Food The Fish thread

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by David Mansfield, May 19, 2019.

  1. I have seen larger but that one is surely on the extreme end of sizing. You can get ones 2/3rds of that size and still alive (albeit barely) from my main fishmonger in San Sebastian with some frequency, yet I simply don't buy them if they aren't moving for the reason you state - they are incredibly perishable. In general, I refuse to buy any shellfish that isn't alive and ideally, never been in a tank. There are exceptions of course, deep water specimens that die on their ascent due to the rapid pressure change - then you have to look at their eyes, etc to determine freshness - yet I typically reserve the most perishable species for top restaurants that I trust (In London, you really don't want to eat langoustines anywhere other than Hedone on their delivery day IMNSHO).
  2. The Square sometimes offered memorable langoustines, though I have often wondered whether in spite of its obvious deliciousness it is now a somewhat overrated shellfish. In my youth it was of course usually served in the basket.
  3. Will try and post pictures later, of Langoustines bought fresh off the boat, part boiled, and then given the
    Tempura batter treatment,

    The bizarre thing is when they are alive and kicking boy do you know it !!

    Cheapest I have paid (for XL)was £20 In mull. Most expensive I have seen was in Paris ,large market near Bofinger at €70 (5 years ago)

    What are the prices like in San Sebastián Tom?
  4. I don't know the UK grading system for size, but the huge ones are quite expensive €65-75/kg. The one in the picture was ~600g. Flavour and texture much better in the large ones, so I try to ignore the price and splash out when I see live giant ones. Certain species like large dover sole can be much more expensive in SS because they are highly sought after (€45-50/kg is not uncommon for 1kg+ specimens). One of my favourite fish there is Rey (Kinmedai in Japan, Splendid Alfonsino/Goldeneye Snapper in English) but they are generally quite large and like the best turbot, better left for when you have 4+ people to eat one of the proper size.
  5. B8AFA6A8-DCFA-474C-AF47-6844739D2913.jpeg

    I can’t beat you on size but they were definitely alive and kicking!
  6. Just to digress slightly, much has been said on here over the years about the various unfortunate aspects of the growth and behaviour of supermarkets. While agreeing with many of the complaints that have been made, I'm happy to acknowledge that supermarkets also bring many benefits.

    I do believe, however, that the effect of their fish-counters on the availability and quality of fish is probably the single most baneful consequence of the rise of supermarkets. In the past, every town of any size had at least one fish shop, most of which would offer a decent range of produce. Fifteen-twenty years ago our local town (Huddersfield - population then around 130,000) had four fishmongers. One sold a small range of the most popular species (similar to what supermarkets now offer) but always of top quality, one always had a very wide and interesting range of fish and shellfish (some of which was encouraged by the diverse ethnicity of the local population), the third was somewhere in between but was also a good game-dealership, and the fourth was a pretty good suburban shop. All of those have since closed and fish is available at supermarkets only. The range of fish they offer is generally pathetic, with only the most "standard" types being sold, and quite often of poor quality, particularly in so far as freshness is concerned.

    We are roughly mid-way between the East and West coasts and I don't expect to get fish of the quality available in Aldeburgh or London, but I now generally have to go to the markets at Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield or the famous Bury Market to get anything worthwhile - approaching an hour's drive in each case. And I imagine that much of the current generation of children is being brought up eating little more interesting than salmon or cod.

    Live langoustines were available in Leeds Market when I was there last week.
  7. upload_2019-5-24_19-25-7.jpeg


    Apologies for slight drift and city people who will know this. London institution that is very overpriced and great if on expenses or a client or just think bollocks I want two hours out of the office. Guinness and wines equally overpriced and unimaginative. If you are from out of town rock up at Noon - it gets busy.
    That said , we would rather have it than not. Passed by en route to today’s WIMPS lunch.
  8. The effect of supermarkets on trade is a lot less than elevated rents IMO.
  9. Sweetings, Doolally bonkers. Colossally enjoyable for those of a nostalgic disposition though, I must return.
    David Mansfield likes this.
  10. I don't think that's the case here, Steve. Two of those four fishmongers were in the municipal market, where rents are not a barrier to successful trading.
    Alex Jagger and Steven Pritchard like this.
  11. I was just investigating Gordon Ramsay’s place in Bordeaux (online) and noticed they seem to get live turbot frequently. Not sure I remember seeing that before.

  12. But one must be careful, haven’t googled it but I think Turbot might be commercially farmed now.
  13. It certainly is farmed in France, and very vigorously. UK Chinese restaurants use it, Quite OK but pointlessly small.

  14. Tom UK grading for size for sale is this. 2-3 per Kg 3-5, 4-7, 6-9. Not totally specific or precise , but relates to the number of prawns per KG, so 600g is 1-2. I have never seen this, only 2/3 which is basically baby lobster size.

    I have been at a holding pool where the junior has had a bollocking from the owners for grading them too generously.
    When the Europeans mean big and are paying for it they mean it,

    These are 2-3



    Part boiled for 90 seconds


    Tempura batter for 2 minutes

    Tom Gandey likes this.
  15. What is the point of parboiling, David? is it just to preserve them?

  16. Thom , the batter cooks that much quicker than The prawn/langoustine/scampi

    That said we have only done that with the largest available (nota bene it is the father-in-law who is the tempura expert)
    That said if the prawns were the size of your little finger , I don’t think this would be necessary. That said slightly easier to shell once cooked/ pre cooked.

    Also of note, for those shelling, lots of good advice on YouTube. There are six shells that form the tail, break evenly 3 versus 3 horizontally.

    Tom’s advice on condition is totally spot on. Second best is just not worth it, just like flakey cotton wool. I travel Scotland a lot, and so often there is a white van to take the catch pre sold and it’s on its way to San Sebastian wherever at top prices. But as I alluded to earlier, fisherman are becoming more savvy holding on to stock and trying to connect with restaurants end users directly moreso.
  17. 85BA5777-8D8B-4BA2-BDA5-0C75F83B9AD3.jpeg 7BA37AF2-D176-4BBA-AA18-81F74D970FD8.jpeg F82CB6DD-527B-40CD-8E03-2A6D2CA93202.jpeg Various goodies in Birmingham fish market today including a lovely 80kg halibut and some very fresh looking Cornish sea bass

    Attached Files:

  18. Lovely display of fish, and looking fresh, especially the Halibut, (although think that is 8kg !)
  19. Sole Meunière for dinner tonight (left Untrimmed, served on the bone) . Such a simple delightful recipe. Friend each side for 2 mins, oven for 10 , 180 deg.


    Attached Files:

    Mahmoud Ali likes this.
  20. Do you fry it in clarified butter and then finish with fresh butter, David? I'm surprised there's any need for a fish that size to go in the oven.
    Julian Seers-Martin likes this.
  21. Anyone know what sort of fish this is?

    Also hailed from the shores of Birmingham fish market, but it arrived in Oxfordshire as a gift and without a name. Whatever it was, it ended up as ceviche and was very good.

    Mahmoud Ali likes this.
  22. Thom, to be be frank I don’t adhere to the traditional recipes for health reasons, ie pan frying in loads of butter which
    I would love to do, trust me. Used to use clarified butter for our Indian cuisine back in the day, again, no longer.

    I tend to cook most of fish in this manner, frying off and finishing in the oven.
  23. Nothing wrong with that, David, but I'm not sure it's 'Meuniere' in that case! the frying clarified butter is discarded, though, the fish being sprinkled with very finely chopped curly parsley then a little fresh melted butter poured on followed by a squirt of lemon. For myself a sole Meuniere is such a rare treat that I do not think the butter will finish me off, indeed its accompanying wine is probably far more likely to do that. It's a delicious way of cooking any fish, particularly an old fashioned wild salmon steak and, counterintuitively, red mullet, compulsorily whole, not filleted. I thank you for the mention, I think a fish a la meuniere will be just the job this weekend.
  24. Looks like Spotted Sicklefish/Drepane punctata. I wonder how on earth it ended up in Birmingham since it comes from the West Indo-Pacific, apparently.
    Thom Blach likes this.
  25. Many thanks Martin - that's the one.

    I guess it couldn't resist the attractions of the Birmingham metropolis.

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