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I have previously spoken about the importance of selecting sustainable seafood, which effectively meals, fish or shellfish that reaches our plates with minimal impact upon fish populations or the wider marine environment.

Seafood is an incredibly healthy source of protein because it]s lower in saturated fats compared to most animal proteins (making it also lower in kilojoules – except for salmon), offers a source of omega-3 essential fats and is rich in trace minerals such as iodine, magnesium, selenium and zinc.

Good Fish is the go to guide on sustainable seafood in Australia, so I recommend checking it out for yourself as a way of getting acquainted with sustainable fish choices. In the meantime, here are some fan favourites to get your started:

  • Barramundi (farmed – NT, QLD, NSW, WA, VIC, SA)
  • King George whiting (wild caught – WA, VIC, SA)
  • Red emperor (wild caught – WA)
  • Snapper (wild caught – VIC)
  • Tailor (wild caught – QLD, NSW)

Additionally, when shopping keep an eye out for the MSC blue fish tick label, which means the seafood can be traced back to an MSC certified sustainable fishery:

When thinking of what type of seafood to cook at home, many people opt for fish such especially salmon, canned tuna and snapper and also prawns.

However, there are so many other possibilities when it comes to seafood choices and being open to diversify your selection, can really open up your diet to new and exciting things.

According to the Good Fish guide, aside from fish, better choices of seafood are:

  • Blue mussel (farmed – NSW, WA, VIC, SA, TAS)
  • Clam (wild caught – NSW, SA)
  • Blue swimmer crab (wild caught – NSW, SA)
  • Mud crab (wild caught – NT, QLD, NSW)
  • Oysters (farmed – NT, NSW, WA, SA, TAS)
  • Octopus (wild caught – WA, TAS, VIC)
  • Southern calamari (wild caught – VIC, SA, TAS)

To help inspire you to try new seafood options, which at the same time are sustainable, here are some recipes and simple ways to use these less common types of seafood in everyday cooking:

Spiced Calamari Tacos

Serves 4
Pre: 15min
Cook: 5min

Ingredients
4 big or 8 small taco shells/wraps
400g-500g calamari, cleaned, cut into strips
2 tsp. smoked paprika
2 tsp. cumin, ground
2 tsp. oregano, ground
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
pinch cayenne pepper, optional
salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil, for cooking

Toppings of choice
Shredded lettuce/cabbage
Diced tomatoes
Mashed avocado
Fresh herbs
Hummus
Refined beans

Method

In a small bowl, combine spices, garlic, pinch salt and pepper and oil, set aside in the fridge for 2-4 hours or as little as 30min.

Prepare toppings of choice.

Heat olive oil in a frying pain, add squid and cook on each side for 1-2 min until lightly golden and tender. Remove from the heat.

Assemble tacos using the squid and toppings.

 

Crab, Lime and Chilli Angel Hair Pasta – From Falling in Love with Food

Serves: 2 – 4
Pre: 5 minutes
Cooking: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients
300g Angel Hair pasta, cooked al dente
250g fresh crab meat, cooked (blue swimmer or mud crab)
1 small red chilli, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 limes, juiced
2 tbsp. lime zest
¼ cup extra virgin oil
½ cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp. sea salt flakes
1 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground

Method

In a saucepan, on a low heat, mix the chilli, garlic, lime juice, lime zest, parsley, sea salt and pepper.

Mix in the cooked crab meat and pasta and toss thoroughly.

Serve with a green salad on the side.

Chilli and Lemongrass Mussels with Quiona/freekeh (can also use clams if preferred)

Serves 4
Pre: 10min
Cooking: 5-10min

Ingredients
500g blue mussels, cleaned (or clams)
extra virgin olive oil, for cooking
½ cup white wine
handful of coriander, fresh
2 cups quinoa, cooked or freekeh
1 long red chilli, finely chopped
salt and pepper

Paste
4 garlic cloves
4 spring onions, green part removed, chopped
½ tbsp. miso paste
2 tbsp. coriander stems, roughly chopped
2 long, red chilli’s, sliced
2 young lemongrass stalks, cleaned
1 tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1-2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Method
To make the paste, add all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until a paste forms. Add olive oil to thin it out slightly.

In a large pot, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil, add the paste and cook gently for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the mussels and stir once before putting the lid on. Shape the pot a few times and add wine and put the lid back on. Shake a few more times. Let the mussels cook for approx. 2 min or until the shells have opened, discard any which have not opened.

Add the quinoa, chilli and herbs and combine well, before serving.

Other quick ideas:

  • Add calamari or mussels/clams to stir-fry’s instead of meat
  • Add crab to rice paper rolls or combine with rice and veggies and turn into san choy bau
  • BBQ octopus served with green salad and cooked quinoa/freekeh
  • Crab meat can be added to omelettes or scrambled eggs