Buying British Seafood: A guide for COVID-19 and beyond

From clams to whiting and lobster to hake, there is a huge range of seafood availabel from across the UK. At Fish on Friday we want everyone to know what to do with the fantastic seafood our fishermen land and when to get it with this guide to British seafood.

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Clams/Cockles

Serving size: 500g (main meal); 300g (starter)
Average Price: £5 per portion (fresh)
Taste: Delicate but salty
Cooking: Can be eaten raw, steamed or boiled
Availability: All year round
Tip: Choose cockles with pale shells, as this indicates lighter flesh which is said to taste better

 

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Scallops

Serving size: 3-5 per serving
Average Price: £9.00 per portion
Taste: Sweet, buttery, and delicate
Cooking: Pan fry
Availability: March to November (best in September/October)
Tip: They cook quickly so make sure that you don’t overcook them or they will dry out

 

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Cold Water Prawns

Serving size: 125g per person
Average Price: £5 per portion
Taste: So delicate, you must be careful not to overpower them
Cooking: Boil in salt water, grill, deep-fry, stir-fry or barbequed
Availability: All year round.
Tip: If you can, buy fresh over frozen as the frozen prawns will be tougher

 

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Crabs

Serving size: 500-600g (main meal) 300g (starter)
Average Price: £6.50 per portion
Taste: Salty and “sweet”, but not sweet like fruit
Cooking: Boil, steam, grill and roast
Availability: February to October
Tip: If you are looking for larger quantities of white meat, opt for cock (male) crabs which have bigger claws; if you want more brown meat, choose a hen (female)

 

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Langoustines

Average Price: £4 per portion
Taste: Rich and delicate
Cooking:Boil or grill/barbeque
Availability:All year round
Tip: A lot of langoustines out there are not caught using sustainable methods, so make sure you only buy MSC-labelled, organic or pot-caught. When buying langoustines live, check for shiny jet-black eyes, a fresh smell of the sea and quick, lively movements. The legs and antennae shouldn’t be damaged, and the shells shouldn’t be marked

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Lobster

Serving size: 500-600g whole lobster per person
Average Price: £24 per portion
Taste: Sweeter and lighter taste as compared to crab
Cooking: Steam or boil
Availability: All year round
Tip: For practicality, a freshly cooked lobster, already split in half, cleaned and ready to eat, is the easiest option

 

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Mussels

Serving size: 500g per person
Average Price: £3 per portion
Taste: Not strong, no odor; they are soft with the scent of the sea
Cooking:Steam/boil
Availability:All year round
Tip: Clean and debeard the mussels. If any mussels are opened, tap them lightly on a hard surface. If they don’t close, discard them

 

ROCK OYSTERS

Oysters

Serving size: 6 for a big starter serving
Average Price: £8 per portion
Taste: Salty, sweet, melon, buttery, copper, briny, and metallic
Cooking:Can be eaten raw or steam cooked
Availability:
– Pacific – All year round
– Native – January to April and August to December
Tip: If you cn aim for a green shelled oyster

 

Lemon Sole

Lemon Sole

Serving size: 400g fish required for 1 portion
Average Price: £11 per portion
Taste:  mild, sweet flavor but are milder than Rock Sole
Cooking:Grill, fry or bake
Availability:All year round
Tip: Best when cooked simply either grilled or fried with a light sauce

 

Italian Style Baked PollockPollock

Average Price: £7
Taste: Rich fishy flavour
Cooking:Bake, Deep fry, Grill, Poach and Shallow fry
Availability:All year round
Tip: Great sustainable alternative to cod or haddock

 

 

 

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Plaice

Serving size: 400g fish required for 1 portion
Average Price: £4.80
Taste: Sweet and mild
Cooking:Bake, Deep fry, Grill, Poach and Shallow fry
Availability:All year round
Tip: If you buy skin on plaice, start with frying the skin side down first

 

 

Witch

Witch

Serving size: 1-1.3kg fish which serves 2 portions
Average Price: £4.30
Taste: Sweet
Cooking:Bake, Deep fry, Grill,  Poach and Shallow fry
Availability:All year round
Tip: Witch, also known as Torbay Sole, has a similar appearance to Dover Sole and is from the same family as Lemon Sole and Plaice.

 

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Hake

Serving size: 2-3kg fish which serves 4 portions
Average Price: £9.70
Taste: Very mild taste, with slightly sweet meat
Availability:February to November
Tip: Only buy fish that are longer than 50cm with bright eyes and red gills. Hake fillets should have firm white flesh with no discolouration, blemishing or bruising.

 

 

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Haddock

Serving size: 750g fish which serves 2 portions
Average Price: £6 per portion
Taste: Mildly sweet taste
Cooking:Bake, Deep fry, Grill, Poach and Shallow fry
Availability: All year-round. Season runs from May–Feb, however it is best from Feb–Sept. Can be difficult in Nov–Dec
Tip: Haddock unfortunately suffers from overfishing, so take care to purchase a sustainably sourced variety and be sure to buy your fish as fresh as possible.

 

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Cod

Serving size: 750g fish which serves 2 portions
Average Price: £6.50 per portion
Taste: Mild
Cooking:Bake, Deep fry, Grill, Poach and Shallow fry
Availability:All year round. Season runs from Jun–Feb. Best quality from Jul–Oct. Can be difficult in Nov–Dec
Tip: Look out for MSC approved stocks when you are buying your fish.

 

WHITING

Whiting and ling

Serving size: 950g fish which will serve 2 portions
Average Price: £5.00
Taste: Sweet and delicate
Cooking:Bake, Deep fry, Grill, Poach and Shallow fry
Availability:All year round
Tip: Buy the freshest possible fish you can find, as the flesh becomes flaky very quickly and this makes
it impossible to fillet. Look for bright white fillets that are soft but not flabby.

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