Seafood Seasonal update - April 2017

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 12th April 2017

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Salmon, seaweed and squat lobsters…find out about these unique and diverse industries this month in our Seasonal Update with the Staff Canteen.

Brought to you by Seafood Scotland, the national trade body for the Scottish seafood Industry. For further help on fishing methods, sustainability or advice on sourcing Scottish seafood for your restaurant, get in touch [email protected], 0131 557 9344.

Monthly Catch

Salmon farming on the beautiful west coast of Scotland

Salmon farming on the beautiful

west coast of Scotland

Sustainability and traceability are high priorities for fish farmers and skippers, an important unique selling point of the 540,000 tonnes, worth £1bn, of Scottish seafood landed each year. The Scottish aquaculture (or fish-farming) industry, centred mostly in the cold clean waters off Scotland’s beautiful Highlands and islands, plays a significant part in this huge success story. Scotland is the biggest producer of salmon in the EU and the third largest globally. 

Salmon’s domination continues. It’s the UK’s most popular seafood and consistently the number one Scottish food export. This year marks 25 years since it became the first non-French product to attract (and retain) the coveted Label Rouge quality mark from the French government, proving its strength in quality now world renowned!

Scottish farmed salmon PGI is prized in the Far East, with larger fish popular in Japanese restaurants for sushi, and with wealthier Chinese consumers who choose it for home cooking for its quality and strong provenance.

Scotland’s reputation for innovation (think telephone, Tarmac, the bicycle and haggis, of course) runs deep in this industry too. Worth considering are newer farmed species like halibut. It’s not an easy fish to farm but Gigha Halibut, the most southerly of the Hebridean islands, has cracked it. Recommended by MCS as a Fish to Eat, fish are hand-reared and fed an organic diet, and best cooked simply with just butter and lemon.

Farmed mussels are well established. Pacific rock oysters are now being produced in their millions each year, with lower volumes of slower-growing native species. It may surprise you to learn that king and queen scallops are being cultivated, though since volumes are very low they are perhaps only affordable by higher-end restaurants.

With technological expertise in sustainability growing by the day, it’s safe to say that when choosing Scottish, the world really is your oyster.

Trending now...
Seaweed, either dried or fresh, is the on-trend accompaniment for seafood. Scotland’s is fast becoming the go-to source for it, and plans for sustainable, environmentally friendly commercial cultivation are currently being discussed. The first-ever Scottish Seaweed Industry Association conference last year was aimed at putting this natural resource firmly in the food chain, and the first seaweed cultivation policy statement has been issued to provide guidance about setting up a responsible seaweed farm.
Picking dulse seaweed on Scotland’s shores
Picking dulse seaweed on Scotland’s shores

Two companies are busy harnessing this natural edible resource for chefs across the country. Mara Seaweed, based in Edinburgh, produces naturally occurring dulse, shony, kombu, furikake flakes, sourced from around the coastline, and Just Seaweed, based in Rothesay on the Isle of Bute, are an online resource for hand-harvested bladderwrack, kombu, sea veg or kelp, and more.

If you’re looking to reduce salt, enhance flavour and increase diners’ health and wellbeing, it’s all there, if not on the doorstep, then at the seashore.
Looking for more inspiration? Take a further recipes using Scottish seafood by clicking here.

Species in season

Squat lobster, along with cockles and clams, are coming into season. Creel-caught mainly off the West Coast of Scotland, many chefs use them for rich-flavoured stock in dishes such as risotto and bouillabaisse, or as the base for deep-flavoured creamy lobster bisque.

Scottish Seafood Lemak Curry with squid, scallop, langoustine and mussels

Scottish Seafood Lemak Curry

with squid, scallop,

langoustine and mussels

For Graeme Cheevers, head chef at the Michelin-starred Restaurant Martin Wishart at Loch Lomond, this is the best way to use squat lobster, which he gets from Troon. “They’re the relatively inexpensive by-catch of the prawn boats, and full of flavour,” Graeme told The Staff Canteen. “Since they’re fiddly to handle individually they use up precious prep time so I prefer to use them as stock.”

Palourde clams can be cleaned and steamed in a large pot like mussels and used in pasta vongole, or in chowder. Another popular dish is cockle popcorn, where the opened shells are scraped of their tiny bounty, which are then dipped in batter and deep-fried (it’s possible to do the same with mussels).

April Species info graphic

Scotland produces some of the world’s finest seafood from the cool clean waters of its deep lochs and surrounding seas.

>>> Take a look at what else is available from Scotland here.

CLICK HERE If you would like a copy of the Seafood Seasonal Guide for your kitchen or help on fishing methods, sustainability or advice on sourcing Scottish seafood for your restaurant, get in touch: [email protected], 0131 557 9344.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 12th April 2017

Seafood Seasonal update - April 2017

IN ASSOCIATION WITH