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Summer Seafood

Summer Seafood

Choosing the freshest seafood is not always straightforward. Here, seafood guru John Susman tells tales about how to handle and serve fish.

Summer Seafood

If you’re a beginner cooking with seafood, what’s the easiest fish to prepare?

Really, really fresh fish, ideally “dry filleted” by your fishmonger. Remember to leave the skin on – it protects it during cooking and adds flavour.

What seafood should we look for in Australia and New Zealand over the summer months?

Summer is a great time for a range of both in-shore and open ocean species: whiting, bream and snapper from in-shore species and mackerel, swordfish and albacore tuna of the open ocean type.

What’s your favourite seafood treat? 

Anything I’ve actually caught myself.

scallop

Any tips for what to look for when choosing the freshest seafood?

Use your eyes and your nose – make sure the seafood looks “alive”, that all extremities appear to “stand out” and not be dry or broken. Fresh seafood will be covered in a “slime”, which smells sweetly of the ocean. Don’t ever pick anything that smells of ammonia or a rubbish tip.

What’s the most humane way to prepare lobster and other shellfish? 

Burying a live lobster or crab in a bucket of ice (or placed carefully in a freezer) for 30 minutes dispatches them safely and humanely.

How do you avoid overcooking seafood?

Stay close to it while it’s cooking and be sure not to use too much heat and risk “splitting” the protein. Think of it the same way you would when making a custard – if you overcook it or use to much heat, it splits.

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