use a large, sharp cook’s knife and square them off. Take the belly flap off but don’t throw it away – it can be frozen and you can use it for fish cakes.

Turn the fish and cut through to remove the bones. Then pin bone, using the kitchen pliers. Run your fingers along the flesh to check for any last bones and cut into the sizes of fillets you need.

… Or leave it to the experts

Our fresh whole salmon are farmed in approved fisheries in the north and north-west of Scotland. We believe in only the highest standards of aquaculture to product the best fish. We are slightly biased but our advice is to avoid cheap whole salmon as it’s unlikely to have been bred to these specifications, which means fish lacking in quality and flavour. If you’re looking to buy whole salmon, we think you really want the best.

CLICK HERE TO BUY SALMON FILLETS
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Everything You Need to Know About … Rainbow Trout

A whole rainbow trout on a board with herbs and assorted accompaniments

Affordable, sustainable and super-fresh, rainbow trout is also handily plate-sized. If that’s not enough, its versatility will win you over. No wonder this all-rounder makes its way on to so many menus.

WHAT IS RAINBOW TROUT?

A real beauty of a fish, with a silvery body and purple, pink and blue streaks down its sides, the rainbow trout lives up to its name.

Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) isn’t actually native to the UK, originating from the northern Pacific, but the fish has been introduced to many countries, including ours, and is widely farmed. Such is its popularity, the only continent rainbow trout hasn’t been introduced to is Antarctica.

Trout is a species of salmonid, which explains its similarities in appearance and taste to salmon. A predatory fish, it feeds on insect larvae, small fish and flying insects, such as mayflies and damselflies. Its name actually comes from the Greek “troktes”, meaning voracious.

These gloriously coloured fish are extremely common across Britain due to their ability to adapt to still water. In fact, rainbow trout can also migrate to sea, returning to spawn in freshwater.

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Trout fillet on a wooden chopping board

The average size of a rainbow trout is between 500g and 2kg, though they can grow up to 14kg. They reach up to 70cm in length and their average lifespan is four to six years.

The fish prepare to breed between January and April. The males darken in colour and develop a hook on the lower jaw and a vivid orange mark on the gills, extending down the flanks. Rainbow trout struggle to breed naturally in Britain because our water is too cold, so most are artificially bred. That’s why it’s always good to know where your rainbow trout came from and that it has been farmed responsibly. Ours are supplied by Belhaven Trout Company of East Lothian.

Rainbow trout are readily available, making the fish a sustainable year-round buy.

With a mild, delicate, nut-like flavour, the flesh of rainbow trout is tender, flaky and soft and coloured either white, pink or orange. Once the meat is cooked, it has a delicate flake and the colour pales.

A whole rainbow trout on a board with herbs and assorted accompaniments

WHAT’S AVAILABLE?

Look out for rainbow trout fillet and whole rainbow trout.

Fillets are cut from the head to the tail, away from the ribs, while whole rainbow trout are prized by many chefs as cooking on the bone helps the keep the flesh moist and locks in flavour.

IS RAINBOW TROUT GOOD FOR YOU?

Rainbow trout is a healthy option if you’re looking to follow a well-balanced diet. The facts speak for themselves – packed with omega-3 fatty acids to protect against brain and cardiovascular diseases such as Alzheimer’s, and the risk of heart attacks or strokes, the fish is also bursting with vitamins B3, 6 and 12 to encourage healthy bones, muscle development and boost energy levels. Rainbow trout is a good-quality lean protein that also includes iron and selenium, helping to strengthen the immune system. If you like the taste of rainbow trout, enjoy as much as you like of that delicate, nut-like flavour.

Per 100g raw rainbow trout
Energy 127kcal
Fat 5.3g (of which saturated fat 1.12g)
Protein 19.9g
Rich in vitamin B12, vitamin D, niacin, phosphorus, iron and selenium

HOW DO YOU COOK RAINBOW TROUT?

With its slightly nutty, sweet flavour and tender flesh, rainbow trout is a real treat and couldn’t be simpler to cook. For the best recipe, look out for bigger fish for the tastiest flesh.

You can bake, grill or pan fry rainbow trout to make the most of those delicate flavours.

 

A predatory fish, rainbow trout feeds on insect larvae, small fish and flying insects such as mayflies and damselflies

 

As Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Nick Fisher offer in The River Cottage Fish Book (A&C Black, 2007): “Plate-sized rainbows are easy to cook by any of the obvious methods: baked in foil with butter, a splash of wine and a few herbs; fried to get the skin crispy; or barbecued. Bigger rainbows smoke and cure beautifully too.”

The best way to cook whole rainbow trout is to sprinkle it with olive oil and wrap it in foil with garlic, lemon juice and herbs, then bake it in the oven. It’s also easy to barbecue or grill a whole fish.

When cooking rainbow trout, cut the thickest part of the fish a couple of times on each side. This will help the heat to penetrate the flesh for more uniform cooking.

When it comes to cooking rainbow trout fillets, choose between pan-frying, poaching, steaming, grilling or cooking en papillote. Steaming is often suggested as the best way to cook rainbow trout fillets as it brings out the full flavour of the fish while retaining the moisture. For this method, you might like to serve the fish with Asian-style vegetables and spices.

To make sure the fish is cooked to perfection, push a knife into the thickest part of the flesh. If the fish is cooked through, the knife will come out hot to the touch and the flesh will turn opaque and have a slight resistance when prodded.

Another method for cooking rainbow trout is to make ceviche. You’ll find the oily flesh and wonderfully subtle flavours of the fish work particularly well with acidic marinades. Just make sure the fish is very fresh.

 

You might want to think about pairing rainbow trout with strong, salty meats such as bacon and chorizo

 

Now you know how to cook rainbow trout fillets and whole fish, what should you serve with them? Lemons, limes and tomatoes are a great match as the acidity cuts through the oiliness of the fish. Other options to try are horseradish sauce and capers or Japanese flavours including shiso, sesame and wasabi. When it comes to herbs, think about dill and parsley, while samphire, new potatoes and asparagus are delicious vegetable side accompaniments.

You might also want to think about pairing rainbow trout with strong, salty meats such as bacon and chorizo. And consider emphasising the nutty taste of the fish with almonds – think trout amandine or trout meunière amandine.

RAINBOW TROUT RECIPES

Keep recipes simple to make an easy but impressive supper. It only takes a few minutes to cook the fish, giving you plenty of time to think about what to serve with rainbow trout, from horseradish or any sauce with a kick, to new potatoes and watercress.

There are plenty of rainbow trout recipes to choose from. In Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course (BBC Books, 1989), she suggests: “Put some parsley, lemon slices, a bay leaf, peppercorns, onion rings and a few herbs in poaching water, along with a glass of white wine. When cooked, drain the fish and serve with parsley butter.

“Alternatively they can be fried, dipped first in flour, and with a few capers and lemon juice or white wine added to the pan at the end.”

Meanwhile Larousse Gastronomique (Hamlyn, 2009) offers a classic pan-fried recipe for trout with almonds.

“Clean and dry four 250g trout. Season with salt and pepper and dust with flour. Melt 50g butter in a large oval frying pan and brown the trout on both sides, then lower the heat and cook for 10-12 minutes, turning once.

“Brown 75g flaked almonds in a dry frying pan or in the oven and add to the trout. Drain the cooked trout and arrange on a serving dish. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons lemon juice and some chopped parsley. Keep warm. Add 20g butter and 1 tablespoon vinegar to the frying pan, heat, then pour over the trout with the almonds.”

Also look out for any baked fillet recipe, steamed in foil, if you want to learn how to cook fillets in the oven.

Rainbow trout fillet recipes to look out for include:

  • Roast rainbow trout with new potatoes and herb butter
  • Rainbow trout with horseradish yoghurt and balsamic beets
  • Soy baked rainbow trout
  • Roasted rainbow trout

While whole recipes for rainbow trout worth trying are:

HOW DO YOU FILLET A RAINBOW TROUT?

Here at Fresh Fish Daily we sell whole rainbow trout and rainbow trout fillets. If you’d like to learn how to fillet a rainbow trout and expand your skills in the kitchen, it’s easy to learn.

First, make sure your knife is sharp, then start by making a big cut behind the gill and then turn in around 90 degrees. You’ll feel the spine or the backbones under your blade and can continue to cut along those bones until you’re an inch or so from the tail.

Pick up the filleted flesh and pull it up and over, laying the skin side down flat on the work surface. Now make a little cut by the tail and then slide the knife along the skin towards the end of the fillet, separating the skin from the meat. This leaves you a boneless, skinless piece of trout. Just flip the trout over and repeat the process on the other side.

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Everything You Need to Know About … Sea Bream

Whole sea bream on a slate background

Often under-rated, sea bream is a more recent addition to restaurant menus and our dinner tables at home. If you’re new to sea bream then there’s much to look forward to – the juicy white flesh is a delight and it takes just a few minutes and a handful of simple ingredients to rustle up a mouthwatering dish.

WHAT IS SEA BREAM?

Sea bream are a group of compact, medium-sized fish known as Sparidae.

The bulk of the sea bream sold in the UK comes from Mediterranean farmed gilthead bream (Sparus aurata). Here at Fresh Fish Daily, our sea bream are farmed in the eastern Mediterranean.

Gilthead bream are named after the little gold bar on their forehead. With a metallic sheen and chunky profile, the gilthead bream is a beauty of a fish.

 

Sea bream start life as males and change sex at about three years of age

 

The ancient Greeks and Romans liked sea bream cooked with seasoned sauces and accompanied by fruits.

Gilthead bream are predatory coastal fish found in estuaries and bays, growing to lengths of 70cm, and can live for as long as 11 years. They are most often found in coastal areas but have been caught at depths of up to 150m. Spawning occurs between November and December. Solitary fish, they eat worms and crustaceans as well as smaller fish and have impressive teeth when you see them up close.

Interestingly, these fish start life as males and change sex at about three years of age.

With dense, juicy white flesh, sea bream are usually sold whole or in fillets. With a satisfying meaty texture, a clean taste and a delicate flavour they’re a good choice whether you’re cooking fillets or opt to try a whole fish. Cooked on a barbecue, grilled or baked in salt, the list of possibilities is endless with a fish as good as this.

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Whole sea bream on a slate background

WHAT’S AVAILABLE?

Sea bream fillets are portions taken from behind the head to the tail.

Whole sea bream include the bone for extra flavour.

IS SEA BREAM GOOD FOR YOU?

Sea bream is a healthy option, being low in calories and rich in B vitamins. A medium-sized portion will give you the recommended daily amount of vitamins and minerals to enhance the immune system and protect against heart disease and cancer.

Per 100g raw sea bream
Energy 172kcal
Fat 11.1g (of which saturated fat 2.5g)
Protein 16g

Rich in vitamin B6, vitamin B12, niacin and phosphorus

HOW DO YOU COOK SEA BREAM?

Either whole or filleted, sea bream can be baked, pan fried, grilled, steamed or roasted.

A good rule of thumb – as with all fish – is not to overcook sea bream. In fact, it’s always better to undercook sea bream than let it spend too long in the pan or the oven. Cook at a higher heat, up to 250C, otherwise it’s likely to poach in its own juices.

If you want to know how to cook sea bream fillets, think about pan frying or grilling, with herbs and spices to complement the fish. Cooking sea bream fillets only takes a few minutes on each side and they’re ready to eat.

The versatility of this often underrated fish means there are endless options of how to serve it. Some might say the best way to cook whole sea bream is wrapped in tinfoil and baked in the oven, while the best way to cook sea bream fillets is fried quickly in the pan.

Stuff the fish with lemon and herbs for a simple, no-fuss approach to cooking whole sea bream or try making salt-baked fish if you’re looking for the best way to cook whole sea bream.

sea bream fillets on a slate background

Sea bream is at its best served with lighter, subtler flavours, and with any Mediterranean or Asian flavours. It makes a sound choice for lunch or a light supper.

Herbs and vegetables are also a good match for the sweet, moist flesh. Think about a light creamy sauce, such as lemon butter sauce, for the perfect accompaniment for a whole fish.

To make the most of the flavour of this low-calorie fish, try steaming whole sea bream or fillets with ginger and citrus then serve it with rice.

In The River Cottage Fish Book (A&C Black, 2007), authors Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Nick Fisher wax lyrical about the versatility of the fish: “All in all, the bream is pretty much an exemplar of all you could possibly want from an eating fish: firm and dense, fully flavoured, holding its moisture without getting soft or wet, and offering just a hint of meaty oiliness to make it rich and moreish.

“You can do just about anything with it, including making sushi and sashimi or baking a whole large one in a saltdough crust. But doing very little often produces the best results of all, and fried, baked or barbecued whole bream, with just a few herbs and a little garlic for some contact flavouring, is very hard to beat.”

We sell whole sea bream as well as fillets, but if you’d to find out how to fillet sea bream yourself at home, it’s a good skill to learn.

Use kitchen scissors to cut off the fins, then use a fish scaler or the back of a knife to descale the fish. Remove the head with a sharp knife and discard, then divide the fish into fillets by slicing along the backbone from head to tail and removing the fillet. Turn the fish over and do the same on the other side, separating the flesh from the bone. Use tweezers to remove any pin bones from the fillets and slide the knife between the skin and the flesh.

 

Sea bream is at its best served with lighter, subtler flavours, and with any Mediterranean or Asian flavours

 

To the uninitiated, there is sometimes confusion over whether to choose sea bream or sea bass in recipes. The two fish are quite different – sea bream has meaty white flakes while sea bass is much more delicate in texture. Though, it’s fair to say, when it comes down to sea bream vs sea bass, both are packed with flavour.

Think about how you want to eat the fish and what you’d like to serve it with, then the decision is pretty much made for you. If you like sea bass it’s guaranteed you will also be a fan of sea bream.

SEA BREAM RECIPES

Sea bream is a popular fish around the world, seamlessly matching a spectrum of flavours. From whole-baked sea bream with lemon and bay leaves and baked sea bream with rosemary and garlic to baked sea bream with chillies, garlic and thyme, there’s something for everyone.

Healthy sea bream recipes to try include olives and tomatoes for a Mediterranean theme. Use olive oil for pan frying if you’re following sea bream fillet recipes, or bake Greek style with lemon and garlic or with garlic and chilli if you’d like to try whole sea bream recipes.

Alternatively, think of the light, delicate flavours of Asian cooking to balance the fish.

In Fish and Shellfish (BBC Books, 2014), Rick Stein has a recipe for chargrilled butterflied sea bream that he picked up in Indonesia.

Using whole sea bream, he opens them up and presses firmly along the backbone to make the fish completely flat.

“For the marinade, put shallots, garlic, chilli, ginger, galangal, turmeric, tamarind water and salt into a mini food processor and blend to a smooth paste.

“Tip into a small bowl and stir in two tablespoons of vegetable oil. Paint some of the marinade over both sides of each fish and leave for at least 10 minutes. Stir another two tablespoons of oil into the remaining marinade. Preheat the grill to hot.

“If you have one, place the fish in a lightly oiled wire fish grill: this makes turning easier. Otherwise, simply place the fish on the oiled bars of a barbecue or the rack of the grill pan, skin side up. Cook for four minutes on each side, basting regularly with the leftover marinade, until slightly charred and cooked through. Serve straight away with sambal matah.”

Popular sea bream recipes to look out for:

  • Teriyaki sea bream with noodles
  • Tandoori spiced sea bream
  • Baked sea bream with tomatoes and coriander
  • Baked sea bream with garlic and chilli
  • Whole sea bream with chilli and lemongrass
  • Steamed sea bream with soy, ginger and spring onions
  • Whole sea bream en papillote
  • Fillets of sea bream with vegetable julienne
  • Sea bream stuffed with fennel

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Everything You Need to Know About … Kippers

two kippers on a board with shallots, herbs and seasoning

If you think kippers are just something your grandparents used to eat, think again. Sales are on the rise – all thanks to the nutritional benefits and new-found love of this seriously smoky fish.

WHAT ARE KIPPERS?

We’ve all heard of kippers but not everyone is sure exactly what they are.

A kipper is a whole herring that has been sliced in half from head to tail, gutted, salted or pickled, then smoked. It’s this process that is known as kippering, one which gives us the expression “on tenterhooks”.

Of course, fish have been smoked and salted for centuries, but it wasn’t until the mid 19th century that kippering became popular in the United Kingdom. It’s the oiliness of the herring that makes it perfect for smoking.

At one time the quintessential breakfast of the Victorians and Edwardians, kippers were also enjoyed at high tea and supper time. The smoked fish were popular right up until the 1970s and the rise of fast food, when the pungent smell of smoked fish fell out of favour.

Our grandparents were on to something – this oily fish has numerous health benefits and it’s also low in price. Add in the complex flavours created by the smoking process and there’s a lot to love about this humble smoked fish.

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two kippers on a board with shallots, herbs and seasoning

Herring is a species of slab-sided northern fish belonging to the family Clupeidae (order Clupeiformes). There are close to 200 species of herring but only a few are caught for food, including the Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus). With a small head and distinctive silver colouring, they are slightly blue at the top of their body and paler underneath, growing to between 30cm and 38cm in length.

One of the most abundant species of fish in the world, herring eat tiny organisms such as copepods, pteropods and other planktonic crustaceans, as well as fish larvae.

They travel in vast schools, providing food for larger predators such as cod, salmon and tuna.

That’s good news when it comes to sustainability as herring is on the Marine Conservation Society’s list of fish to eat. A resilient fish that swims in vast shoals with no bycatch, herring comes mainly from the North Sea and Norwegian waters.

Here at Fresh Fish Daily, our kippers are landed in the north-east Atlantic Ocean and supplied by the Port of Lancaster Smokehouse.

The best kippers are pale copper in colour and have delicate flesh, smoky and sweet tasting, that pulls away easily from the bone when cooked.

Kippers are quick and easy to cook, whether from chilled or frozen, or alternatively boiled in the bag.

WHAT’S AVAILABLE?

Our whole kippers are herring that have been split and then smoked over a blend of hardwoods. They’re free from additives and dye, and are prepared with the central bone in place.

Kipper fillets have fewer bones and are cut from below the head to just above the tail.

ARE KIPPERS GOOD FOR YOU?

When it comes to nutrition, this smoked fish is a winner – low in calories, high in protein and packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for good health. Kippers are also a rich source of vitamin D to help teeth and bones grow stronger and reduce the risk of some health conditions.

Per 100g grilled kippers
Energy 245kcal
Fat 17.6g (of which saturated fat 3.74g)
Protein 21.7g
Rich in omega fatty acids, vitamins D and B12, niacin, riboflavin

HOW DO YOU COOK AND SERVE KIPPERS?

Keep it simple is the advice in The River Cottage Fish Book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Nick Fisher (A&C Black, 2007) when it comes to how to cook kippers.

“Whether on or off the bone, a good kipper needs only to be grilled as it is, fried in a little butter or poached in a little milk. The only necessary accompaniments are toast (brown) and eggs (poached or scrambled).”

Sometimes people new to eating kippers don’t just ask how do you cook the fish but if it needs to be cooked at all. It does, but the good news is it doesn’t take long. There are plenty of options for how to cook fresh kippers, though bear in mind that what suits you best might come down to taste as well as smell.

Kippers can be baked, fried or cooked in a tall jug of boiling water. Traditionally, kippers were generally grilled then served with a knob of butter. Alternatively, if you prefer to boil in the bag, let them simmer gently for about five minutes.

 

When it comes to nutrition, this smoked fish is a winner – low in calories, high in protein and packed with omega-3 fatty acids

 

Here is the important thing to remember when it comes to cooking kippers: grilling not only concentrates the flavour, it also strengthens the smell of the fish.

To poach, place the kippers in a large frying pan of boiled water, remove from the heat and after five minutes drain and serve. Some people prefer to place boiling water in a heatproof jug, add the kippers head down and leave them to warm for 10 minutes.

If you want to know how to cook kippers in the oven, it couldn’t be easier. Butter the kippers lightly and wrap them in foil, cooking in the centre of the oven for eight to 10 minutes.

If you’re in a hurry, and want to know how to cook kippers in a microwave, cut off the head and tail and cook for one and a half to two minutes, serving with fresh brown bread and butter.

There’s no best way to cook kippers, it really is a case of whatever suits you best. Whatever you choose, you’ll be rewarded with that wonderful taste of wood smoke blended with the delicate fish flesh.

 

There’s no best way to cook kippers. It really is a case of whatever suits you best

 

When it comes to how to eat kippers and what to eat with them, you are spoiled for choice. If you fancy kippers for breakfast, serve them with scrambled or poached eggs. For lunch, mix them with spinach, bacon and new potatoes for a warm salad or serve with mash if you prefer something more traditional.

The small bones can be eaten but if you prefer not to, eat from the tail to the head, gently pulling forkfuls away to leave the bones behind.

KIPPER RECIPES

The versatility of kippers means you might prefer to look for recipes depending on what time of day you fancy eating the smoked fish. For breakfast? Think about kippers on toast or kippers and eggs. There’s also kedgeree, with a kick of mild curry powder, mushrooms and rice.

Blend the flesh from the kippers with soft cheese, a spring onion, lemon, dill and cucumber to make kipper pâté for lunch, and serve with toast. Or use kippers as a base for a creamy, warming soup such as Cullen skink.

Flake the soft flesh of the kippers and mix with couscous for a warming supper, or think about kipper rarebit, stirring flakes of fish through a bechamel sauce and serving with a poached egg.

 

Grilling not only concentrates the flavour, it also strengthens the smell of the fish

 

Again in The River Cottage Fish Book, the authors have a recipe for kipper carbonara, a fresh take on the classic pasta dish with salty and sweet fish.

“Cook pasta until al dente. Cut the kipper flesh off the skin and remove any pin bones. Slice the flesh into small strips. Fry gently in butter in a small pan for a couple of minutes, until cooked through.

“Put egg yolks and cream into a bowl, season (going easy on the salt because of the kippers) and whisk together.

“Drain the pasta and return to the still-hot pan. Add the egg and cream mixture and kipper lardons and quickly toss everything together using two forks. The eggy cream should be cooked – and slightly thickened – by the heat of the pasta and the pan. If it looks a bit runny, you can put it back on the hob for just a minute, but don’t overdo it. The finished sauce should coat the pasta strands like silky custard – not scrambled egg.

“Serve straight away and pass the pepper mill round.”

Meanwhile, in The Scots Kitchen (1929) F Marian McNeill has a recipe for a tasty snack of traditional Scottish kipper creams.

“Remove the skin and bone from a plump kipper and rub the flesh through a sieve. Add two egg yolks, pepper, little or no salt (if the fish is highly cured), two tablespoons of thick cream or white sauce, and the well-beaten white of one egg. Mix well and turn into little paper cases. Bake in a moderate oven to a light golden brown. Sprinkle with finely chopped parsley and serve on fish paper, or turn on to small round oatcakes made hot and crisp in the oven and buttered.”

Look for these kipper recipes to try:

  • Kedgeree with kippers
  • Kipper couscous
  • Grilled kippers
  • Kippers with eggs
  • Kipper pâté
  • Scrambled eggs and kippers on toast

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Everything You Need to Know About … Lemon Sole

Whole lemon sole on a stone background

Once you’ve tried lemon sole you’ll wonder why you don’t eat it more often. Delicately flavoured, this succulent fish is a treat for the tastebuds. The good news is that it’s best when cooked simply, which means minimal effort in the kitchen and more time at the table for a meal to remember.

WHAT IS LEMON SOLE?

First up, don’t be fooled by the name. This fish doesn’t taste of lemon and isn’t even a sole – it’s a member of the plaice family and actually more closely related to dab or flounder than Dover sole.

Like most flatfish, lemon sole (Microstomus kitt) has a rather unusual look: a right-eyed fish with a small head and mouth, and smooth, slimy skin with a pearlescent shine. They are usually shades of reddish brown, with a tinge of pink and orange, pink and green flecks and a white underside. The lemon sole has an orange patch behind its pectoral fin.

The fish is widely found throughout the British Isles and northern Europe, feeding on marine worms, prawns, crabs and shellfish. This demersal species prefers a mixed seabed, with small stones and sand. They tend to keep to coastal areas and live at depths of 20-220m. Lemon sole travel to shallower waters to spawn during spring and migrate further out as they mature. The larvae start out similar to those of round fish, but eventually develop their flatfish traits.

The breeding season is from April to August and fully grown lemon sole, at four to five years, reach up to a maximum of 60cm in length.

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Whole lemon sole on a stone background

Lemon sole has delicate, sweet white flesh and is best cooked simply, either grilled or fried, and served with a light sauce.

It’s thought the lemon part of the name comes from the French “limande”, which was used to refer to most flatfish, though the shape of the fish is also similar to a lemon.

As it is often picked up as bycatch by trawl nets looking for turbot, brill and monkfish, there are fewer quota restrictions on lemon sole. Current fishing pressure isn’t too heavy and they’re a good choice, as long as they’re caught on static gear or a seine net. Net-caught lemon sole is more sustainable than trawl caught.

Originally a favourite fish in ancient Rome, lemon sole was preserved and made into pâté or soup, stewed and roasted. During the reign of French king Louis XIV it became a royal dish with fillets made into elaborate dishes, with one created by the Marquise de Pompadour.

WHAT’S AVAILABLE?

Look out for lemon sole fillets and whole lemon sole.

Lemon sole fillets are cut from the head to tail of larger fish, while whole lemon sole can be eaten off the bone.

IS LEMON SOLE GOOD FOR YOU?

Rich in protein, vitamin B, phosphorous and iodine, lemon sole is an excellent source of protein and low in fat and saturated fat. It’s ideal for anyone keeping an eye on cholesterol levels and is packed with B12, needed for healthy blood, and B3 for good skin.

Per 100g raw lemon sole
Energy 73kcal
Fat 0.7g (of which saturated fat 0.16g)
Protein 16.7g
Rich in vitamin B12, niacin, phosphorus and selenium.

lemon sole fillets on a slate background

HOW DO YOU COOK LEMON SOLE?

With its distinctive delicate flavour and white tender meat, lemon sole is much in demand by chefs.

It’s very easy to cook at home if you’re looking for a simple dish with an elegant taste.

Lemon sole is easy to bake, steam or grill. Just be careful not to overcook the fish as it is very lean. Cook on a high temperature and keep the skin intact to limit any risk of overcooking.

Cooking whole lemon sole couldn’t be easier. Simply trim the fins off, rub in some oil, season and you’re all set.

 

Asian steamed flatfish recipes featuring lemongrass, ginger and coriander work particularly well with lemon sole

 

The best way to cook lemon sole is with simple sauces as that mild, sweet taste can be easily overpowered. Lightly season with salt and peppercorns and serve with a white wine sauce or mild tasting cheese sauce for a delicious, healthy dish. Alternatively try a herb and lemon sauce or light creamy sauce to best complement the flesh of the lemon sole.

A good baked recipe gently cooks the fish on a bed of tomatoes and fresh herbs, and then it’s served with a squeeze of lemon and chopped parsley.

The secret to cooking lemon sole with the skin on is to rub the fish with olive oil and season it with salt and pepper, then grill. When the fish is cooked, pull back the crispy skin to reveal the soft, tender flakes of fish underneath.

If you’re interested in cooking fillets, they can be dusted in seasoned flour or breadcrumbs and fried. They are delicious with lemon zest mashed potato. Or try rolling up the fillets with pancetta and baking them with baby tomatoes and pine nuts.

Asian steamed flatfish recipes featuring lemongrass, ginger and coriander work particularly well with lemon sole.

In Fish and Shellfish (BBC Books, 2014), Rick Stein suggests coating small pieces of lemon sole fillet in breadcrumbs to make goujons for a tasty starter.

Season the fillets with salt and cut diagonally into strips about the thickness of your little finger. Mix breadcrumbs with grated parmesan and cayenne pepper.

Heat oil for deep frying to 190C and line a baking tray with kitchen paper.

Working in batches, coat the goujons in flour, then beaten egg and the breadcrumb mixture. Drop a handful into the oil and deep fry for about a minute until they are crisp and golden. Lift out with a slotted spoon to the paper-lined tray and serve with lemon wedges.

Want to know how to cook lemon sole fillets in foil? Add butter and cumin to the parcel, bake for eight minutes and serve with fresh coriander and lemon juice.

LEMON SOLE RECIPES

The classic lemon sole recipe is sole meunière, with the fish coated in seasoned flour to lightly protect it without overpowering the flavour. Marcel Proust waxed lyrical about the succulent dish: “From the leathery skin of a lemon we squeezed a few golden drops on two sole, which soon left their bones on our plates, light as a feather and sonorous as a zither.”

 

This fish doesn’t taste of lemon and isn’t even a sole – it’s a member of the plaice family

 

In Larousse Gastronomique (Hamlyn, 2009), the advice is to skin, clean, wash and trim four sole, lightly flour and season with pepper. Heat six to eight tablespoons of clarified butter and one tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and brown the sole for six minutes on each side. Then drain and arrange on a heated serving dish.

Pour over six tablespoons of butter melted in a saucepan with the juice of a lemon and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve with sliced vegetables fried in oil and butter.

According to Larousse Gastronomique, there are more recipes for sole than any other fish – cooked with Asian flavours of coriander, cinnamon and nutmeg; served au gratin; with apples; basil; mushrooms; vermouth or noodles.

There’s no shortage of lemon sole fillet recipes, serving the fish with a simple lemon butter and fresh steamed greens or pan fried and served with a lime, chilli and Thai basil sauce.

Lemon sole recipes to look out for:

  • Lemon sole with parmesan and cream
  • Peking-style lemon sole
  • Pan-fried lemon sole
  • Baked lemon sole
  • Pan-seared lemon sole
  • Lemon and parsley pan-fried sole fillet
  • Lemon sole in caper butter
  • Grilled lemon sole with tomatoes, capers and olives

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CLICK HERE TO BUY LEMON SOLE FILLETS

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Everything You Need to Know About … Tuna Steak

Tuna steaks

If your only experience of tuna is gloopy sandwich fillings and stodgy pasta bakes, you’ll be in for a treat if you try fresh tuna steaks. Seared on a high heat with the inside still rare, tuna is a healthy alternative to red meat and packed with flavour.

WHAT IS TUNA STEAK?

If fish were cars, tuna would be a Ferrari, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Made for speed, its torpedo-shaped body is streamlined to cut through water and thanks to special swimming muscles it cruises the ocean highways with great efficiency.

The saltwater fish belongs to the Thunnini group, a member of the mackerel family, and there are eight varieties that vary in colour and size.

Found in warm seas, tuna is extensively fished commercially, and as a result of overfishing, stocks of some tuna species, such as the southern bluefin tuna, are close to extinction. Populations of yellowfin tuna are regarded by the Marine Conservation Society to be in comparatively good shape, and that’s the species we source at Fresh Fish Daily. It comes from the Indian Ocean, is certified sashimi grade and is histamine analysed.

Yellowfin tuna, Thunnus albacares, can weigh as much as 175kg and is distinguished by its bright yellow fins and finlets. The meat is deep red, has a sweet, mild flavour and a dense, firm texture comparable to beef. A tuna steak is cut perpendicular to the spine.

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Tuna steak on a chopping board

One of the few species of fish that can maintain a body temperature higher than that of the surrounding water, tuna is an active and agile predator and one of the fastest-swimming pelagic fish. Feeding on other fish, squid and crustaceans, a yellowfin tuna can move at speeds of up to 47mph.

Yellowfin tuna spawn throughout the year, peaking in the summer months. A female can spawn almost daily, releasing millions of eggs each time and up to 10 million eggs per season.

Tuna steaks might have become more popular on menus since the later years of the 20th century but the fish has been highly prized since ancient times. The Phoenicians used to salt and smoke it, while in the Middle Ages tuna was pickled then cut up, roasted or fried in olive oil, salted and strongly spiced.

IS TUNA STEAK GOOD FOR YOU?

Low in calories but packed with minerals and nutrients, tuna is a powerhouse of essential nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids – full of good fat and protein.

One of the most important vitamins is niacin, which plays a role in nerve functioning and blood circulation, as well as helping the body create energy, while omega-3 fatty acids boost heart health, potassium lowers blood pressure and a wealth of minerals improve the immune system.

Per 100g raw yellowfin tuna
Energy 130kcal
Fat 0.6g (of which saturated fat 0.2g)
Protein 29g
Rich in vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin D, niacin, phosphorus and selenium

HOW DO YOU COOK TUNA STEAK?

This meaty, flavoursome fish is delicious grilled, baked or pan-seared, especially when it’s marinated in herbs and spices. The dense red flesh has a pronounced flavour and it’s the raw, sashimi-grade yellowfin that is used in poke bowls and sushi.

A good tip when buying is to choose thicker steaks as they will cook more evenly. Tuna steaks are one of the easiest cuts of fish to cook as they are sold ready to use with the minimum of preparation.

 

Just like a beef steak, tuna steak can be served from extremely rare to well done

 

An easy seared recipe is to brush each side with oil and season well – when they’re seared on both sides you’re done. Alternatively, cooking them in foil in the oven is just as straightforward. Bake, wrapped in oiled tinfoil for about 10 minutes, and the steaks are ready to serve.

It’s worth bearing in mind that while beef takes time to cook and can be tough, fish cooks rapidly and is tender. Just like a beef steak, tuna steak can be served from extremely rare to well done. Consider cooking times depending on how you prefer your tuna to be served. The centre of the steak should still be pink – be careful not to overcook it or the fish will be dry. Cooking briefly over a high heat is the key to a perfectly cooked tuna steak.

As a rule of thumb, the cooking time for a rare tuna steak is about 30 seconds per side and for a medium tuna steak one to two minutes per side.

Rick Stein suggests just cooking thick tuna steaks for a minute on each side on a cast-iron griddle in his chargrilled tuna with salsa verde recipe in Fish and Shellfish (BBC Books, 2014): “Chop parsley, mint, capers, anchovy fillets and garlic together by hand on a board. Scoop them into a bowl and stir in the mustard, lemon juice, olive oil and salt.

“Brush the tuna steaks on both sides with oil, seasoning well. Place the cast-iron griddle over a high heat and leave it to get smoking hot, then drizzle it with a little oil. Cook the tuna steaks for one minute on each side until nicely striped from the griddle but still pink and juicy in the centre. Serve at once with salsa verde spooned on top.”

 

The Phoenicians used to smoke and salt tuna, while in the Middle Ages tuna was pickled then cut up, roasted or fried in olive oil, salted and strongly spiced

 

Tuna is a great fish for marinating. That can be from the simplest mix of lemon juice, olive oil and chilli flakes to flavours with more depth, such as harissa or chipotle paste.  The fairly robust flavour of the tuna can easily handle herbs and spices without being overwhelmed so look out for a spicy recipe that has cumin, cinnamon or paprika.

If you don’t have time to cook and eat tuna when it’s bought fresh, put the steaks in the freezer on the day of delivery, then defrost overnight in the fridge. Cooking frozen tuna steaks, once defrosted, is no different from fresh and the flavour and texture are exceptionally good.

TUNA STEAK RECIPES

The beauty of tuna steak recipes is their simplicity. With minimum cooking time, you can focus on the accompaniments and follow a simple recipe for an easy supper or an impressive treat for friends and family.

A simple tuna steak recipe serves the fish with a tangy relish, herbed potatoes or a quick parsley salad. Look for tuna steak recipe ideas that use few ingredients but still complement the flavours of this meaty fish. There’s no shortage of tuna steak meal ideas, from tuna steak salsa and tuna steak marinaded in soy sauce and honey to tuna confit.

Chargrilled tuna with harissa and potato stew is an easy tuna steak recipe that can be on the table in half an hour. Boil the potatoes, stew the harissa and vegetables for 10 minutes, then cook the tuna steaks. Serve the tuna on top of the vegetable stew.

 

The fish’s torpedo-shaped body is designed to cut through water and thanks to special swimming muscles it cruises the ocean highways with great efficiency

 

If you’d like a sauce for the tuna steak, think about a lemon caper sauce, a lemon Dijon sauce, a mushroom pepper sauce or a light tuna steak marinade of soy sauce, orange juice and olive oil.

Boiled new potatoes, steamed vegetables, baked sweet potatoes, rice, noodles or a salad with vinaigrette dressing are some of the many options of what to serve with tuna steak.

Looking for more options for tuna steak recipes or what to cook with the fish? Try these recipes:

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Everything You Need to Know About … Scallops

Scallops on a slate background

Highly prized for their delicate texture and sweet taste, scallops are often considered the exclusive preserve of high-end restaurant menus. But think again – because cooking scallops is easy as long as you treat them gently. With no bones or skin to deal with, the job couldn’t be simpler.

WHAT ARE SCALLOPS?

With two beautiful convexly ridged shells, scallops are bivalve molluscs of the Pectinidae family, just like clams, mussels and oysters. The great scallop that is familiar to our shores is the king scallop or Pecten maximus.

The cold water shellfish live buried in the surface layer of soft seabeds, such as sand mud and gravel, and filter feed on plankton and detritus. Our king scallops are harvested off the north-west coast of Scotland.

Most scallops are hermaphrodites and spawn twice a year. The edible part of the scallop is the pale muscle, used to open and close the scallop’s shells, enabling it to propel itself by expelling water, and the orange roe or coral.

When resting on the seabed and feeding, the scallop shell opens up to two centimetres and that’s when the mantle, with thousands of tentacles, is visible. The scallop has a ring of eyes all around the shell to improve sensory ability and detect predators.

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Scallops on a slate background

Scallops become fully mature at about three years old, when they are about 90mm in length. Spawning takes place in the warmer months, from May to August, and a three-year-old can produce between 15 and 21 million eggs each year.

When considering sustainability, choose dive-caught scallops or dredge-caught scallops from Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries.

With a delectable taste and juicy texture, the muscle is round and tender when cooked, with a touch of sweetness and briny saltiness. When cooked properly, scallops are smooth and tender and will melt in your mouth.

The quality of scallops from UK waters is excellent, either pale pink or light beige with a soft texture.

Historically, the scallop shell is an icon of femininity – think of Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus – and the scallop shape has early Christian connotations, often incorporated into the baptismal font of medieval churches as a symbol or birth and fertility.

WHAT’S AVAILABLE?

King scallops and queen scallops are the most commonly available in the UK and the differences between king and queen include size, taste and texture.

King scallops are often sold with the roe attached and have a sweet, delicate flavour and meaty texture. They are also known as coquilles saint-jacques and the pilgrim scallop, which goes back to the fact that the scallop was found in great numbers on the coast of Galicia in Spain and was an emblem for medieval pilgrims who travelled to Santiago de Compostela.

Meanwhile queen scallops are usually sold as meat only and are actually a different species and much smaller, only growing to about half the size of king scallops. Known as queenies, they are eaten raw or cooked in a pan with a good persillade of parsley and garlic or shallots and flambéed.

Scallops on a slate background

ARE SCALLOPS GOOD FOR YOU?

High in protein and low in calories, scallops are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, potassium and B12, all helping to maintain a healthy nervous system, as well as tryptophan, an amino acid that aids sleep. The nutrients in scallops promote cardiovascular health and provide protection against colon cancer.

Per 100g steamed scallops
Energy 118kcal
Fat 1.4g (of which saturated fat 0.4g)
Protein 23.2g
Rich in vitamin B12, phosphorus, selenium and zinc

HOW DO YOU COOK SCALLOPS?

The answer is simple – quickly. Seared in a hot pan, scallops are deliciously sweet and tender and need very little fat or added flavour. Just don’t overcook the delicate shellfish or it will become rubbery.

The best plan is to fully prep the rest of your meal in advance, then you’ll need just four minutes to cook the scallops – and serve them immediately.

If the scallops are mushy to the touch, they’re undercooked, but if they’re firm, they’re overcooked. You’re looking for a springiness to the touch and opaque flesh; achieve both and you have a perfectly cooked scallop.

 

The scallop shell is an icon of femininity – think of Botticelli’s The Birth Of Venus – and the scallop shape has early Christian connotations

 

With a little bit of kitchen know-how, you can enjoy king scallops at their best. A good tip is to slice the scallop into two thinner discs, which helps by providing more uniform cooking. It’s strongly recommended for bigger scallops.

Chefs agree that the best way to cook scallops is to pan fry them. If the side muscle is still intact, remove it from each scallop, pat them dry, and season with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil or butter in a pan and cook the scallops for two minutes on each side.

Don’t overcrowd the pan and aim for a caramelised crust and a slightly translucent centre.

Alternatively, think about poaching, steaming, baking, grilling or coating scallops in breadcrumbs and deep frying.

Scallops pair well with garlic, chilli, fennel seeds and ginger, as well as bacon, chorizo and cured meats.

Don’t be scared to use the roe, or coral, when cooking king scallops. As Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Nick Fisher enthuse in The River Cottage Fish Book (A&C Black, 2007) when discussing cooking scallops with roe:

“Plump and orange and in rude health, the coral is delicious – in fact, with its lightly granular, roe-like texture, it is complementary to the white muscle meat. The two should be cooked together, still attached, if possible – though on really big scallops it may be a good idea to separate them.”

Another plus point for scallops is that, thanks to their soft fleshy texture and mild sweet flavour, they are a favourite of even those who usually aren’t particularly fond of fish or shellfish.

SCALLOP RECIPES

The key to a perfectly cooked scallop is the cooking time, so look for king scallop recipes with minimum time on the grill or in the pan.

To hold in moisture, think about cooking en papillote in stock, water, milk or white wine.

Alternatively, match the delicacy of the scallop with the lightness of a tempura batter.

 

The key to a perfectly cooked scallop is the cooking time, so look for recipes with minimum time on the grill or in the pan

 

Scallops can, of course, be served raw or only just cooked, so consider sashimi, carpaccio or ceviche to complement the sweet tender flavour of the flesh.

In The River Cottage Fish Book, the authors say: “They are quite sweet enough to enjoy without so much as a squeeze of lemon. Though if you have it handy, a smear of wasabi or mustard, and a dash of soy, is pretty damn good.”

There’s little cooking time in Delia Smith’s recipe for scallops in the shell from her Complete Cookery Course (BBC Books, 1989) if you’re interested in pan-fried scallop recipes:

“Slice the white part of each scallop into rounds, putting the corals on one side for use later. Poach the white slices very, very gently in white wine until tender – about 10 minutes. Strain them, reserving the liquid.

“Melt 50g of butter in a saucepan, add onion and mushrooms and cook over a low heat for abut 15 minutes. Sprinkle in flour, add the scallop liquid gradually, stirring continuously to obtain a thick, smooth sauce. Add seasoning and a little more butter and cook gently for about six minutes.

“Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the white slices and the coral, plus cream. Heat the mixture over a gentle heat, taking great care not to let it boil. Combine breadcrumbs and parmesan. Divide the scallop mixture between four buttered scallop shells, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and cheese, add flecks of butter and brown under a pre-heated grill.”

Queen scallop recipes couldn’t be simpler – warming the scallops with garlic butter and serving them in their shells is all there is to presenting a showstopping starter.

A delicious king scallop recipe sears the scallops on a hot grill and serves the seafood with crispy bacon.

Search for these scallop recipes:

AND ANOTHER THING …

Wondering about the difference between clams and scallops? Clam is a common name for several kinds of bivalve molluscs, while scallop usually refers to numerous species of saltwater clams or bivalve molloscs in the Pectinidae family.

But what’s the difference when it comes to taste? While scallops have sweet and delicate flesh, they are less firm than clams. Clams have a more salty, fishy taste, with a texture that is chewier.

Meanwhile, when it comes to mussels and scallops, mussels have a mild taste of the sea with a faint mushroom-like undertone. The texture of mussels is tender and slightly chewy. Firmer than a scallop, mussels are softer than clams.

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