Winter Warmers: The Top 10 Best Seafood Dishes for Winter

Mon 31 May

As the weather gets colder, we’re hitting you with a list of some of the best winter seafood recipes to warm your cockles. Making use of seasonal produce, and working fresh seafood into hearty, nutritious dishes can improve your health and your bank balance this winter.

Add some more seafood to your diet this winter, and pay Sydney Fish Market a visit this winter to get your hands on the best ingredients to make these delicious dishes.


Creamy Fish Pie

Nothing says winter like a warm, hearty pie, and using fish as your protein ensures you’re getting in all the protein and vitamins you need in the colder weather. Plus, it’s often cheaper than beef or lamb!

With just 15 minutes of prep, you can create this super easy Fish Pie, and let its delicious aroma warm your house as it crisps up in the oven

Pink Ling is a fantastic species to use in pies and curries due to its firm texture, and it is readily available in winter, making it perfect for this kind of recipe.


Urchin Pasta

Though urchin are naturally variable in quality, commercial divers brave winter’s cold waters to harvest these delights because they know that the abundant Red Urchin is brimming with sweet, creamy roe. Good enough to eat raw, this seasonal treat also makes for an all-time-great pasta sauce.

Check out a video on how to make an urchin pasta sauce from our archives here.

Bonus – sea urchin is incredibly cheap in Australia due to it being considered a pest, whereas in other countries you will pay an absolute premium for these beauties, and they won’t be nearly as fresh!

Tuna or Swordfish Steaks

Cold weather can often have us reaching for heavier proteins like beef and lamb… But did you know that plenty of seafood species have a similar flavour profile?

Tuna steaks have an extremely meaty flavour and texture, and are a great substitute for an expensive scotch fillet. For something slightly lighter in flavour, but just as filling, try a Swordfish steak. These taste delicious when pan-fried with lemon and garlic, like in this recipe from Chew Out Loud.


Spanner Crab Bisque

Though undeniably excellent year-round, the wonderful Spanner Crab tastes even better in winter. Known for their sweet, fragrant flavour, when their intramuscular fat increases in the colder months, magic happens.

A Crab Bisque is peak winter seafood, and this recipe from Gourmet Traveller is a perfect example. They use Blue Swimmer Crabs, but Spanner would work just as well in their decadent dish.

Mussel Chowder

Traditional winter seafood anywhere in the world that can grow them, Australia is blessed with around 10,000km of suitable habitat in which some of the world’s best Mussels are farmed. Mussels lend themselves to a hearty cuisine…

Throw a kilo into a pot with tomato, onion, and garlic, make a warm and hearty chowder inspired by Doyle’s at Sydney Fish Market’s famous dish. Mussels are forgiving to cook, impart a lovely sweet brininess, and are a bargain, retailing for between $5-$10/kg!

Fish and Chips

One of our top species for winter is a cousin of the highly-touted Blue-Eye Trevalla: Silver Warehou! And this fish is much tastier than its price tag would indicate. Due to the levels of fat and its inherently soft flesh, Silver Warehou is a world-class fish and chip fish.

Deep-frying, when done properly, is a great way to cook seafood. It’s fast, cooking most foods in less than 5 minutes, it quickly seals the food’s surface, locking in flavour and moisture and it adds appealing crunch, colour and aroma. Sauces, such as tartare or mayonnaise, provide a delicious accompaniment, adding a contrasting moistness to the crisp fish.

Check out this recipe from Sydney Seafood School, replace the Flathead with Silver Warehou, and you’re on your way to making a classic Aussie fish and chips at home, while staying warm and dry!


Coconut Fish Curry

Hayden Quinn is just one of the Aussie chefs who frequents Sydney Fish Market to pick up his fresh produce, so of course he is an expert on seasonal species. This is exemplified in his recipe for a warming Tamarind and Coconut Fish Curry recipe, which suggests using Blue Eye Trevalla or Ling, both widely available in winter!

Cook this one up in a big batch for the whole family, and you’ll have extra for work or school lunches the next day!


Whole Baked Fish

Winter entertaining can feel more like a chore than a good time when it’s too cold to fire up the BBQ, but don’t worry! A whole fish is a gorgeous dinner table centrepiece that will easily feed four of your dinner party guests, or even more if you cook two!

This time of the year is ideal for species like Alfonsino, which are in abundance and premium quality. This bright red fish is stunning to look at and even better to eat; it has a huge mouth, allowing it to eat a diverse diet which gives it a rich flavour profile. A fish that tastes this good doesn't require much effort to cook, and works beautifully when steamed or baked whole, and placed in the middle of the table for everyone to enjoy.

Spicy Laksa

A spicy laksa is perfect for those times when you feel like you need to be warmed from the inside out, and King Prawns are the traditional protein to include. You can adjust the heat to your taste, but either way, the way the prawns absorb the laksa’s spicy and sour flavours can’t be beaten on a cold day. Try this recipe from!


Oven-Roasted Salmon

Salmon is an Aussie favourite no matter the season, but roasting it in the oven is a sure-fire way to release its delicious fatty juices and make it perfect for colder weather. Combine it with seasonal roast vegetables and a honey-glaze, marinate it in teriyaki sauce and serve it atop rice, or cover it with garlic and serve with ginger, lime, and peanuts for an Asian-inspired main.

If you love salmon, but need something on the cheaper end, try buying salmon belly! An offcut of the salmon filleting process, salmon belly is often far cheaper than fillets, and has a melt-in-your-mouth flavour profile that is so filling in winter.