Underrated seafood to cook at home

We tend to be creatures of habit. Hands up if your online grocery shopping list is basically the same every week; you have a set rota of meals that vary slightly, depending on what’s in the fridge; and you know what you like – and are generally happy to keep it that way?

However, an easy way to spice up your meals is by expanding your fish supper repertoire – and, yes, you can still have chips with all of these . . .

Read more: Two servings of fish per week can help prevent heart disease

1. Flounder

Why? A nifty alternative to plaice or lemon sole, which are generally overfished.

How should I eat it? You’ll need a couple per person for a satisfying portion, hence why they rarely show up on restaurant menus – they’re too mini. However, at home, you can pop a tray of them in the oven and feed the whole family. Dust with flour and roast, or pan fry in butter (crisp that skin up), then serve with a huge dollop of tangy tartare sauce.

2. Mussels

Why? A kilo of mussels for dinner is a speedy and thrifty shortcut to feeling as though you’re on holiday, sat in a little French cafe. Farmed and rope grown mussels are one of the most sustainable sources of seafood available, and take mere moments to cook. Plus, the whole theatre of eating them ought to be reason enough.

Read more: French-Style Chilli Mussels

How should I eat them? You can go classic with moules mariniere (mussels in a creamy garlic and wine sauce with tons of parsley), or mix things up. They’re great in a red Thai curry broth, dredged through spicy tomato pasta, or breadcrumbed, baked and served with a fresh green salad.

3. Crab

Why? Crab is not just a ‘beside-the-seaside’ choice anymore. A very versatile ingredient, they are fiddly to dismantle, but once you get the knack, ‘dressing’ them becomes rather addictive.

How should I eat it? Spread the brown meat on toast with a squeeze of lemon juice and you’ll be happy, otherwise, consider lacing a creamy risotto with the white meat, mixing it with chilli and coriander and eating it on rounds of baguette, or stir-frying it whole – shell intact – with lots of chilli, ginger and onion for a punchy plate of Singapore chilli crab.

4. Mackerel

Why? Mackerel are just beautiful with that iridescent skin. Opt for line-caught and as fresh as you can get it (the eyes should be shiny).

How should I eat it? You really can’t beat it Turkish style: filleted, fried and stuffed in a sandwich with tomato, red onion and chilli flakes, but we’re also fond of it barbecued and paired with beetroot, or pan-fried and folded through a dill-heavy potato salad.

5. Oysters

Why? Get over any squeamishness and embrace the drama of shucking and knocking back oysters. A brilliant source of protein, fun to prise from their shells, suited to all manner of toppings. Oysters deserve much more attention than they get – especially in home kitchens.

Read more: Six interesting facts about oysters

How should I eat them? Raw with a little lemon juice. Raw with a little Tabasco sauce. Battered and deep-fried. Grilled with chilli butter. Tucked into a beef pie. The options are endless.

How often do you eat seafood at home? What’s your favourite fish?

– With PA

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