It’s hard to beat the flavour and versatility of fresh seafood. Poached, grilled, cured and raw – there are just so many delicious ways you can prepare the abundance of food from the sea!
Seafood at times is a little tricky to master, but it’s nothing that can’t be fixed with a few tips from Sydney-based Greek chef David Tsirekas, who’s spent years perfecting the art of cooking with seafood.
The secret to a tasty seafood dish is the quality of the fish, and Tsirekas advises seeking out a good fishmonger and most importantly always buy fresh fish and try to eat it on the same day.
Unless you caught the fish yourself, it’s hard to know how fresh it is, but if you know what to look out for, it’s easy.
Look, smell and, where possible touch, Tsirekas says. Before you purchase the fish, check the eyes — they should be bright and clear, not dull or cloudy. A fresh fish should smell like clean water and it certainly shouldn’t have a strong, fishy odour, he adds.
If the fishmonger allows it, give the fish a little poke — it should be resilient enough so your indention disappears. “A fish should also have a natural fresh slime,” Tsirekas adds. And if you don’t have the confidence to fillet whole fish, ask your fishmonger to do it for you.
Wow!! Looking forward to plating these up today. Barbounia. These are a whopping 600g unlike the small babies that you normally could devour whole. Served with Santorini split pea puree and a tomato and currant salsa. Thanks @costa_nemitsas . I know I'm always a ball breaker about this that and the other but you my friend always come through with the goods.#seafood #sydneyeats #greekfood #fish
If you don’t plan to eat the fish within a couple of days of purchase, freeze it. “Wrap [the fish] in cheesecloth and then in freezer film,” Tsirekas advises.
The best method to storing fish in the refrigerator requires a cooling rack that fits inside a container. “Arrange ice on the bottom of a container and then a drip tray on top and rest fish on that,” he says.
When it comes to cooking fish, Tsirekas says there are so many great techniques out there, but his favourite is grilling a whole fish on the barbecue, topped with lemon juice, olive oil and sea salt flakes.
He says fillets like whiting or flathead are delicious battered, a thick cut like blue eye make for a tasty curry and he recommends giving delicate fish like swordfish or tuna a light sear.
Cooking to impress? Here’s a delicious salmon recipe from 1821 — a Greek eatery based in Sydney, Australia.