Chefs and fishers from 18 countries unite to support sustainable seafood for healthy oceans
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the ocean not-for-profit responsible for the world’s leading sustainable seafood ecolabel, has launched its Ocean Cookbook 2022. The free digital cookbook with the message ‘fish for tonight, and for tomorrow’ is a global collaboration between 18 award-winning chefs and 18 sustainable fishers from around the world, united in the belief that sustainable fishing is a must if we are to protect our oceans.
Using seafood from 18 MSC certified fisheries, the cookbook highlights how easy it is to rustle up healthy, sustainable seafood dishes at home. The cookbook is the centerpiece of the MSC’s communications and marketing campaign for the new year, traditionally a time for healthy and more environmentally conscious eating.
Included in the choice of recipes are a simple and delicious Cape hake recipe by Cape Town based cookbook author and food stylist, Georgia East; Scottish haddock recipe by Cornish restauranter and UK MSC Ambassador Mitch Tonks; and roasted flaked Pacific halibut in a salad topped with crunchy seeds from Canadian MSC Ambassador, Chef Charlotte Langley. On the other side of the world, MSC Chef Ambassador, Kaoru Ariga chose whole Icelandic capelin to top her Japanese Somen noodle soup and encouraged us all to minimise food waste by eating the whole fish.
The cookbook includes stunning photography from internationally renowned food photographer, David Loftus, who has worked with Jamie Oliver throughout his career. David Loftus is a great believer in sustainable fishing. “This goes way beyond food. It’s about the future of our Ocean. We need to step up to the plate right now… or we’re in deep water.”
New Year is a time of renewal in almost all cultures and markets; a chance to make better choices for us, and our planet.
To emphasize the journey from ocean to plate, each chef and fisher involved in producing the seafood ingredient for each recipe has spoken on why they have made the choice to Cook and Fish for a Big Blue Future.
Ledonné Tango of the local Cape hake fishery: “The sea is wild and that’s good. We must keep it wild. It is our job to do so and why we fish responsibly.”
Georgia East, Cookbook Author and Food Stylist, Cape Town: “Cooking with Cape Hake is always an absolute pleasure. It’s a fish that is as sustainable as it is delicious, which means that future generations will get to enjoy everyone’s favourite seafood!”
A cousin of haddock, hoki and cod, hake is South Africa’s favourite fish. This deep-water species has delicious flaky white meat with few bones, and is a great sustainable choice in these little fish balls.
By Georgia East
Seafood: 600g MSC hake fillets Or any other MSC flaky white fish e.g. haddock or cod
• 1 shallot or small onion (chopped)
• 3 sprigs of fresh dill
• 3 springs of flatleaf parsley leaves
• 1 sprig of fresh mint leaves
• 150g mashed potato (at fridge temp)
• Olive oil
• Salt & pepper
• 250ml thick Greek yogurt
• 3-4 sprigs of fresh dill (finely chopped)
• 1/2 of a lemon (zested)
• 1 clove of garlic (peeled and finely grated)
Pickled cucumbers (makes 500ml):
• 400g small cucumbers
• 150ml water
• 10g white sugar
• 10g salt
• 250ml white vinegar
• 1 bay leaves
• 5g yellow mustard seeds
Make the pickled cucumbers at least a week ahead or you can use store-bought pickled gherkins in the dill yoghurt.
To make the pickles, use a pin to prick each cucumber a few times. Heat the water, vinegar, sugar, salt, bay leaves and mustard seeds, not letting the mixture come to the boil. Pack the cucumbers tightly into a large, sterilized jar and pour over the brine, ensuring the cucumbers are completely covered. Tightly close the lid and leave the cucumbers to pickle for a week. Refrigerate after opening.
For the polpette, place the hake, shallot and herbs into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. In a bowl, combine the hake mixture with the cold mashed potato, egg and flour. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Use a spoon to shape the mixture into small balls, arranging them on a lined baking sheet. Refrigerate the polpette for an hour to firm up.
Pour about 1cm of olive oil into a heavy-bottomed frying pan and carefully lower each polpette into the oil. Fry the polpette over medium heat until brown on all sides, usually 5-8 minutes.
To make the dill yoghurt, combine the chopped dill, lemon zest and grated garlic with the Greek yoghurt. Finely chop two pickles and add them to the yoghurt, along with a 10ml of the pickling brine. Season with salt to taste and serve alongside the polpette.