Seafood A-Z


  • Clam

    There are several varieties of clam, with amande, hardshell, venus and razor clams being the most common varieties. All are round and stone-like except for the razor clam, so called because it resembles a cut-throat razor.

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  • Cockle

    The main fisheries for cockles include the Thames Estuary, Morecombe Bay and Burry Inlet. They are very similar to clams and can be cooked in the same ways.

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  • Cod

    A superb whitefish, to which chefs are returning with renewed enthusiasm. It has a long, tapered body with a mixture of sandy browns, greyish greens and darker speckles.

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  • Coley

    An alternative to cod and haddock, also known as saithe. A long tapered body, with a slight blue tint, coley range from 500g to 6kg but are usually only available as fillets.

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  • Crab, brown

    Cocks (males) contain more white meat than hens (females) and are preferred by chefs. To identify them, cocks have larger claws and their tail flap is narrower and more pointed.

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  • Dab

    A small fish, rarely caught bigger than 680g. At its best, it can be similar in flavour and texture to plaice, and can be a good buy.

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  • Dover sole

    King of the soles. This superb fish inspired many classic dishes such as Poached Sole Bonne Femme, Sole Veronique and Sole a la Meunière.

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  • Gilt-head bream

    The most popular and highly regarded of the many sea breams, according to Greek mythology the gilt-head was considered sacred to Aphrodite – the goddess of love, beauty and sexual rapture.

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  • Grey mullet

    No relation to red mullet, grey mullet range from 450g to 3kg and have a similar appearance to sea bass but with larger scales.

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  • Gurnard

    The most common variations are red, grey and yellow/tub gurnards. All are very similar in shape and taste, it’s just the skin colours that change.

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  • Haddock

    A member of the cod family. It’s flesh is not as white as cod, and is not as flaky, but has a slightly sweeter taste, which is why haddock is the best whitefish for smoking.

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  • Hake

    Surprisingly not particularly popular in the UK, a large proportion of our catch goes to the Spanish, Portuguese and Italians who love it. Great for cutting into steaks, its soft flesh firms up on cooking and has a good flavour.

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  • Halibut

    The largest of the flatfish, halibut have been known to grow as large as 300kg and 4m long in deeper waters. This is a highly esteemed and very tasty fish, with creamy white, firm meaty flesh.

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  • Herring

    A smooth, slender body, with silvery skin with hints of green and blue. They range in size from 100g-450g and are best grilled or baked whole

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  • Langoustine

    As nice as a basket of scampi and chips can be on occasion, it is not the best use of this superb species. Also known as Dublin Bay prawns, Nephrops and Norwegian lobster

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  • Lemon sole

    Lemons have an oval body, more rounded than a Dover, with a lighter, yellowy-brown dark side. Ranging in size from 230g to 1kg, lemons have a sweet delicate flesh

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  • Mackerel

    A superb fish, great value, readily available and yet amazingly underrated. Ranging in size from 200g to 800g, mackerel has a bullet-shaped body with silvery-blue skin with dark wavy stripes.

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  • Monkfish

    An ugly fish, which has a huge head, accounting for half its weight. However, there is inner beauty! Usually only the tails are sold, and range from 350g to 4kg.

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  • Mussels

    Equally delicious when served up as the French (or should that be Belgian?) staple of moules-frites, or poached in Guinness, or steamed in a terracotta pot infused with Spanish saffron or Indian spices, the mussel is one versatile mollusc.

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  • Oyster, native

    Native oysters have a rough shell that is yellow, pale green or brown in colour, sometimes with bluish, pink or purple markings.

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  • Oyster, Pacific or rock

    Originally from the Pacific, as the name implies, this is now the most commonly farmed oyster in northern Europe. Over 10 million are famed in the UK each year, which is small in comparison to the numbers farmed in France.

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  • Plaice

    Unlike Dover sole, plaice is best eaten as fresh as possible, as the flavour quickly fades. Ranging from 230g to 2kg, this fish is easily identified by its distinctive orange spots

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  • Pollack

    Closely related to coley or saithe: the two are often confused. Whole fish range from 500g to 3kg. Pollack is a good tasting fish, and is popular in France where much of our catch goes.

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  • Red mullet

    A great looking fish, with a mix of orange, red and pink coloured skin. Although not a large fish, ranging in size from 200g to 1kg, it has a big flavour, which comes from its diet of crustaceans.

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  • Sardine

    Sardines and pilchards are both the same species, which has the Latin name Sardinus pilchardus. Essentially, the differentiator is size: smaller fish are called sardines and the larger, older fish are called pilchards.

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  • Scallop

    Scallops’ attractive fan-shaped shells contain translucent off-white meat wrapped with a bright orange roe or coral, which has a different taste and texture.

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  • Sea bass

    In the wild, sea bass are found from the Mediterranean to Norway in spring and summer, grow up to 7kg, and are a prize catch, especially when line-caught.

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  • Sprat

    Long, thin fish, usually around 10-15cm long. Mainly sold filleted and preserved in oil, as they are small and fragile and therefore difficult to transport whole.

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  • Squid

    The best loved cephalopod, squid has a firm texture and a strong flavour. Also known as calamari, squid range in size from 100g to 1kg.

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  • Tilapia

    Extensively produced around the world, tilapia is considered to be one of the most sustainable of farmed fish, and is usually available at Billingsgate Market, come rain or shine.

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  • Tuna

    With its firm, rich red meat, you could almost describe tuna as the “cow of the sea” and, like steak, is best seared on the outside, rare in the centre.

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  • Turbot

    Like halibut, turbot is a highly prized species and often regarded as the best of the flatfish with great flavour and firm, white flesh.

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  • Whiting

    A smaller fish from the cod family, with a silvery-grey body and rounded belly, and rarely found over 2kg. This is often an overlooked fish but, like coley, whiting is a good buy when very fresh.

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  • Witch

    A deep-sea flatfish that lives in waters down to more than 1,000m, generally over sandier and muddy seabeds, witch has a similar appearance to Dover sole.

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