Seasonal Fish – Spring and Summer
With longer days and warmer waters, a range of species come into their seasonal peak over the next few months. Here are some of our favourites.
Like all flathead, duskies are a great, versatile fish. The flesh has a slight sweetness and is low in oiliness, with the medium textured flesh flaking away easily. You can do just about anything with a dusky flathead – steam, poach, panfry, bake … One of our favourites for warmer months is barbecuing a whole dusky. Keep it simple with some butter, garlic and lemon in the cavity, and wrap it in foil to prevent it drying out. It’s great fish for kids too, with relatively few bones that are easily removed.
Silver trevally is coming into its peak over the next month or so. It’s another versatile fish, with few bones that are easily removed. It has a true, mildly fishy flavour and is slightly oily with fine flakes. Despite its oiliness it can dry out when cooking, so wrapping it is a good idea. It’s also a great fish to marinate. We like to make a simple marinade from olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and some fresh herbs, marinade for 15 minutes and panfry. It’s also great raw, marinated in some soy and ginger.
Spanner crabs are hitting their peak right now. They have beautiful soft and moist flesh with a distinctive sweetness. They’re a tough customer with a thick upper shell but the flesh is worth it! It’s delicate and delicious in a salad, pasta or risotto. Or simply arm yourself with a seafood fork, a good mayonnaise and appreciate this crab’s luxurious flavour.
We’re getting some great sand and trumpeter whiting in at the moment. Both lovely, smaller estuarine fish that are hugely versatile. They have a delicate sweet flavour, moist flesh and small bones that are easily removed. The skin is edible so they’re a great fish to cook whole. Gently barbecue some whole whiting until just cooked and serve with lemon, capers and garlic butter for an easy but impressive spring-time meal.
Another fantastic fish to grab while at its peak, Redfish has a lovely delicate flavour and nice big, robust flakes. This makes it ideal for soups and fishcakes, but it’s also a great fish cooked in the pan, oven or on the barbie. It’s fabulous with Thai flavours and we love to add it to a tom yum soup, or a laksa for something heartier, where it gives a pleasant bouncy fish texture.
It’s time for the big guys, Mahi Mahi and Opah, both stunning line-caught game fish who like warmer waters. It’s always exciting to get these big fish in as they look fantastic. They can be a bit daunting for your average punter though, so rest assured these are both great all-rounders when it comes to eating. Opah (also called Moonfish) is a versatile, meaty fish that can be treated similarly to tuna, including preparing it as sashimi. Ask in-store for some more ideas because the various cuts from this fish can cover it all. Mahi Mahi is also a good firm fish that makes for fantastic steaks, soups and curries. It has flavoursome flesh and responds to gentle cooking – don’t overdo it! Mahi Mahi means strong in Hawaiian, but overcook it and it’ll mean chewy. Treat it kindly and it’s delicious!