Try these scrumptious, delicious and contemporary recipes from Star Fish using only sustainable seafood approved by SASSI.
Adding more fish to your diet has many health benefits, but, it is important to eat sustainable seafood – that which either caught or farmed in ways that consider the preservation of harvested stock species, the wellbeing of the ocean the livelihoods of fishing communities. Each of theses recipes using sustainable seafood ingredients allows you to not only add more fish to your diet, but also do the right thing.
Hake in beer batter
- sunflower oil, for deep-frying
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 4 hake fillets (225g each)
- 225g flour, plus extra for dusting
- 285ml beer, cold
- 3 heaped tsp baking powder
- Unless you’ve got a really big fryer, don’t make fish and chips at home for more than four people. Start cooking the fish only when your oven chips are in the oven. They’ll be in there for half an hour, about the same amount of time you’ll need to cook your fish in batches.
- Pour the sunflower oil into your deep-fat fryer or a large frying pan and turn up the heat to high. (We are aiming for 190ºC). Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of the fish fillets. This will help to remove any excess water, making the fish really meaty (the same principle as pre-salting).
- Whisk together the flour, beer and baking powder until shiny. It should be as thick as semi-whipped double cream. Dust each fish fillet in a little of the extra flour. Before you dip the fish in the batter, check that the oil is ready. A raw chip or cube of bread should rise to the top easily, but the oil should not be smoking.
- Next, dip the fish into the batter and allow any excess to drip off. Holding one end, lower the fillets into the oil one by one, carefully so you don’t get splashed. The size of your fryer will determine how many fish you can do at once. Cook for 4 minutes or so, until the batter is golden and crisp.
- When one batch of fish is done, drain it on kitchen paper then simply pop it in the oven with the chips to keep warm (though don’t leave the fish in there too long; remember the oven is scorching hot).
- I like lemon and tartar sauce with my fish, and malt vinegar and sea salt with my chips.
- 4 eggs
- 1 potato, cut into chunks
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pack frozen haddock steaks
- 2 bay leaves
- 225ml long-grain or basmati rice
- 125g unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove freshly chopped garlic or 1 tsp chopped garlic from a tub
- 2 heaped tsp curry powder
- 1 can brown lentils
- 2 lemons
- 2 good handfuls fresh coriander, roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 150°C, if you are planning to take a break between cooking and serving.
- Boil the eggs and potato chunks together, in salted boiling water. The eggs will be done after 6 to 8 minutes; the potato may need a little longer. When the eggs are done remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon and leave them in a bowl of cold water. When the potato is done, drain it.
- Put the haddock (defrosted or not) into a frying pan with some water and the bay leaves. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the fish is heated through. Remove from the pan and, when cool enough to handle, flake and set aside.
- Cook the basmati. It must rest for 5 minutes.
- Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat and add the onion and garlic. Allow to soften without colouring for about 5 minutes, then add the curry powder and cook for a couple of minutes more. Add the lentils, potato and juice of 1 lemon.
- Peel and cut the eggs into quarters. Add the rice mixture to the pan. If you are serving immediately, gently heat the mixture over a low heat, adding the egg and coriander towards the end – and being careful not to break the egg quarters.
- If you are taking a break now, before serving, put the fish and rice mixture in an ovenproof casserole dish, arrange the egg and coriander on top, and put the dish, covered, into the preheated oven.
- Serve with the second lemon, cut into wedges, creamy yoghurt and hot mango pickle or atchar.
Serves 8 to 10
Yellowtail is an excellent fish to use for pickling. The cubes hold together well, making it unnecessary to batter the fish.
- 4 large onions, finely sliced
- 1 whole yellowtail, about 2kg
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- oil, for frying
- 3 cups dark vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 200ml sugar
- 1 tbsp turmeric
- 3 tbsp curry powder
- 1½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- 6 bay leaves
- 1 cup sultanas (optional)
- 2½ tbsp flour
- The fish must be cubed into bite-size chunks, about 2,5cm in diameter. I cut off all the brown meat. Also, there must be no trace of skin or bone.
- The sliced onion needs to be fine, but with a bit of substance. You want a bit of firm onion in your pickled fish – not mush or hard chunks.
- Season the yellowtail cubes lightly with salt and pepper, then fry briefly in hot oil until cooked through. Don’t overcook the fish. Drain on kitchen paper.
- Now put the vinegar, water, sugar, turmeric, curry powder, salt and peppercorns into a large pot and bring to the boil. Add your carefully sliced raw onion and bay leaves. Cover and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, until the onion is cooked, but still ever-so-slightly crunchy.
- Get a ladle of the hot sauce out of the pot and mix it with the flour. Now return the mixture to the pot. Stir over high heat. The sauce must thicken.
- Layer the fish, sultanas (if using) and onion in a large dish. Don’t use a metal dish; there will be a reaction with the vinegar over time.
- Finally, pour the sauce over the layers, cover and refrigerate. Your pickled fish will taste best after three days in the fridge. Pickled fish will keep for up to 6 months.
Seared meaty fish, like yellowtail or tuna, and sour, hot tomato salsa is a classic combination.
- 1 cup finely chopped tomato
- 1 spring onion
- ½ fresh chilli, de-seeded
- fresh mint, finely chopped, to taste
- fresh coriander, finely chopped, to taste
- juice of ½ a lime (or ½ a lemon), plus wedges for serving
- extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Finely chop the tomato, onion and chilli on a board.
- Add the chopped herbs and mix.
- Next, add the lime (or lemon) juice and about the same amount of oil, tasting to see if more lime is required.
- Season generously and serve with wedges of lime (or lemon).
You can use seared tuna steaks (two steaks, 100g–200g each) in place of the tinned tuna. Please only use local albacore or yellowfin tuna that’s been pole-caught.
- 200g fine green beans
- 2 eggs, hard boiled and peeled
- cos or gem lettuce, a handful per person
- 1 large handful rocket or basil, or mix
- ¼ cucumber
- 3 ripe tomatoes, quartered
- 8 baby potatoes, boiled and halved (optional)
- ¼ red onion, peeled and thinly sliced or 2 spring onions, thinly sliced (optional)
- 12 black/calamata olives, stones removed
- 1 can tuna in oil
- 10 anchovy fillets
- First blanch your green beans. Drop the beans into boiling, unsalted water and allow them to cook for 2 minutes or so. Taste one. It should be firm and just tender, retaining all its bright green colour. They should not be cooked through. Now get the beans into a colander and run them under the cold tap. This will arrest the cooking process so they keep their colour and don’t get soft.
- Wash the lettuce leaves and rocket/basil. Cut off a quarter of a cucumber. Now quarter that bit of cucumber and slice it lengthwise with the peeler, making sure you have a border of skin on all your peelings. Thinly slice your onion, if using.
- Get the eggs in to boil. Cook for 10 minutes then leave in cold water until cool enough to handle. Peel and quarter.
- De-stone the olives by squashing the olive with your thumb to split the fruit. You should be able to pick out the stone, leaving the two halves joined. Make salad dressing.
- Now place the gem or cos lettuce leaves flat on a plate and pile the rocket/basil leaves in the middle. Sprinkle with dressing. After that, pile the green beans on top, and add a layer of cucumber slivers and onion. Sprinkle dressing all over the salad again. Place the tomato quarters, stoned olives, egg quarters and potato halves (if using) in a rough ring around the green heap in the middle. Drizzle with dressing. Scatter the tuna on top.
- Lastly, lay the anchovy fillets over the chunks in the salad. Dress the salad once more but don’t toss it.
About the book
In this fresh take on ocean-friendly fish, Daisy Jones gives us recipes that are simple, delicious and contemporary. This book is for home cooks who want to eat more fish and want to do the right thing. There are family favourites and crowd-pleasers featuring fresh fish and shellfish, but there are also bold flavours here to complement oily, salted, smoked fish … Switching to green fish is an adventure. Star Fish (Quivertree Publications) is available in all good bookstores for R450.
Find out more about preparing eco-friendly meals here.