Fish of the month recipes
Fish of the Month will help you choose sustainable fish all year round. The wild caught fish have been selected for their specific months so they can be eaten as far away from their breeding season as possible. Breeding times are not important for farmed fish, so these can be chosen all year round provided they are from well managed sources. Neither does seasonality information apply to fish that is frozen or tinned as it can take some time to reach the consumer. Fish included in Fish of the Month have sources rated 1, 2 or 3 so be sure to only choose fish from these sources on Good Fish Guide!
Sam and Sam Clark
A sweet and sour salt explosion!
Super simple anchovy pasta
Anchovies are like marmite, they really divide opinion. Like marmite, they also add a sublimely savoury depth of flavour to a dish. Even anchovy haters will enjoy this. Essentially we’re making a flavoured oil, with anchovies bringing a real umami hit to the base and the confit garlic and fennel seeds providing the aromatics. It’s a doddle to knock up and is a pretty standard weekly dinner in my house. Especially when the cupboards are bare. You could also add some steamed greens like broccoli or kale. Or use the flavoured oil to cheer up a veggie side dish.
Anchovies vary hugely in quality and sustainability. The vast majority are caught off the coast of Peru, but rather than feed people directly, they normally enter the fish meal supply chain. The fishery for Peruvian anchovetta is one of the largest in the world, but is very erratic, with catches yoyoing each year. Their life-cycles are particularly sensitive to changes in the marine environment and El Niño in particular. These fisheries are rated 4-5 on the Good Fish Guide so we wouldn’t recommend them, but there are some good options closer to home.
There’s an MSC certified fishery for anchovy in Cantabria in Spain. Look out for these, as not only are they one of the most sustainable options, they’re also delicious. Most of those caught in and around Europe come from sustainable sources, but it’s best to cross-check the tins in the supermarket with the Good Fish Guide website or app to guarantee you’re making the best choice.
Bream, Black or porgy or seabream
Black bream with warm tomato and caper salsa
This is a lovely way to serve slightly stronger flavoured, fatty fish such as bream. Concentrated flavours of tangy tomatoes, piquant capers and pungent garlic cut through the oily, richness of the fish and are reminiscent of Spanish and southern Italian dishes. The sauce is embarrassingly simple to make and can be prepared well in advance but delivers a fantastic dish.
This dish is full of fresh Mediterranean flavours. Add more, if you like - green olives, courgettes, a few capers, sauteed spinach and small waxy potatoes sauted in butter are good further accompaniments.
Crab, brown or edible
Baked crab with brown crab butter
Skippers Tip - use the brown crab as butter on the toast then top with a generous spoon full of the creamy crab mixture and enjoy.
Hot Crab Dip with Welshman's Caviar
An indulgent and creamy crab dip, best served with our Ships Biscuits.
Spider crab risotto
Early spring heralds for me, the return of one the most exciting and captivating of our crustaceans. A regular contributor to Les Assiettes de Mer of our Gallic cousins across the channel, sadly the Spiny Spider Crab (Maia squinado) fails to hold the fond appeal of the average seafood consumer in the UK. As with most crabmeat, they taste best with least, although this recipe I am going to share with you makes the most of the whole fish, utilising all edible parts. You even end up with a free bowl!
Salt & sansho pepper fried cornish catch of the day
This is Japans answer to Fish and Chips! The crispy fried bones make a wonderful alternative to a chip, and the sansho pepper adds a tart taste, much like the addition of vinegar. The ingredients can easily be found in a Japanese grocery store of course, but most health shops will also stock the delicious and organic Clearspring brand of rice vinegar and soy sauce, while any oriental grocer will stock Chinese chives and white radish. Shiso cress might be harder to come by but can be replaced with mustard cress or coriander.
Brazilian fish stew featuring red gurnard
Allegra McEvedy MBE
Gurnard (sea robin) with Tomatoes and Marjoram
Gurnard is a beast-y fish that is best cooked whole. This recipe is as simple as it is delicious, by cooking the whole fish with the tomatoes it creates a marvellous fresh sauce.
Smoked haddock and leek rarebit
This recipe uses Eider stout, from the Seabird-inspired range of ales. 10p from the sale of each bottle in this range is donated to the Marine Conservation Society, so while you are enjoying this dish you are also supporting MCSs amazing work. Smoked fish, leeks, beer and strong cheese are a match made in heaven and this recipe is very rich and comforting. It also tastes fabulous with crusty bread and the left-over beer!
Hake Cooked in the Basque Style with Garlic and Sauce Romesco
San Sebastian is the place to eat hake. In Bar Ganbara we enjoyed a simple preparation of hake split through the head and roasted over a fire. It was dressed with olive oil, vinegar and sliced dried peppers, a garnish we would see all along the coast at various fish restaurants and one which we now use at The Seahorse. It has encouraged us to use more vinegar in our cooking. If you do not have an ovenproof frying pan then carefully transfer the fish to a baking tray or dish before cooking it in the oven.
Hake, cider, seaweed, mussels and artichokes
David James Mothersill
Poached Hake with Garlic Potatoes
Hake is something regularly on the menu within the Grimsby Institute training kitchen -The Gallery Restaurant It is a versatile fish that can be prepared and cooked easily.
Sustainable Hake, Sorrel Sauce & summer vegetables
Herring or sild
Mussel, mussels (Farmed)
Steamed mussels from the Devon coast with bay and chilli
Westcountry Fowey Mussels, Seaweed and Smoked Bacon Broth
We have chosen this dish to highlight the incredible work of Westcountry Mussels who produce a truly sustainable supply of Fowey Mussels: Their farming site in St Austell Bay has become packed with fish where there were none before, acting as a natural sanctuary giving shelter to large shoals of fish of every description as well as dolphins and rare seabirds. All attracted by the abundance of food that the mussel farm attracts, this is a glimpse of the perfect eco system between nature and a commercial enterprise- more than just sustainable, actually enriching the environment.
Oyster, Native, oysters (Farmed)
This is a combination of two of the best known sensual foodstuffs on the planet. Chocolate and oysters. Tastes like salted caramels.
Pouting or Bib
Salted pouting and parsnip fishcakes
These deliciously savoury cakes are a wonderful way to use pouting and will also work with other white fish such as pollack. The light salting of the raw fish firms it up a little and seasons it beautifully.
Spotted ray in brown butter and Chinese spices
Ray have a very distinctive flavour and texture which can take big flavours spicy or acidic flavours work very well. The two best methods for cooking ray are poaching then finishing by frying briefly in Beurre Noisettee which is simply butter that is fried until it very light brown in colour and the aroma resembles toasted nuts, served with capers Lemon and chopped parsley. Or dipping in seasoned flour and pan fried. Recipe and recipe image supplied by Morrison chef, Jon Coates
Salmon, Atlantic (Farmed)
Easy-peasy salmon and spring green stir-fry
This recipe is thanks to my daughter, Tati. Wanting to feed her something healthy and delicious, I steamed greens from the fridge, cooked some noodles and then threw in all the ingredients I had lying around. The Spiced seeds were sitting temptingly on the side, she insisted on throwing them in. The scant amount of salmon stretches amazingly well, making it an affordable, healthy supper dish I would happily eat every week.
Salmon & Yuzu Salsa Tataki
Warm honey ginger salmon
This warming, Asian-style dish brings together sweet, sour and salty flavours, along with the pungency of spring onion and a little chilli heat, to great effect. The sesame seeds add a pleasing crunch, and any leftover marinade or glaze can be drizzled onto the noodles or additional veg.
Sardine, European pilchard, sardines
Boquerones, using sardines
Sardines - A wonderful semi firm white flesh but one that does not respond well to over cooking. A pleasant natural saltiness to the meat that requires careful further seasoning. They respond very well to cooking over charcoal or frying; with good flavour they respond well to many different global dishes. Perhaps this is why mother nature made them so widespread. They could be perhaps compared to herring and fresh anchovies and faint notes of mackerel.
Grilled sardines with gremolata
Pilchards was their old name, but they are now more commonly known as the Cornish sardine, and stocks are very healthy. I remember them in cans when I was a kid, in a tomato sauce. Mum would give them to us for lunch in sandwiches, I think she mixed them with a dressing and I remember rather liking them. But these days the Cornish sardine is regarded as a more sophisticated lunch. Served as they are here they are light and aromatic.
Sardine fennel salad.
Sardines can tend to be a little crumbly or even mushy, hence their traditional pairing with crisp toast. I like this dish as the croutons add even more crunch, while the strong lemon and fennel flavours balance the sardines oiliness.
Scallop, King, scallops
Sole, Dover sole, Common sole
Raymond Blanc's Chargrilled Dover Sole with Spiced Butter
Raymond Blanc OBE
Recipe copyright: Raymond Blanc 2017
Photograph copyright: David Griffen 2014.
What can be better than a beautifully grilled, fresh Dover sole that you know has been responsibly caught off the nearest coastline?
Seared Sole with Chicken & Miso Mousse
Steamed dover sole with pickled grape, roast garlic and parsley dressing
Steaming the fillets in a little wine and stock produces a small amount of tasty fish essence to add to the dressing. The pickled grapes are a lovely addition to my twist on the classic sole varonique. For a perfect lunch, serve this dish with a bowl of hot new potatoes and a simple salad of dressed peppery leaves, such as rocket or watercress.
Lemon sole en papillote orientale
Cyrus Todiwala OBE
Having tried lemon sole several times with various seasonings I find it ideal actually to simply season it with some salt and pepper and a dash of lime juice. Whether you use oil or butter is personal. The taste is light and mildly fishy, which is nice, as it is not strong on the palate unlike many fish. If well cooked the meat is soft and flaky and has a lush creamy texture which on the palate is quite enjoyable. Lemon sole, like its cousins, is a delicate fish and commands respect. However it is very adaptable and is well suited to a multiple of different cuisines, which make it a very favourable fish indeed. Whilst it may not be as highly regarded as its cousin the Dover sole, quite frankly it will compare in equal levels with the right amount of seasoning and handling. Megrim, dab and Dover sole are all closely related and offer very good flavours and tastes.
Lemon sole with herb dressing and watercress
When fish is at its freshest and tastiest, it is really not necessary to add bells and whistles. This deliciously simple, healthy recipe is quick to recreate at home, and the lemon sole is the star of the show.
Recipe by Emily Scott, seafood chef and proprietor of The St Tudy Inn, North Cornwall. Photo credit: The Head The Tail
One of my favourite seasonal seafood recipes comes from the slate grey winter seas of our Suffolk coast, and involves a fish that constitutes a highly nutritious, yet affordable, meal, rich in the polyunsaturate omega-3 and with all the accompanying health benefits associated with oily fish. Sprats, (Sprattus sprattus) are a shoaling pelagic species, traditionally caught by drift nets or mid-water trawls and for centuries have appeared in diets along with the more popular oily staples of herring, pilchards and mackerel. Personally, I find their flavour exquisite and when coupled with the simplicity of their preparation, and their inexpensive price tag, I cannot understand why their appeal has waned. The popularity of whitebait, (their notably favoured juvenile class), is no less flavoursome and a popular starter in restaurants around the UK. However, in the interests of sustainability, consuming the adults to my mind would be preferable and eminently more satisfying, knowing the fish has had a chance to reach maturity and spawning age.
Oreochromis niloticus niloticus
Farmed tilapia with wilted spring greens and wild garlic, citrus butter and sunblushed tomato oil
Tilapia is a wonderfully adaptable fish with a good meaty texture and fine flavours. In this dish we compliment the fish with wilted spring greens and wild garlic and then both a tangy citrus butter and a reduced sunblushed tomato oil. These give visual appeal, vibrant colours and interesting flavours.
Bio aqua farm crispy trout bites with gremolata mayo
Rainbow trout can be a clean and delicate flavour when farmed with Aquaponic methods, and a good source of Omega 3. This easy to make dish is a balanced blend of Mediterranean flavours. The crispy coating and smooth centred bites with the zesty gremolata complements a freshly mixed salad with an Italian dressing of olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper. I recommend to use local and organic where possible.
Rainbow trout with hazelnuts and sage
A delicate oil-rich fish with a distinctive herbaceous and sometimes earthy flavour. It makes a very good and less rich alternative to salmon.
To compliment the earthy flavour of trout robust flavoured herbs including sage, basil, tarragon, bay and rosemary work well with it. Citrus fruits also work well.
Turbot (Caught at sea)
Beer battered whiting with mushy peas and tartar sauce
Interestingly I have been asked “to do”” whiting which from manyareas rates fairly poorly on a sustainability scale.Whiting are mainly a bycatch species and fisheries suffer from high discard rates, mainly because of its low market value. However, sourced from the correct area and captured using nets with measures to improve selectivity and reduce discards it sits fine. Whiting is a member of the gadoid family (Cod and Haddocks) and shaped more like a haddock with soft flesh alike. It yields itself well to fish and chips!