The Department of Primary industries has just produced this video about sustainable fish and fishing in Victoria featuring Neil Perry.

It’s just under 10 minutes and looks at Port Phillip Bay, snapper, calamari, King George whiting and is supported by people with great vision and love of the sea: Anthony Hurst from Fisheries Victoria, Roy Palmer of Seafood Experience Australia and Ross McGowan from Seafood Industry Victoria.

Just 10 minutes of your time…

Click here

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It’s been nearly a year that I’ve been on Radio Marinara on radio 3RRR here in Melbourne once a month since Guide to Fish was first published.

This Sunday John Ford is back from seven weeks away travelling through Cambodia, Vietnam and East Timor – he has spectacular stories of fish farms techniques and diving adventures but I get to talk flavours with him and we’ll be exploring ingredients like red chillies, fresh lime, pungent coriander and luscious coconut milk and mixing them with sustainable Australian fish species.

Consider a Vietnamese ling curry, a barbecued snapper doused in black pepper, lime and fresh ginger or grilled squid, marinated in fish sauce and coconut cream.

I wonder if there’ll be time for wine and beer matches…

Radio Marinara this Sunday 9am-10am 3RRR

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In Australian waters, it’s snapper season. Caught along the Southern Australian coast from September to March, this fish is versatile, user-friendly and very delicious. In the Guide to Fish, the fish that are profiled are coded green (a better wild species choice) or amber (think twice before you buy this wild species too often) determined by their current populations.

 

 

Snapper is coded amber – enjoy it but not too often.  

Snapper is an easy fish to cook and eat – in fact, if you’re new to eating fish, it may be a good one to start with. Snapper has a very balanced flavour: there is a wonderful ocean saltiness to its flesh and it finishes slightly sweet on the palate making it only easier to mix and match with different styles of cooking and different ingredients.

 Whole baked baby snapper is a great way to start to learn how to cook whole fish. It doesn’t take too long and you can stuff it and season it with any herbs and spices that suit your mood.

 I’ve kept this recipe very simple – add whatever herbs you like.

 

Whole Baby Snapper

2 baby snappers, whole, scaled and gutted

1 lemon, sliced in to rounds, half a centimeter each

salt and pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

 Heat oven to 180C.

Place the lemon slices in the cavity of the snapper and then season the fish with salt and pepper and slice diagonal slices across flesh of the body. Wrap the snapper with greaseproof paper and then alfoil, place on an oven tray and put in the oven for 12 minutes.

Take the fish out of the oven and open the alfoil and paper and continue to cook for a further 10 minutes. Check it with the cooking thermometer. If it is 65C inside serve it up with lots of lemon, bread and salad.

 

To drink:

Wine: Try a pinot gris from the Mornington Peninsula or perhaps, a viognier from Heathcote, both regions are in Victoria, Australia.

Beer: Enjoy a conditioned ale pluck with fruity yeastiness

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Just as the Guide to Fish has been written to encourage conversation about what sustainable fish species to buy, cook and eat – it is also written with the intention of trying to help sought out what to drink with all this cooking and eating.

                                                                                               

Each sustainable fish species in the Guide to Fish has wine recommendations, that bit wasn’t too hard for me through my years of working in restaurants but then I met the BeerMasons – a beer appreciation society – and what to drink with fish became even more interesting.

           

I didn’t know my lagers from my ales or my hops from my malts to be honest. The treatment these grains get create heady brews of complex flavour – I was amazed at what beers are available from all over the world and how well they can be matched with food.

 

The BeerMasons have recommended many flavours and styles of beers in the Guide to Fish. There’s the adventure of a conditioned ale with a pan-fried snapper on coconut rice with coriander; a German wheat beer with whole roasted coral trout or how about a pilsner with distinctive hops and a bitter dryness to accompany a steamed blue grenadier?

 

The important journey of bringing new flavours, products and ideas about food and drink to the table; of savouring the familiar, trying the new and thinking about them in delicious ways is what the Guide to Fish and the BeerMasons are all about.

To learn about better beer, click here