Category Archives: Sustainable Seafood Challenge

Sustainable prawns, at a price

Spencer_Gulf_king_prawns_MSC_certified

I’m a prawn junkie. I love those little schoolies salt and spice rubbed and deep-fried to crispy perfection. Or king prawns skewered lengthwise, barbecued in their full body armour, and peeled to reveal plump, pink, almost steamed, flesh. Banana prawns dressed in Panko breadcrumbs, deep-fried and dipped in a chilli-kicked mango mayonnaise make me weak at the knees. I save prawn shells to make stock for tom yam goong (sour & spicy prawn soup) – my favourite Thai dish. But a generous handful of prawns cooked in a thick, rich, Indian butter curry is by far my guiltiest pleasure. Ah, yes, I love a good prawn.

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Little fish

sardines

Sydney Fish Market sardines

I’m teaching myself to cook little, less popular fish. Sardines, leatherjacket, mackerel and barbounia have all debuted on my kitchen bench in recent months. In fact, let’s take a step back. I’m teaching myself to cook fish. It’s never been a strength of mine. I’ve barbecued snapper wrapped in banana leaf and baked a whole salmon, but they were one-offs and their success – I suspect – was a fluke. I’m a dab hand at fish cakes. And I’ve got beer battering and deep-frying down pat, but hand me a fish slice and a fillet of barramundi, john dory, or salmon and I’m  a little bit lost. I’ll probably cook it until that oily white stuff oozes out – a sign of over-cooking, so i’m told. I’ll pan fry it carefully then blast it in the microwave just to be safe.

So I’m teaching myself to cook fish – little ones in particular. Continue reading

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Stuffing squid sustainably

Squid

Fresh whole squid (iStockphoto)

If you’re anything like me your preparation of  squid has not far surpassed the ubiquitous salt and pepper, deep-fried variety, or marinated, char-grilled curls served with a wedge of lemon. While squid lends itself to long, slow cooking on a low heat i’d had not ventured beyond the ‘cook it quick, eat it quicker’ mentality that deep frying or barbecuing demands. Continue reading

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Leatherjacket jackpot

Leatherjacket_Oven-Roasted_with_Lemongrass_&_Garlic

Leatherjacket Oven-Roasted with Lemongrass & Garlic, photographer Cath Muscat

Bingo! The Food Sage’s Sustainable Seafood Challenge has got off to a cracking start. I was browsing the latest issue of Delicious when i spotted a recipe for Leatherjacket Oven-Roasted with Lemongrass & Garlic, by head chef at Sydney’s Red Lantern restaurant, Mark Jensen. It’s from his new cookbook The Urban Cook: Cooking and Eating for a Sustainable Future (published by Murdoch Books).

The photograph (above) looked amazing, the ingredients were relatively few and some of my favourites (lemongrass, garlic, bird’s-eye chillies) and i knew my local fishmonger sold leatherjacket – in all their shimmering, silvery, yellow-tipped splendour. I’d admired, but never dared purchase, them in the past. I decided to take the plunge. Continue reading

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