Everyone is missing travel at the moment – and with a return to international air travel still looking far off, we decided to get creative.
One of the best ways to enjoy other countries and cultures, without travelling there yourself, is by experiencing the food of that culture. Today, we are bringing you the first part of an extended tour of Sydney Fish Market by country, sharing the different ways seafood is enjoyed around the world, so that you can become a traveller again, without even leaving your home city.
Whether you purchase the ingredients to make a culturally-inspired dish at home, or enjoy something similar prepared at Sydney Fish Market by one of our wonderful retailers, our seafood can take you around the world and back.
Once you’ve enjoyed this list, keep your eyes peeled for part two!
Perhaps this is an obvious choice, but the sushi and sashimi at Sydney Fish Market is some of the best you will eat anywhere in Sydney – and, of course, the freshest – so it would be remiss not to include it in this list.
Whether you go for a super simple sashimi platter from any of our fresh fish retailers, the Instagram-worthy creations at Fish Market Café, or the freshly blow-torched Aburi from Nicholas’, you are guaranteed to find your sushi niche at Sydney Fish Market. And we’ve heard it from the horse’s mouth (our Japanese visitors), that the sushi here is certainly comparable to that found in Japan.
The Greeks have been eating octopus since ancient times, and it’s still one of the nation’s favourite seafood dishes. For a truly Greek experience, buy a medium to large whole octopus, cut it into individual tentacles, marinate with garlic and oregano, and grill it on a charcoal BBQ. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon, and you are good to go!
Mussels are one of the most popular appetizers served at Greek ‘fish taverns’, and dishes using them exemplify the simplicity and ease of a lot of Greek cooking. Life on the Greek islands is laid back, so their cooking is too!
Fresh Mussels are perfect when steamed with liberal amounts of garlic, tomatoes, oregano, white wine, parsley, and olive oil. Add some grilled ciabatta on the side and you have a super easy and authentic meal sorted.
If you’re looking for something more adventurous, mussels are also often served as saganaki, which refers to various appetizers prepared in a small, two-handled frying pan. Another popular version of saganaki features prawns! Pair this dish with a quality wine and a sunny evening for the true experience.
Tacos de pescado, or ‘fish tacos’, originated in the coastal areas of Mexico. According to aficionados, this super simple and super tasty dish consists of a lightly battered mild white fish (try tropical Mackerels or Pink Ling from Sydney Fish Market) that is deep-fried, and served in a corn tortilla alongside shredded cabbage, salsa, sour-cream, and lime juice. If you’d prefer a less authentic but slightly healthier version, the fish can also be grilled.
If fish is being served in Mexico, you can almost guarantee that Pescado a la Veracruzana will be on the menu. While any firm, white fish would suit this spicy, herb-infused, tomato dish, it is especially delicious (and authentic) when made with Crimson Snapper, Goldband Snapper, or Coral Trout.
A dish named after the pan it is cooked in, Paella is a famous Spanish meal that includes a huge variety of vegetables and meats (often seafood), and a bunch of beautiful spices, including saffron and rosemary.
The old wives tale about the origins of this dish is that it was created by servants, who mixed the leftovers from royal banquets in large pots to take home to their families, adding rice to make it more filling. Whether this is true or not, that is one of the best parts of paella – almost any seafood goes! We recommend mussels, prawns, lobster, and white fish (such as Bass Groper or Blue-eye Trevalla).
Lobster is one of seafood’s biggest indulgences, and it combines beautifully with pasta and tomato sauce. Usually served at special events or holidays, this Italian dish is an easy and simple way to enjoy this crustacean in all its glory.
To extract every drop of flavour, blanche the lobster in boiling salted water until the colour begins to change. Remove, let cool, split and remove the tail meat. Simmer everything except the meat for an hour, strain, and reduce this liquid until it is rich and glossy. This sauce, cut with some lemon juice and olive oil, is the true soul of this dish.
Risotto is famous for its versatility, and how easy it is to combine with a huge variety of ingredients. A classic in coastal regions of Italy is squid risotto, which often includes squid ink as well, to achieve a moody, decadent black colour. Earthy and savoury, yet strikingly sweet, this dish may seem adventurous, but is deceptively simple.
Squid ink can be purchased, already removed from the squid, at many high-end grocery stores. However, it’s easy enough to remove it from the squid yourself! With a sharp knife, carefully cut through the body lengthways, from the inside, so that it is able to open flat. You will be able to see the ink sac inside, which is a soft, silvery organ in the middle of the body. Gently grab one end, and cut the sac carefully from the membrane, without rupturing the fragile casing. You can then make a small incision and squeeze the ink out into a dish, like toothpaste. From there, it can be added straight to your risotto!
Moqueca is a Brazilian fish stew, which combines prawns or fish as a base, with tomatoes, onions, garlic, lime, coconut milk, and coriander, in a gorgeous mix of flavours. While the exact ingredients can vary from region to region, this dish is a simple and quick option if you’re trying to get some extra seafood portions in on busy weeknights.
This traditional Provencal fish stew originated in the 18th century, and was first eaten by Marseillaise fishermen, who would combine the leftovers of the daily catch into a nutritious soup. Eventually evolving into one of the world’s most luxurious seafood dishes, Bouillabaisse can now be found on the menu of every 5-star French seafood restaurant.
Its high price tag in France is a result of the red scorpionfish used in the dish, as is their locally caught Red Gurnard. In Australia, supply outweighs demand, meaning that these fish can be purchased for less than $20/kg.
While Australia has some fantastic oysters and a great oyster culture, the French are also connoisseurs of these salty morsels. From Cancale in Brittany to Arcachon near Bordeaux, France harbours some truly exceptional oysters, with regional cuisine often featuring the aromatic, delicious shellfish in typical dishes, paired with excellent wines.
While the oysters at Sydney Fish Market will likely be Sydney Rock or Pacific, you can still pretend you’re slurping them down at a waterside bistro on the French Riviera. The only thing that’s different is that our oysters are much better.
Often considered one of Singapore’s national dishes, chilli crab is most often made with mud crab, and is stir-fried in a thick, sweet, tomato chilli sauce. This dish is traditionally eaten with bare hands, so that you can truly savour the sweet crab meat, and restaurants will often provide a washing bowl to clean your hands while eating. You can’t be afraid of getting messy trying this one!
Did you know that fried fish and chips are such an institution in the UK, that they are even mentioned in Charles Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist? As much an Aussie classic as a British one, you can’t go past a good old fish and chips from Sydney Fish Market. Many of our retailers offer the freshest hot combo for you to enjoy on the boardwalk.
The UK classic of fish pie is said to have origins in Scotland. Historically, fish was eaten to honour the goddess Venus, and when Romans invaded Britain, they brought their love of fish with them. During Lent, meat except fish was prohibited, so various recipes were tried to incorporate the protein, and the delicious fish pie was born!
Now cooked with white fish like Pink Ling, Snapper, and Bar Cod, white or cheese sauce, leek and mashed potatoes, fish pie is the equivalent of settling down on a Sunday afternoon with a mug of warm tea – comforting, simple, and decidedly British.