Lifestyle Soul Food

Fish, Glorious Fish

July 4, 2013

Apologies to any vegetarian or vegan readers. Feel free to look away! For fish lovers, enjoy!

Fish, glorious fish. When constructing this post, i wondered when and where my love affair with fish began. I spent a lot of my childhood summers in italy and remember my parents being big fish eaters. When dining out in restaurants we often ordered grilled fish as a main course. Maybe that’s where it all started.

As an adult, fish features heavily in my weekly nutrition. I mostly observe the paleo/cavemen diet, so no surprise at my high intake of animal protein. That aside, i cannot imagine stopping eating fish.

Some fish have become an endangered species through overfishing and research suggests that unless we change the way we fish and the seafood we choose to eat, global stocks will be fully exploited within the next generation. It is always good to be fully informed, so we can make wiser choices when out shopping. I recommend the MSC website for more information on where to buy certified sustainable fish. For those interested to know more about this topic watch the incredible documentary the end of the line.

When shopping for fish, i go to my trusted sources which are either my fishmonger or some independent fisheries that catch their own. What’s most important to me is for the fish to be freshly caught, wild and sustainable and my preferred choices are: sardines, herrings, mackerel, salmon, trout, bream, seabass and turbot.

I’ve chosen some fish recipes i’ve either tried myself or thought you might enjoy. I hope there’s something here for each one of you. 

Let’s start with the delicious smoked mackerel. Always a staple in the fridge, for those rushed moments when a little snack is needed with no time to cook. This recipe is delicious:

smoked mackerel & celeriac coleslaw


Fresh cornish mackerel is my favourite. It’s going on the bbq this weekend (yes, hot weather is predicted!) There are so many ways to cook this most wonderful fish, but i prefer the simple method!

Mackerel barbecued over bay


Samphire is a type of marsh grass grown naturally on sea inlets. It lives off nutrients from the sea and produces robust, green stalks similar to baby asparagus, hence the name.

It’s an unusual ingredient, but it works so well as an accompaniment to fish, shellfish and lamb or even as an alternative to a side dish of asparagus.

Mark hix’s samphire omelette


If you have never cooked lobster, give it a go It’s not difficult and sooooooo good.


I love cooking john dory. Here’s a few recipes for you to choose from:


“Fines the claire are one of the most sought after oysters for their unique flavor and color. Adult oysters are moved to special marshes called “claires” in french, which contain very clear water and a high level of minerals and algae, giving the oysters a very distinctive flavor and greenish color from the chlorophyll.”

I love eating my oysters raw, with a bit of lemon and shallot and vinegar dressing. For those who don’t like their oysters raw, here is a selection of recipes to experiment with.


Wild sea bream is the business. You can find pink or black ones. I usually cook them whole in parchment paper or foil. Here’s a recipe with video how to cook bream fillets in a bag.


Wild turbot is another fantastic fish. I like to make it for special occasions.  Here’s a simple but perfect recipe:

Roasted whole turbot with cherry tomatoes


Wild seabass is probably my ever favourite fish. I’ve been making this recipe (with variations) for years and years.

Jamie oliver’s baked seabass in a bag


There are so many ways to cook prawns. Here’s a another lovely jamie oliver recipe for you.


Well, i’m off to plan what fish to buy for an all weekend bbq. The weather in london is looking to be hot, hot, hot. Happy weekend to ya all x

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  • Reply Nicola July 4, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Fabulous to share your love of cooking and good food in your blog.

    I only recently heard of adding chopped spring onions to an omelette (a Polish thing) but to add samphire as well sounds delicious.

    Love seabass too but never tried the Jamie seabass in a bag recipe. Now that I have grown my own spinach, which needs picking, this is a must! xx

    • Reply tina July 10, 2013 at 7:45 am

      Thank you. Yes, I don’t do it enough and maybe that needs to change:-)

      Oh, is that Polish? I’ve always added spring onions to an omelette! The Samphire addition is new to me too!
      The Jamie O seabass is a must! I so love it because the foil retains all the wonderful juices… considering growing spinach:-)) xx

  • Reply Shona July 4, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Thanks for the fishy inspiration. Another beautifully photographed blog post….

    • Reply tina July 10, 2013 at 7:45 am

      Thank you Shona. Ha….:-)

  • Reply Doris Lee July 4, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Your post has made my mouth water! There is no need of convincing here! I love seafood. We are really fortunate to have a fishmonger around the corner from us and I make a point to visit weekly. Though I have never tried bbqing fish so I’m going to try out a couple of your recipes. Seabass is my favourite also but I like it steamed with ginger and chilli. Thanks for another fantastic post 🙂 xD

    • Reply tina July 10, 2013 at 7:50 am

      Good, another Fish Fan!
      Oh, many people don’t think of BBQ fish.. it is absolutely divine. You can use many fish but I love salmon, trout, bream, seabass, mackerel and sardines.
      I do use steel fish/meat grill holders.. this way it all stays in tact!

      Yay!LOVE steamed seabass with ginger… it’s also nice with a little tamari for a terriyake version xx

  • Reply Lena July 5, 2013 at 12:27 am

    I love fish! After living close to the mediterranean sea where we had super fresh grilled fish almost every week that is actually the only thing I’m really missing now. Well, and the sun. My little sons always surprise the waiters when they order “fish with eyes” (it has to be the real thing!) instead of pizza or fries… (And then I end up having pizza because fish for everyone is too expensive.) Thank you for sharing the recipes. I’ll hand them over to my husband 🙂

    • Reply tina July 10, 2013 at 7:56 am

      Oh, when travelling to the mediterranean, this is the first thing I do…I go and have grilled fish by the sea. Is there anything else???
      Yes, the sun…. although I’m happy at the mo with how the weather is going in London:-)

      LOVE that your sons order “fish with eyes”… you know when my nephew was around 4 yrs old (he’s 15 now) he came for the very first time to London. I asked him what he liked eating.. ” cooked salmon with broccoli please” came the reply:-)) I suppose it’s thanks to you mothers… I immediately took him to Borough Market,(big food market in London) gave him a throwaway camera and then developed the film and pasted it in a sketchbook together… I was curious what he would photograph and also wanted to introduce him to lots of new stuff:-)

      Fish is expensive, especially if it’s wild and as a family of 4 I can understand why it does end up being pizza… but there are better alternatives to Pizza (ahem)…

      Love it:”Thank you for sharing the recipes. I’ll hand them over to my husband’.

  • Reply Gerard @WalnutGrey July 5, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Ooh fish eyes are always a little bit creepy… those poor wee dears. But, I do also love fish and am with you on the sea bass & bream. My local Chinese restaurant makes a monkfish sweet & sour dish which is fabulous. I do like FishWorks on Marylebone High St. Very expensive though. And talking about expensive… that samphire is a dear do. Have never tried using it.

    Enjoy BBQing this weekend 🙂 xx

    • Reply tina July 10, 2013 at 7:58 am

      FishWorks on Marylebone High St is very expensive, too expensive in my opinion!

      Do try the Samphire, it’s not expensive as you only need a little bit…
      Loved the BBQ’s, all weekend long!

  • Reply Catherine July 5, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Oh fish wonderful fish, the photos of our friends from the sea are just fantastic! I love fish as well, favourites being salmon, ocean trout and flathead. Have never seen anything like the Samphire Grass at our fish monger, very exotic. Fab that you have such a great fish monger near your home makes such a difference buying fish from a place like that. Enjoy your barbecues this weekend, sounds wonderful!!! Will have a look through the recipes and try and few. XO

    • Reply tina July 10, 2013 at 8:01 am

      Hahaha. “The photos of our friends from the sea” great stuff:-))

      I’m really spoiled as I buy from small fisheries as well. I do get the freshest fish and the best part is that they’ll cut, fillet it to your requirements.
      Happy fish eating, lovely xx

  • Reply Judith July 5, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Hmmm I could eat fish every day. But we have very little choice of fish here (only supermarket quality). Nothing beats eating fresh fish in a harbor village… I’m dreaming of tasting lovely fish near the Mediterranean later this summer. My husband does make a delicious Bouillabaisse every now and then. So tasty and it smells amazing when he’s cooking. Have a great BBQ weekend, Tina!

    • Reply tina July 10, 2013 at 8:04 am

      ME TOOOOOOO!!! NOOOOO, supermarket fish is dreary.
      So excited for you to go on holiday AND eat fish.

      Love Bouillabaisse, have to admit I’ve never made one…
      Thanks Judith!

  • Reply caroline @trend-daily July 5, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Al looks very fishy to me…. sorry… so says the vegetarian! Happy weekend Tina-isn’t it gorgeous! x

    • Reply tina July 10, 2013 at 8:05 am

      Hahaha. Thanks for stopping by and not turning away…. MS vegetaraian… actually, that makes you VEGAN! sorry for the pics:-)) x

  • Reply Holly July 14, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Bass. Yes! Lobster, oh yes! Raw oysters. Bring it on! Smoked anything. Yum!

    Fab post Tina. I really want to try this Samphire grass. New to me. Also, have bookmarked End of the Line – something I’d like to watch.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂


    • Reply tina July 16, 2013 at 8:44 pm

      Haha. Love it that you love Fish…. wait till you come to London:-)

      Yes, Samphire is in season now!
      You will really appreciate ‘The End of the Line’ xx

  • Reply Troy Litten July 24, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    Nice photo documentation! I love markets of all kinds, especially the hand-written signage as you’ve so wonderfully featured here. I’m enjoying exploring your world!

    • Reply tina July 25, 2013 at 7:01 am

      Hello Troy. Thank you for stopping by:-)
      Thank you. I hope you find things of interest in ‘my world’. I know that your ‘world’ is fascinating and so inspirational.

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