When I first started writing recipes, I looked at much-loved meat dishes and converted them into fish and shellfish based dishes. In countless cases this worked so well. Dishes including goulash, beef ragout and shepherd’s pie all work well with ‘many’ types of seafood.
The key is to be adventurous
Trying something new can be a challenge. This is often the case when you are encouraged to tuck into different types of seafood if you have conservative tastes. With Government guidelines encouraging us to eat at least 2 portions of seafood a week, there is a very good reason to have a go and try something new. Plus seafood is delicious!
Can fish fill you up?
If you are a big meat eater the concern often is that fish just doesn’t fill you up as well as meat, but research says that fish can satisfy the appetite fantastically.
Fish for those who like a meaty steak
For those who like a meaty steak, particularly beef, the most obvious option is a tuna steak. The price is certainly comparative to a good piece of sirloin steak and the cooking process is very similar. Although Tuna is a dark meat, it has a very delicate ‘non-fishy’ flavour and is fabulous served with caramelized onions and mashed potatoes (or chips!). Swordfish steaks tick this box too.
For chicken alternatives
For chicken alternatives there are several good options: scallops, prawns and monkfish can all be great for an Oriental Stir-fry, Korma with rice or a Red Thai Curry or simply wrapped in bacon and roasted.
For pan-fried chicken ‘snitzel’ type dishes I often use flat fish fillets including plaice, lemon sole or witch and when filleted properly they will have no bones at all. Then roll the fish in seasoned flour and or breadcrumbs and pan-fry. Finishing it off with herbs in a salsa verde is difficult to beat. For a treat both brill and turbot work so well like this and great for a special occasions.
Fish for bacon lovers
Smoked haddock is an excellent alternative to smoky bacon to tantalise your taste buds. It can be poached but I prefer to top it with chopped cherry tomatoes and spring onion and bake in the oven and served with hash browns. Difficult to beat this! The smoked haddock will have the saltiness that bacon lovers enjoy but smoked haddock is much lower in calories. I love kippers, but you do need to negotiate the bones first.
Fish for the BBQ
I was served a barbequed cuttlefish steak once. I remember being amused at the lengths some chefs will go to make fish look like meat; but it was superbly cooked and was so un-fishy and I have cooked it often since. A whole sheet of cuttlefish that has been scored and seasoned will take a fraction of the time taken to cook a chicken thigh. All of the squid, octopus and cuttlefish group can be cooked in no time. They can also be slow cooked and after 90 minutes in the oven as part of a stew you could be forgiven for thinking just how tender and similar to chicken the texture is.
For fussy eaters
When my own son says he does not like a food, I quiz him to find out why. It is often based around the texture or taste of the particular food. He liked canned tuna and I decided to swop that for canned mackerel which does have a stronger taste. I added some Greek Yoghurt to it and forked it into pasta and he didn’t even notice the difference. It is a well-known fact that mackerel is particularly high in the essential fatty acid Omega-3.
The other benefit of canned fish is that it is incredibly affordable and the perfect store cupboard stand-by for a last minute meal. There are also different flavours including Thai Curry Tuna, Tikka Masala Tuna so no need to ever get bored and all of these flavour profiles are popular.
There is a huge range of seafood available and attendees on our courses at the school are amazed just how varied a diet can be achieved with seafood both in flavour, taste and texture. There is plenty to choose from.
CJ Jackson is an ambassador for Seafish and has been writing about fish and shellfish for over 20 years. She has created over 1500 seafood recipes in her career… possibly more!!
Would this article encourage you to eat seafood?