I've tweeted today our TOP 12 SEAFOODS... that we have promoted and enjoyed this year.
12 DAYS OF BILLINGSGATE SEAFOOD
1... We are always going on about the importance of omega 3... and sardines are packed full... but canned are great too.
Fresh - just grill and squeeze lemon over the top... out of a can - crush onto toast with horseradish and top with rocket leaves.
My son calls them prickly tuna - as I tried to sneak them into a sandwich and he caught me out as you have all the soften bones in there too!
2... Gurnard - one of our favourites here... but it is under utilised but don't go mad as there isn't a lot of scientific research for us to know exactly how many there are in the sea. Roast with bacon or chorizo is a favourite way of cooking
3...Fish roe... Pacific salmon, trout, tobiko (flying fish) and Avrenka - (smoked herring roe) are all popular here - particularly with the Eastern Europeans. Big hit of flavour - so stir into scrambled eggs OR use as a toppping with smoked salmon, soured cream and blinis.
4... Tilapia... predominantly farmed is available and it is incredibly easy to farm as it is robust, omnivorous feeder and adapts well to different environments. It is great to cook as it is firm in texture - but it lacks flavour - so needs a little bit of help (like a good splash of chilli etc) We use it here for fish n chips in a beer batter and it can't be beaten.
5...Salted pollock from Alaska... this fish is possibly the most extensively harvested white fish in the world. We have access to it readily at the market all salted and dried. it is desalination of around 2 hours as it is cut into strips. We used it for Fishcakes with sweet potato and chilli. Must Alaskan pollock is frozen and ends up in fishginers.
6....Herrings are very seasonal - but there are some available at the moment... the best part is the roe - but the flesh is delicately flavoured and perfect grilled and splashed with lemon. I went to prepare herrings at the Herring Fair in Hastings in November... but as the weather was so warm and the sea was also a degree or two higher than normal - the herrings hadn't arrived - so we had to work with mackerel instead... Good to note though that most fish - if wild caught - is seasonal and it works in time with the weather... so you can't be too demanding..!
7... Coley or saithe... another of our favourite white fish. I used it in a Fish Pie on Sunday Brunch back in September and it was one of their most requested recipes. I think Emma Bunton was particularly enthusiastic about my pie... but the coley has a stronger flavour than cod and a slightly coarser texture - but perfect with potato and creamy sauce with leek!
8...Carp... many people are surprised to learn that carp (a fresh water or coarse water fish) is so extensively farmed and is popular in China - but also Eastern European communities. It has a recognisable taste and needs bold flavours to make it work well. Roast with butter, lemon and capers is a good option.
9...Dabs... another lovely flat fish - very inexpensive - and quite difficult to find unless you have a good coastal fishery to buy from
Cut off the head, remove the bloodline and brush with butter, nutmeg and seasong - it takes less than 5 minutes at gas mark 6!
10... Brown Edible Crab... one of our favourites and if caught by pot or creel - responsibly sourced! We prefer crab to lobster by far. Buy one that is already cooked and pick it up - it should feel heavy for its weight. Pull the white meat out of the claws and main purse or body... The brown meat is in the carapace - or shell. Chilli Crab Linguine?... lovely
11...Squid V Cuttlefish - definately the latter... but both are perfect for slow and quick cooking. Our great preference is slow cooked in garlic, red onion, rosemary and redwine... can't beat it!
12... Oysters.. 6 of these alone have good omega 3 levels. Try them cooked or raw - they are low in fat - and very diverse in flavour. Really worth a try out.
So that's it... our top 12 choices... for 2016... but if I was allowed a 13th... I would go for
SEAWEED.... especially Sea thong - truly wonderful flavour...
Billingsgate Seafood School