Most hospitality operators feature at least one seafood dish on their menu, but it often gets overlooked in favour of more high-profile food trends. Within its depths, on any shore around the world, the sea is home to a bounty of produce, each with a unique flavour and texture. This month our expert panel tell us about their favourite dish to give you inspiration for getting creative with crustaceans and cooking some fabulous fish.

Maggi Brand Manager, Nestlé

Us Brits love a ‘chippy tea’ and fish and chips has recently won the top spot as the UK’s favourite dish. The use of gravy on menus alongside fish & chips varies between regions across the UK, with the biggest demand in the north of England, but we’d always recommend having a strong gravy option to delight those customers who love nothing more than to dunk a chip in a pot of thick gravy. Maggi Gravy is bain marie stable and has a rich, savoury flavour and smooth texture. It also has an excellent yield whilst still delivering that thick consistency that customers love.

Head Chef at Fenchurch, Sky Garden

Our seafood dishes at Fenchurch include torched jerk salmon with green mango and yuzu ponzu; and BBQ lobster with plantain and Osciestra caviar. Another of my favourite seafood ingredients to work with is scallops.
At Fenchurch, all of our fish comes in whole, as this helps our chefs to develop their knife skills. When buying sea bass, for example, we use the fillets for à la carte dishes, the bones are used to make fish stock and the heads go into our bisque, then the end cut trimmings go into our corner snack – we like to try and get as many uses as possible from one ingredient to minimise food waste. We buy our fish through suppliers and change our menus quite regularly.

Operations Director, Marrfish Ltd

The best fish & chip suppers are made using the freshest fish and those sourced from our cold UK waters are coveted by our European neighbours. Don’t just settle for cod or haddock; underused species like coley, gurnard, megrim and grey mullet are often overlooked by chefs but they’re versatile, flavoursome and lend themselves to styles of cooking popular among consumers today, such as Mediterranean, Japanese or BBQ.

Head Chef at Straits Kitchen, Pan Pacific London

Growing up, fresh fish from the river was my absolute favourite – so rich and fresh when cooked in the simplest ways! My favourite fish dishes are steamed fish and charcoal grilled fish – at Straits Kitchen, we serve steamed wild sea bass with perapan chopped peppers and Szechuan lada oil, which is one of my favourites.
We change our menu every six months and buy UK-sourced whole fish. We split and cut every part of the fish to ensure that the texture of the meat is not damaged. We extract fish oil from the excess fat and oil content and use the bones to make soup; the skin can also be dried and used for frying.

Food Blogger,

Fish can feel tedious without unique and delicious flavour combinations. A simple but delicious dish for salmon is baked with mayo, furikake seasoning, served with sweet potatoes and baby bok choy. The salmon can be eaten cold but is great heated up in either the skillet or the microwave. Mayo is great on salmon because it adds moisture and flavour. The mayo holds a lot of moisture in and adds fat to create the best flavour and texture in your salmon while it bakes. Mayo also does a great job of holding the Furikake seasoning to the salmon. Once everything is cooked, it makes a great sauce over your vegetables and potatoes.
You can use any type of mayonnaise for this recipe. I like avocado oil-based mayo since it does not contain any vegetable oils, but you can use any that you prefer.

Head Chef, Pearly Queen

Fish wise I like to use either cod or hake and batter it in a beer batter with a shot of vodka in it, this helps it go extra crispy. For the chips, triple cooking them is the way to go. Start off by boiling your potatoes until they start to soften, then blanch them in some oil at 160 degrees until they’re almost fully cooked. Then a final fry at 200 degrees. This gets your chips fluffy on the inside and a golden crisp on the outside.
My favourite fish dish is probably some nice clams or cockles cooked in a spicy Thai style broth. Loads of chilli and lots of coriander, the spicier the better. At Pearly Queen we always try to buy locally sourced and sustainable fish. We change our menu in tune with the seasons and work closely with our suppliers every day to find out what’s the best fish/seafood in the daily market.
There are great ways to use up the whole fish such as keeping your bones or any trim of the fish for fish stock or seafood-based sauces.

Owner, Catch at The Old Fish Market

Here at Catch I begin with whatever is coming off the boats – the fish and shellfish is always my starting point. We only serve what the local fishermen land, so I work up from that. Next, I see what our producers and growers are showcasing, again tying into what’s available at that time of year. I change recipes or ideas to incorporate what’s available, to include particular ingredients that I know we’ve only got a short season to work with.
We get the very best local crab – Portland Crab. We use this beautiful ingredient throughout our menu, but our crab toastie complemented with crab bisque for dipping is always incredibly popular. Another favourite is our crab linguine, however we do take this to the next level. In the fishmongers below there is always a surplus of brown meat when the crabs are picked (more white meat is sold over the counter). I’ve never understood this as the brown meat has so much more flavour! We take this excess brown meat and dehydrate it to then blend into a powder. We then incorporate this into the flour used to make the pasta.