I’ve been thinking about eating more fish recently. Why? There are lots of good reasons, fish makes great brain food for kids, and experts recommend we have fish at least twice a week to reduce the risk of a range of diseases from cancer to Alzheimer’s. It can even give you better skin! And as a mum who finds the repeat requests for sausages, pizza and plain pasta a bit dull it gives me a whole range of recipes to add to my repertoire. But… and there’s always a but, my boys are mainly fans of fish fingers. They might go for fish nuggets. D, 11, mainly likes tinned tuna. Not the real stuff, please, as we discovered on holiday when trying to tempt her with fresh-caught tuna, grilled right by the harbour. And Dh isn’t a big fan of any fish that taste fishy. So I have a bit of a challenge on my hands.
My motivation is that I actually really like fish. A nice piece of salmon has loads of scope for a quick healthy supper. My favourite dish at the moment is a king prawn miso noodle soup with lots of greens. And the children seem to be reaching the age where they are open to trying new things – they are 4, 7 and 11. D in particular is interested in where food comes from. She’s stopped eating meat, which is another reason to have more fish. We’ve been talking about what is a ‘good’ sort of fish to buy: it isn’t as straightforward as popping down to the supermarket. It is important to buy sustainable fish, so we can carry on eating a range of species for years to come. Sustainable fish is about three things: where is comes from, how it is caught, and who caught it. The Marine Stewardship council has a handy labelling scheme and a product finder to help you buy sustainably. Pick your country, the type of fish you want and whether you would like it fresh, tinned, frozen etc. and you’ll get a list of where to buy it. I found 39 places to buy fresh sustainable cod, and 28 different sustainable brands of tinned tuna for D, and I could narrow that by store if I wanted.
So, armed with my ‘where and what to buy’ information, I’ve been cooking fish wrapped in pastry – which D loved, and the boys rejected. But we’ve discovered that J, 7, who always has more of a taste for salty and spicy foods, is a big fan of smoked salmon! And I’ve found lots more seafood recipes here at Great British Chefs, and for a sustainable set of recipes visit the Marine Stewardship Council. I’m off to try and tempt Dh with Galton Blackistone’s Lemon sole recipe with parmesan and cream. And they all love fish from the fish and chip shop over the road, which offers Pollack, a sustainable alternative to cod. We’ll be eating fish twice a week very soon.