Seafood Seasonal update - March 2017

The Staff Canteen


This month, find out why Scotland’s seas are such a unique place on earth in our seasonal update with The Staff Canteen.

This update is 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

Scotland’s seas, unique in the world
Scotland’s seas, unique in the world

Why Scotland’s unique fishing grounds hit the “sweet spot” …

Scotland may be on the same geographical latitude as Canada and sit just below Norway, but its fishing grounds are vastly different and recognised as unique in the world.

This isn’t just our opinion; it’s that of marine experts too. “Scotland’s waters are very diverse and produce a very large range of sought-after shellfish and fin-fish,” says Dr Tara Marshall, fish biologist at the School of Biological Sciences at Aberdeen University. “The deep, cold waters of the North Sea allow fish such as cod, haddock, herring and mackerel to grow larger and quicker than in, say, Norway. And the Gulf Stream on the west coast, which differentiates Scotland from Canada, creates an eco-system that allows crab and lobster to do well.

“Scotland has what I call the ‘sweet spot’ of huge diversity, high quality productivity and excellent sustainability. It’s a very dynamic picture and chefs can be confident their Scottish fish is the best it can possibly be.”

Kevin Scott, manager of St Abb’s Marine Station, also reckons chefs all over the UK should celebrate the diversity and quality of Scotland’s seafood which, he says, is “second to none” and the result of its “massively unique” situation. Warm water species such as sea bass, red mullet, john dory and spiny lobster are also becoming more common.

“Whether that’s purely because of the Gulf Stream isn’t clear but it’s true that Scotland - whose coastline is an astonishing 10,250 miles including the islands - is extremely susceptible to changes from currents and tides,” he told The Staff Canteen. “In addition it has many different habitats that suit a variety of different species, such as mud flats, salt marshes, rocky shores, bedrock, deep trenches and kelp forests.”

Trending Now...

Its delicate flavour and gorgeous pink colour make trout sought-after by high-end consumers, and lends itself well to hot or cold-smoking as well as poaching.

Market Report Fish and Shellfish

An oily fish, its health credentials tick all the right boxes: it contains omega3 fatty acids, B vitamins and protein, similar to on-trend ingredients such as avocados, nuts and seeds. Environmentally it’s also sound, as it’s farmed to high sustainability levels on the west coast of Scotland.

For sharing plates, it goes surprisingly well with lentil dhal, flaked and tossed with toasted walnuts. It can be made into hummus or even ravioli or served with tagliatelle. As breakfast comes back into fashion, it’s being seen more and more in scrambled eggs and served with sourdough toast. It’s also great for sushi, one of the fastest-growing seafood dishes.

Looking for more inspiration? Take a further look at our recipes using Scottish seafood by clicking here

Seasonal Species Focus

At this time of year we’ll be seeing more North Sea gurnard - distinctive-looking red fish with big, almost prehistoric, heads and spiky fins. They’re becoming a more common feature at Peterhead market, partly down to improved landing regulations, and because they’re enjoying unprecedented popularity among consumers.

Species in Season
Striking dragon-like Red Gurnard

According to Edinburgh fishmonger Karen Welch, they have never been more popular, as they’re cheaper than haddock and cod and in demand from European customers who are used to cooking it. While Scots like to buy it filleted, most Europeans prefer it on the bone.

It’s becoming a favourite of many chefs too.

“I like the unusual look of gurnard and love its texture,” says Roy Brett, chef-patron of Ondine seafood restaurant in Edinburgh. “It’s dragon-like and quite pretty, and delicious when fresh though sometimes you have to take it on a bit of a journey to put in some flavour.”

The renowned seafood chef, who trained with Rick Stein, says its firm texture is similar to monkfish, and makes it ideal for adding to fish stew and for making stock.

However, his favourite way to cook it is roasted whole, head off and on the bone, and served with whipped new-season Jersey Royals and wild garlic.

info graphics

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.

In these challenging times…

The Staff Canteen team are taking a different approach to keeping our website independent and delivering content free from commercial influence. Our Editorial team have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience in a balanced way. We would never put up a paywall and restrict access – The Staff Canteen is open to all and we want to keep bringing you the content you want; more from younger chefs, more on mental health, more tips and industry knowledge, more recipes and more videos. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector - we want to do more for you.

A single coffee is more than £2, a beer is £4.50 and a large glass of wine can be £6 or more.

Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you.

The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 8th March 2017

Seafood Seasonal update - March 2017