Sunday, September 28, 2008

Local Queensland seafood

It's summer again, people. And you know what that means, don't you? FISH. Fresh, firm, salty, grilled, fried, baked, poached FISH. And prawns. And crab. And chilled dry rose wine, and tomato salad, and iced tea, and...

However, there is one fish-related issue that has always been a bit of a sticking point with me. I love seafood, I want to buy it, I want to learn how to cook it, but I hate buying frozen, or imported, or frozen imported. I want FRESH and NOW. Yes, this is hard because of many supply-and-demand reasons, I know, but I'd rather buy it seldom and it be perfect, than buy often and it be second-rate.
The fish that I usually find to be good, fresh and local is the Tasmanian salmon, occasionally prawns, snapper and perch. Other things are around in good quality, but I find it's not always easy to get there to buy them. The Rocklea markets can be good: other good seafood I've found at Raptis Fish Markets at Colmslie, Samies Girl at Hamilton, the Aussie Seafood House at Capalaba, and the Fresh Fish Co at the James St Markets. That's where I found fresh local sardines. They were delicious.
Here's some wonderful information from Morgans Seafood: trading names of seafood, taste variations, how you might find them presented.
And here's an abridged list of local heroes, originally printed in the C-M. Local fish and what to do with it, how to cook and prepare.

Raw or cooked: Kilpatrick or with Asian flavours

Perfect for children: dip in seasoned flour and pan-fry quickly in butter

Dust in flour: pan-fry or BBQ

Pan-fry, grill or steam

Cooked: choose ones with heads, warm them through. Green: cook until just translucent. Cold with garlic aioli, with pasta or BBQ

Goes with Mediterranean flavours: tomato, onion, garlic, lemon, fennel, rosemary, oregano, marjoram. Bake, BBQ or crumb and fry

Bake, grill or BBQ

Mild flavour. Beer batter, or flour and pan-fry

Mahi Mahi
Thai fish curry, steam, fry or BBQ

Takes longer to cook than squid. Crumb and fry, braise or marinate and BBQ. Goes with chili, pepper, citrus and garlic.

Balmain Bugs
Use like a Moreton Bay bug. Buy them cooked and split, then remove flesh and use in a salad or with garlic, soy and ginger in a stirfry.

Spanner crab
Use in omelette or in spaghetti with lemon and chili

Remove skin and smoke.


Barbara said...

You can buy fantastic prawns of the boats near Versace. They are fresh 'cos they have been caught the previous night. They start selling about 7.30 and some days are all gone by 9AM.

Anna said...

There's also Gambaro's at 15 Hope St South Brisbane. The staff there are always really helpful and actually know their product - which comes as a pleasant surprise in Brisbane :)