Friday is fish day! Traditionally in Ireland, fish is eaten on the last day of the working week, in accordance with ancient ruling from the Catholic Church regarding fasting or at least leaving out meat from the diet on one day a week. Not bad dietary advice for the modern day, religious or not – as health experts recommend eating fish at least three times a week.
So today we give your our Friday Food Fact Top Fish Tips!
Always buy your fish from a reputable fishmonger, preferably one who has access to sourcing Irish caught fish from own boats or day boats from local harbours. This ensures the freshest catch possible from Irish boats.
If you are squeamish about bones, ask your friendly fishmonger to fillet your chosen fish. Round fish like cod and hake may still contain some pin bones in the flesh after filleting. Flat fish like Lemon Sole or Black Sole should be bone free, since fillets are removed from the flat skeleton.
A little marinade of lemon juice, Irish rapeseed oil and fresh herbs makes baked fish taste wonderful and moist.
Mackerel are in season now and make fantastic barbecue fish. Slit them three times each side without cutting right through. Barbecue on white hot coals till the skin is crisp and the flesh comes away easily from the backbone when pierced with the point of a knife. Season and serve with a squeeze of lemon juice over the top after cooking. Yum!
Irish line caught swordfish and tuna may well be available this time of year in some fishmongers. These are meaty and can be grilled or pan griddled with lime juice, chilli and herbs as flavourings.
Irish crab claws and whole lobsters are a treat in summer. Some fishmongers have their own lobster tanks for live lobsters which you can cook at home. If you don’t fancy that, look out for pre-cooked crab claws and whole lobsters. Serve cold with a bowl of good mayonnaise for dipping and lots of fresh bread and salad. Cooked crab claws also work well in stir fries with black bean and chilli or in a Thai curry with coocnut milk.