Bright-eyed and yellow-tailed

Top-notch langoustine, red mullet from the Channel fisheries, black sea bream from the Isle of Wight and two kinds of trevally from the Indian Ocean are the pick of Billingsgate this week.

There have some super quality langoustine coming into the market lately, some of them arriving still alive. Unfortunately, most British langoustine ends up being either breaded and sold as scampi, or exported to France and Spain. However, if you fancy a real treat, buy some whole and cook them yourself – shellfish really doesn’t get much better.

Small and medium red mullet (pictured below) from the Channel fisheries are in great condition now. Firm and bright with a blaze of red and yellow, they would be a great addition to any BBQ. Often referred to as the “woodcock of the sea”, chefs love to cook them with the liver still in place to enhance their flavour.

If you are very lucky you may get the opportunity to pick up some of the very large black sea bream that are currently being caught just off of the Isle of Wight. Baked or grilled, these fish have a firm white meat with very few bones: a super healthy food for all the family.

Alternatively, from further afield, why not try some trevally from the Indian Ocean. There are two types currently on offer at the market: yellow tail (pictured top) and silver trevally (below). They’re both moderately priced at the moment and will not disappoint the fish lover: the meat is firm, full of flavour and can be used in many different cooking styles and dishes.

Finally, the 14 May was a sad day for oyster lovers as it marked the start of the native (or flat) close season. There will be no more around until at least August – and if the weather remains warm it’s unlikely they’ll be harvested until at least September. On the bright side, you don’t need to go without oysters during the summer months, as it’s legal to sell the Pacific (gigas) variety year-round – they’re guzzled by the wagonload at summer festivals, such as the ones in Whitstable and Rock.

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