The River Cottage Fish Book

I have already written some stuff about January being fish month. See raw fish, turbot and shellfish. What was it all in aid of you wonder? I have been working my way through the River Cottage Fish Book. Co-written by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and his aptly-named friend Nick Fisher.

It is a comprehensive book. Hugh talks a lot about conversation before moving on to fish skills. Things like how to prepare fish, skin them, clean them, dress shellfish, etc. There is then a large selection of recipes broken down by cooking method. Finally, the book finishes with an in-detail description of the fish you can find around Britain.

I have gone into detail about some of the recipes below.


Chinese fish parcels. You make a bed of vegetables, then layer up fish fillets and soy sauce. Wrap it neatly in kitchen foil and roast the whole thing. It is difficult to get out of the parcel gracefully, but great for eating outdoors when you can eat it straight from the parcel.

This was a great chance to try out the cutting blades on my food processor. They are pretty brutal.


Slow-cooked squid. While it does produce a rather tender squid, I was not a big fan of this dish. Even when I tried it’s close-cousin the stuffed squid.


I also tried the slow-cooked mackerel with similar results. It does have some bold flavours, but it was not quite to my taste.


The squid rings proved more to my taste. Even the homemade garlic mayo was acceptable. This was a good chance to attack my fear of deep-frying. I have always been dubious about doing it at home. At McDonald’s, I knew I had a ring to pull that would coat the entire kitchen in foam if things went wrong. Without that safety net the prospect of heating a large pain oil to 180 degrees Celsius has always been a frightening one. But I did it and the results were good.

Overall the book is excellent for those who love fish and want to do interesting things with them. Will the recipes make it into my regular rotation? Maybe. Though River Cottage Every Day still provides my every day basic fish recipes. It was also an interesting read though, one that you could do without even looking at the recipes.




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This entry was posted on Saturday, February 13th, 2016 at 10:57 am and is filed under Books, Food. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.