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Keeping it local

Plaice, red gurnard, skate, sole, rainbow trout and octopus are the pick of a chilly and bustling Billingsgate this week, as the traders get set for the Christmas rush.

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DECEMBER

Hibernating, reflecting, planning, celebrating with festive feasts and tucking into seafood galore, all at its splendid peak. Tom Hunt on what we can enjoy this month.

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Sushi bowl

This quick and easy recipe by blogger Bella Bucchiotti features a simple sushi vinegar and spicy mayonnaise. It uses salmon, but raw tuna or smoked mackerel both make delicious alternatives.

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sushi rice shutterstock2

Sushi rice

All good sushi starts with the rice. So follow this recipe by Reiko Hashimoto for a sweet-sharp vinegar and perfect consistency: sticky enough to hold together, but with all the grains still discernible.

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Wild mussels with bacon and beer

“This recipe was born of necessity – after a week cut off from the mainland on a tiny Scottish island, the fridge was looking pretty bare – but was scrumptious nonetheless,” writes Louise Bell. Feel free to make your own bread, too, to mop up all those juices.

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Mussel beach

On an off-grid escape to a Scottish island, Louise Bell and Christian Smith discover that wild mussels are delicious, abundant and easy to find – if you know where to look.

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And so it begins

Native lobster, carpet clams, squid, cuttlefish and octopus, Dutch flat oysters and beetroot-cured smoked salmon are this week’s pick of a Billingsgate already gearing up for Christmas.

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Pasta con le sarde

Meaty sardines, salty anchovies, sweet currents and savoury fennel all come together to make this quintessentially Sicilian dish. Enjoy with a glass of the local white wine.

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Red letter day

Redfish from the Channel fisheries, Cornish sardines, Shetland monkfish cheeks and loins, plus carp, pike, red gurnard and mackerel are our pick of Billingsgate this week.

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Heads up

The explosion in craft brewing has sparked a renaissance in partnering food, including seafood, with beer. Lucy Bridgers explores some matches made in heaven.

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Creamed celeriac soup with smoked herring

Sarah Kenny uses the big smoky-salty flavours of smoked herring to offset a rich, celeriac soup, creating a beautiful autumnal dish that would make a great starter or lunch.

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Kipper rarebit

Chef Colm Tuohy adds a twist to the classic rarebit recipe by infusing the béchamel milk with kipper, then stirring flakes of the fish through the finished sauce. Topped with a soft poached egg, it makes a decadent breakfast or a terrific supper.

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