Pollock. You may have heard quite a lot about these little fishies over the past couple of years, rising in popularity and fast becoming a substitute for Cod and Haddock, who’s fish stocks are declining. Here in Britain, if you check the ingredients in your standard fish fingers, it’ll be Pollock. Take a look in the next freezer cabinet at the supermarket and you’ll see fish products from a certain popular chef (clue; Jamie) and you’ll see the words Pollock.
If you’re a fish eater then Pollock is a very wise buy; tasty, cheap and sustainable (Alaskan Pollock being the one to look out for). It’s far more sustainable than those poor Cods and Haddocks, the Pollock’s numbers in the Bering Sea are currently at their highest yet. They’re found hanging out in large shoals near the surface of the sea so they’re caught using mid water trawling methods which means an eco-friendly catch as the sea bed isn’t disturbed and there are very, very few unwanted fish caught in the process. At the moment, half of all the fish caught in the North Sea are thrown back DEAD. This is in part due to European policies, but changing the fish we eat will also help.
The trick now is to discover more sustainable fish to eat, such as Pollock. One thing we can do is convince our local fish n chip shops to offer Pollock as a choice on the menu. A lot of shops are beginning to do this but there’s still a long way to go, as Cod is still most peoples first choice. The Pollock flesh is white, flaky, firm and with a delicate sweet flavour. Stick in batter, serve it with chips and mushy peas and you’d think it was Cod! This is just a small change we can make that will go some way to help other fish stocks to replenish. In the meantime, try out my Perfect Pollock Sarnie;
Grate 30g Parmesan and layer on to some baking parchment, sprinkle with cayenne;
then oven cook for 1o minutes at 170 C. Remove from tray and leave to cool
Pan fry or oven cook your Pollock fillet according to your fishmongers instruction
Make the perfect sauce; One tablespoon of whole grain mustard, the juice of half a lemon, a teaspoon of black pepper, one finely chopped fresh red chilli and 4 tablespoons of mild olive oil.
Layer up! Grab some fresh bread and spread some sauce, then add a large handful of watercress or baby spinach, add some more sauce, place the fish on the leaves, add more sauce, add the Parmesan crisp, one more drizzle of sauce and the final layer of bread. Enjoy!
For more info on sustainability in fishing check out Hugh’s Fish Fight