Recipe: Wallis Lake Bonito in warm pickle of tarragon and garlic

A highlight of the national finalists produce tour through NSW this year was having the opportunity to cook for the fisher community of Wallis Lake at a pop up restaurant at the Forster Tuncurry race track. The young chefs chose from that morning’s catch thanks to the Wallis Lake Fisherman’s Co-Op. Below is the recipe for the Wallis Lake Bonito the team of young chef Zack Furst; young waiter Morgan Golledge & young restaurateur Dave Parker put together for the dinner. Morgan recommends matching, ‘I would go an Italian white blend like Occhipinti Bianco. Something with texture but still great acidity and slight oxidative nuttiness. If you can get your hands on that it’s a winner otherwise Brash Higgins Zibbibo or anything premium with skin contact, depth and driving acid’.

Ingredients – serves 4

1 x whole bonito – you can ask your fish monger to gut & scale if you prefer

1 x cucumber

100g shallots

1 bunch tarragon

2 x garlic cloves

50mls olive oil

200ml sweet chardonnay vinegar

Pinch  sugar

Flaked salt to taste

Method

For the Bonito

* Wash and gut bonito
* Fillet bonito, then remove ribs and then slice down the spine separating the top fillet and belly.
* Finally carve out the pin bones wipe dry and sit in a stainless steel deep tray.

For the Finishing Salad

* With 50g shallots slice super fine and place in steel bowl.
* Then julienne the cucumber
* Fold through shallots and dress with a small amount of olive oil and salt

For the warm pickle

* Slice 50g of the shallots and the 2 garlic cloves thinly,
* Place in a medium size pot and cover with sweet Chardonnay vinegar and 100mls of water.
* Bring to a slow simmer, add tarragon, olive oil and allow to steep for 45 minutes.
* Season with salt and a small amount of sugar.

To finish

* Bring the warm pickle to a simmer then pour over bonito.
* Allow the bonito to steep for 20 minutes.
* Remove fillets onto paper towel.
* Finally place fillets neatly in the centre of desired dish
* Then cover fish in the fresh  finishing salad
* Add some flaked salt and serve with lemon slices.

The success and failure of the Wallis Lake Fisherman’s Co-Op is driven by its people

Wallis Lake Fisherman’s Co-operative by Andy Day & Cam Cansdell

Established in 1947 to become the voice of the local fisherman in the area of Forster Tuncurry and the central receiving depot to handle the daily catch & distribution, the Co-op members today are made up of the children; grandchildren and great grandchildren of the original fisherman.

The cooperative itself stands not to make a profit (and hopefully not a loss!) but to represent the collective will of its members and improve the profitability and welfare of the 50 active and 40 non-active shareholders.

Several years ago the Co-op found itself on its knees in a state of financial disrepair, facing bankruptcy, and fighting to keep shareholders.

70% of the Co-ops activities on the water take place on Wallis Lake itself and its surrounding estuaries and this is where we find ourselves today, observing and absorbing the passion of the Co-op’s Operations Manager Suzie McEnallay, member Danny Elliott and the Co-op Chairman Greg Colby.

wallis-lake-produce-tour-fisherproduce-tour-wallis-lake-coop

Blessed with blue skies and crystal-clear water for the day it’s easy to be lulled into the belief that life’s a breeze here in paradise.

However, like many primary production industries the fishing community faces pressures. Several years ago the Co-op found itself on its knees in a state of financial disrepair, facing bankruptcy, and fighting to keep shareholders.

Droughts affect the Co-op just as badly as agricultural industries inland and on the coast. A lack of rain means a lack of nutrients entering the estuaries, in turn providing less food for the aquatic food chain and reducing fish stocks.

Commercial pressures and compliance with regulations are constantly evolving and can only be properly managed by a collective; “how do we market our 3 ‘U’s (undervalued, under fished, underused species)?”,”how do we best make people aware this is Australian fish, and not imported?” and “how do we do business with Woolworths and not get pressured?”

The most impressive lesson from today was learning not WHAT the challenges were but rather HOW and WHY the community took them head on.

Facing bankruptcy less than a decade ago the Co-op’s board of directors made the bold decision to effectively ‘freeze’ shares, meaning no member could sell their share(s) until 2019. This was a clever solution to secure what capital the co-op had at the time and create an ongoing commitment from their members (a large proportion of whom are now the non-active shareholders having since retired) that the co-op must endure and succeed for the individual shareholders to themselves survive. Beyond that the shareholders effectively bought more shares to build up the Co-ops capital and help it pay off debts. Only a tight community has the courage to band together at such times, and only an extraordinary one has the strength to survive it.

They face the distinct possibility of running out of fisherman over the next 30 years with an average active shareholder age of 54. This is further compounded by a stemming of generational fishing families; the next generation are either told not to or don’t want to become professional fishermen.

young fisher, 18 year old Jack Freeman Suzie McEnallaydeccreatives-5146

With almost no young, skilled fishermen coming through the ranks in the next decade it was vitally important for the Co-op to assist 18 year-old Jack in securing a grant from the Rural Assistance Authority to begin the process of acquiring fishing license endorsements so that they could build up and sustain their shareholder base. The process to obtain a commercial fishing license in NSW is quite a lengthy & intricate process. Even the governments’ own guide to commercial fisheries says that ‘due to the complex nature of the NSW commercial fishing arrangements it is impossible to produce a simple guide that is guaranteed to fully explain all aspects. The law and policies are also subject to change, so anyone who wishes to fully understand all elements of the current arrangements must not rely solely on this guide’.

And by working with the FRDC (Fisheries Research and Development Corporation) the Co-op can more effectively influence, through education and research, the market factors that create the “3 U’s” and can generate a better revenue stream by successfully marketing species like Luderick and Mullet that are in such strong supply in Wallis Lake.

wallis-lake-coop-produce-tour-crab-potswallis-lake-crab-pots-produce-tour

The Wallis Lake Fishermans Co-operative is blessed with a wealth of pristine resources and hard-working, passionate individuals that form a sum greater than all the parts. Their methods and resourcefulness is the key to their success and is something to be admired and imitated by any business willing to create a more collaborative and egalitarian environment for business.

deccreatives-4074deccreatives-4480
deccreatives-4634deccreatives-5009
deccreatives-5039deccreatives-5232

The ‘fishscape’ of the australian dining scene is changing..

#AppetiteAlumni

applications are now open until 03 April 2017. See why you should consider entering

As a 20-something year old young chef Josh Niland entered into our Electrolux Australian Young Chef in 2013, cooking his way to Highly Commended.

At the time Josh was working as head chef at Fish Face Sydney. Fast forward 3 years, after a stint as head chef at the now closed Cafe Nice in Sydney; Josh along with his wife Julie have opened their own restaurant, Saint Peter in Paddington.

Named for the patron saint of fisherman, Saint Peter features Australian sustainably sourced seafood. On a rare day off from the restaurant Josh kindly took the time to catch up with us and spills the beans on what it was like opening his own place; the process of dry-ageing fish and his particular fascination with ‘fish & bits’.

What was opening your first restaurant like?  

Nothing like opening anyone else’s that’s for sure! It’s been really exhausting but we are extremely proud of what we have been able to produce so far. Paddington locals along with friends & family have all been very supportive and it’s wonderful to be seeing familiar faces returning each week. Our staff are amazing and have made the whole process less stressful then I thought it was going to be.

What do you think has been the biggest hurdle?

Biggest hurdle has been discovering the ‘hidden joys’ of a heritage Paddington terrace, the continuing small issues that arise in the beginning were tricky and required a lot of patience.

Do you have 3 pieces of advice for someone who is thinking of opening their own venue?

  1. Don’t spend too much money on the fit out or be smart about the choices you make and consider every purchase.
  2. Stay off Gumtree for important equipment purchases.
  3. Make time to go and say thank you and hello to your customers and the same to your staff/ look after staff during those first gnarly weeks.

Your focus is primarily on fish specifically the overlooked and under-utilised parts like offal. Have you always been interested in using ‘fish bits’ and why?

Since I was about 19 or 20 I’ve been fascinated that the yield from a fish is so poor and the loss is so high. Fish is so expensive and the shelf life is so slim so if that isn’t motivation for a chef to think out of the box then I’m not sure what is! Having worked in restaurants that sell a lot of fish, I began to keep all the bits.

The obvious method to start with was burying the fish roe from all of the different fish in salt, allowing them to harden then using them as a seasoning. Since then it has been a constant ambition to come up with delicious & different ways of cooking or serving these bits. From pan fried fish livers & parsley on toast, smoked fish heart, salt & vinegar fish scales, poached & rolled head, puffed swim bladders to aged and marinated milt served back with the fish that it came from.

I’m also aware that as Australians we aren’t overly keen on eating ‘fish guts’ but I hope to at least get them to try it!

Can you tell us about the process behind dry ageing fish and how you came about this?

In Japan and even locally in good sushi bars, there are chefs ageing mackerel & tuna and many other fish to heighten the flavour characteristic & texture of the fish.

We start by buying a perfect fish that is wonderful and firm, no imperfections and dry. We process the fish being sure it is thoroughly clean and again kept dry. We then place a butcher’s hook at the tail end and hang in our fish cabinet. Every day we wipe the fish with paper towel to remove any possible surface moisture. Come day 8/9 we remove the fish from the cabinet and place on the second rail we have in the cool room that is in the room with the fan blowing, we allow the fish to hang for another full day and allow the exterior to really dry out. Then it’s just a matter of application, raw/cooked .

We are fortunate to have had a fish cabinet custom made for us that allows us to hold fish between 0 & 1 degrees Celsius. This allows us to hold most fish (depending on the type) for up to 15/16 days. It takes quite a bit of trial and error to find the ‘sweet spot’ of different species but slowly we are getting very good results. In particular the albacore we have on our menu is hung & aged whole for 7 days in our static cabinet and then brought out to our main cool room area to hang for a further 2 days with the assistance of the cool room fan to dry further. By doing this we have found the fish tastes more savoury and the texture is far firmer than it was as a ‘fresh fish’.

My main reason for wanting to do this is mainly to extend what is usually a very small window of time to use fish and try to really hone in on what a particular fish species really tastes like so that we can pair it better with garnishes and wine.

Do you get the fish in whole and clean it? At Saint Peter we buy everything in guts in, scales on & head on. We then dry process the fish, we go to great lengths to be sure that our fish is well maintained and looked after.

What does dry ageing do to the flavour of the fish?

We’ve noticed that in oily fish like Spanish mackerel, albacore & wild kingfish that the unique flavour qualities of the fish begin to become more defined after approx 4-5 days. After 9-10 days the flavour is really promoted and it is like cooking and eating a totally different product.

For example the wild kingfish when fresh tastes wonderful and clean and has a mild acidity to it that tastes like fresh lemon juice. The idea then was to push it to a point (6 days) where the fish had a distinct acidity to it that it made your mouth water, the skin was dry – making it extremely crisp when cooked & with a firmer texture.

Can you serve it raw?

Yes definitely we have served 9 day aged raw wild kingfish with great feedback, the only thing to be conscious of is the red muscle oxidising giving the appearance a less then perfect look. This is maintained by constant love & care.

How do you train your FOH staff on the processes of cooking & ageing your dishes?

We ensure that we all taste the fish that we serve each day and discuss the length of time potentially that it may have been aged and why we wanted to do that then why we decided to pair it with a certain vegetable or sauce.

As the menu is changed every service our FOH staff have a very important roll to play at Saint Peter. Ensuring that the customers are fully briefed on what they are getting if they have any additional offal coming with their dish or if it is aged and then what best wine to pair it with.

What are three pieces of advice you can give about seafood that people may not know?

Never wash fish under water – use plenty of paper towel when cleaning up a whole fish to be sure it’s thoroughly cleaned before storing or cooking.

Never wrap fish or any seafood in cling wrap as this will cause the protein to sweat and it will deteriorate very quickly – invest in go between!

In my opinion avoid flexible fish knives and go for a long slender hard no flex knife, you’ll achieve better more consistent results when cutting whole fish.

Thanks to Josh, Julie and their team for taking time out of their busy schedule and for allowing Appetite to film behind the scenes… Keep an eye out on our website for more of Josh’s how to dry age fish in the coming weeks…

Saint Peter 

362 Oxford St, Paddington

02 8937 2530

Tiwi College Project Visit October 2016

A few weeks ago two of our alumni young chefs, Aaron Ward & Troy Crisante along with our project director Phee Gardner were invited to spend a week with the Hayden Reynolds Tiwi College Project. The Tiwi College Project seeks to improve the well being of the Tiwi Island youth by providing educational opportunities at Tiwi College, ‘We seek to create opportunities, which provide pathways for positive social change’. This is achieved by harnessing the profile and influence of positive role models across the fields of sport, entertainment and by a cross section of corporate executives who are keen to share experiences and opportunities that will enhance social change.

Aaron and Troy shared their cooking skills & food knowledge with the college students and home carers, attended classes with the students, assisting them with their literacy skills and cooked up a BBQ of marinated buffalo skewers and pepper crust steaks (you can get their recipes here).. We put together a clip of their time at the Tiwi Islands Project –  thanks to all of the students and the Tiwi Islands Community along with the Hayden Reynolds Tiwi College Project for welcoming and hosting us!

Heading back on our tiny plane we asked Aaron about his experiences at the Tiwi College Project and some background into the project.

What is the Tiwi College Project and what do you think they’re trying to achieve?

The college is trying to improve the lifestyles of the Tiwi people by providing the Life Skills program, where the kids are taught to cook, clean and respect the other people around them. These skills can then be taken back into the communities to help lifestyles of those back home.

The college is trying to create job opportunities for the kids once they graduate from the college. Some of the kids are going into apprenticeships at the college in the garden program and going to the fishing lodges to work as guides on the fishing charters.

Why did you want to go to the Tiwi College Project?

Going to the Tiwi Islands and visiting the Tiwi College Project was such a great opportunity for me. I wanted to see what the project was about, how the college operated, and how the kids lived their day-to-day lives. Also being able to give back to the community by sharing my cooking skills and recipes was an experience I couldn’t say no to.

How as a chef do you think you can help implement change to help young kids in the Tiwi community?

As a chef I think it is important to teach the kids in the Tiwi community about different foods and give them a better knowledge base of foods they can cook. After talking to the kids, food is a big part of their culture as it brings the families and communities together. I hope that by teaching them some new techniques and sharing some new recipes it can help them to make healthier choices along the way.

What did you learn about the Tiwi community at the college?

I learnt how much knowledge the Tiwi people have of the land they live on. They know how and when the best time to hunt is; where to find the best catch and the best ways to track and capture the animal. And the ways they fish to catch turtle, stingray and dugong in the most successful way. They were also able to explain which trees can be used for medicine if sick and which trees can help to cook their food.

What was the highlight of the trip?

The highlight of the trip for me would have to be working with the kids in class and cooking for them.

We had the opportunity to sit in on a reading class and help the kids practice their reading skills. To see the joy on their faces when they accomplished reading a book with no help was amazing.

On the final morning at Tiwi College Project we cooked breakfast at one of the homes. It was a privilege to cook for the 13 girls and their house carers. We received plenty of thank you letters from the girls so I’m pretty sure they enjoyed it

What have you learnt from this experience?

Before going to the Tiwi Islands I didn’t really know much about the project. Having experienced first-hand what the project is trying to achieve it is a great initiative to help the kids of the island improve the way they live and help them with their life skills in the future.

What have you taken away from the visit?

This was a great experience for me and one I will not forget. Working with the children, the families and the dedicated staff that make it all happen is truly inspirational. Giving something back by cooking food for the homes and helping the kids with their reading and literature was a great experience.

This is the Gurnard recipe you have to try!

Gurnard, nettles, artichokes, toasted cream & crab head sauce by Aaron Ward

Preparation time: 2 hours

Skills needed: Medium

Serves: 4

Ingredients

2  Gurnard fillets 400g each

400g picked stinging nettles

500ml pouring cream

400g Jerusalem artichokes

250g unsalted butter

2  live blue swimmer crabs

3 eggs

2 lemons

1 clove garlic

2 sprigs thyme

100g macadamia nuts roughly chopped

2tbs virgin olive oil

Method

  • Ask your fishmonger to scale, fillet, and skin the Gurnard into 4 x fillets and keep the frames so you can use for fish stock at home. Make sure they are at room temperature before cooking – about 30 minutes.
  • Wash the artichokes, and steam for 20 minutes or until soft. Once cooked cut in half place cut side down in a frying pan, add 150g butter, garlic and thyme, place in the oven and slowly cook at 160°C for about 30-45 until golden and allow to rest in the butter.
  • For the toasted cream, place the cream in a large saucepan and boil making sure that the cream doesn’t stick to the bottom or burn by stirring frequently, every few minutes. Continue to reduce until the cream splits into a yellow butter and milk solids which is like a granular golden brown in colour. This takes about 35 minutes. Be careful not to cook it too long or it will burn. You need to have a buttery & nut colour and nutty aroma
  • For the Nettle Sauce. Chop the nettle finely. Fry in a shallow pan in a little olive oil on a medium heat until soft which takes about 5 minutes.  Add macadamia nuts and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and squeeze juice of 1 lemon into nettles. Set aside and begin cooking the fish
  • In a non stick pan, warm the pan on a medium heat and add olive oil. Fry the Gurnard and cook about 2-3minutes each side. Remove from heat, leave in fry pan to rest for 2 minutes.
  • To finish coat the fish generously in the pan first with the toasted cream sauce, then baste with the nettle sauce. Place the fish onto warmed plates. Season artichokes with salt and lemon zest placing a few on each plate. Serve immediately.

Chef’s tips

  • Don’t discard the left over crab, use to make chili crab or a curry or freeze the shell and meat to use at a later date.
  • Nettles are hard to handle so wear gloves when handling, and once the nettles are cooked on a high heat the sting disappears.
  • Use the fish heads and frames to make stocks, just add onion, celery, fennel and leek and simmer in water for 20 minutes. Strain and discard the solids keeping the liquid. Allow to cool and freeze for future use.

recipe: nam jim oysters by kelvin shaw

Preparation time: 15 mins

Cooking time: 1 hour

Skills needed: beginner

Serves: 3 doz oysters

Ingredients

3tbs    Palm Sugar

1          Long Red Chilli seeded and diced

1          Stick of lemongrass top inch and bottom inch discarded then thinly slice

1          Bunch of coriander, washed thoroughly and sliced stems & leaves

2          Limes

1          Orange

2tsb     Sea salt

4tbs    White wine vinegar

1          Garlic cloves minced

1tbs     Fish sauce

1tbs     Minced fresh young ginger

1tbs     water

Method

Place the vinegar and water into a small saucepan and place on to a stove on a low heat, once a slow simmer is reached add the palm sugar. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved then remove from the heat, add the fish sauce then set aside and allow to cool. While the liquid is cooling add the chilli, lemongrass, coriander and ginger into a mortar and pestle, zest the orange and one of the lemons into the pestle and grind the mixture for 30 seconds. Transfer to a stainless steel bowl and then add all of the juiced citrus. Once the mixture has cooled to below 59 degrees pour over the aromats and allow to cool to below 4 degrees in a refrigerated space stirring occasionally. Place into a serving vessel and serve with Tuncurry Sydney Rock Oysters.

Tips

If palm sugar is unavailable, substitute with brown sugar but reduce the amount down by 1tbs

To add a twist replace the fish sauce with 2 tbs of soy and ½ tsp of rose water

To obtain a better flavour from the lemongrass use the back of the knife to bruise the lemongrass before slicing.

keeping it local, but not for long

by Lilani Goonesena

It is freezing in the dark morning on the shores of Port Phillip Bay, just off the Bass Strait south of Melbourne, Victoria. We are wrapped in so many layers it’s difficult to turn our heads or grip the sides of the charter boat that takes us out on the bay. We are following Ben Jenkins, a 22-year old local fisherman for his 5-generation family fishing business, Jenkins and Son.

We are joined on the boat by Johnathon Davey, the Executive Director of Seafood Industry Victoria, who explains how commercial net fishing operates in the bay.

“There are 43 commercial licenses in Port Phillip, 42 of which can use four different types of net fishing, as well as long line fishing, pots and traps. There’s one license solely for purse seine fishing which uses a net with an anchor, for small fish such as pilchers, sardines, whitebait and anchovies.”

Jenkins and Sons operate under a netting license. Every night, usually starting at 1am, they fish these waters. They finish at 5am and are at the market by 6am. They’re making an exception today for us and we watch as their boat makes a wide circle, trailing 160m of netting behind it. Then comes the slow process of winching it in again.

“The fish congregate in the sea grass,” Johnathon tells us. “The net drags along the bottom and cleans the moss off the grass without tearing it out.”

The bay covers almost 2,000 square kilometres and its varied species include tuna, flathead, whiting, southern garfish, flounder, red mullet, tommy ruff, pike, shark (flake), and salmon. There are also brown, green and black abalone, though along with lobster and crab, they are fished by recreational rather than commercial fishermen. There is, however, a flourishing hand dive scallop industry.

Jenkins & Sons

 

“Traditionally, there were scallop dredges in the bay,” explains Johnathon. “But the industry was closed in 1999. Then, in 2013, the government brought in a hand dive scallop license. In 2015, it allowed a 145 tonne catch. That’s only going to grow and there are already big supply deals with restaurants.”

The decommission of the “archaic” scallop industry was a vast environmental improvement but also paved the way for new, introduced species. The bay is now suffering from marine pests like the Japanese Undaria which can attach to any surface. The ballast waters from the hulls of international ships have also brought in exotic sea stars and Sabella worms. In 2014, there were an estimated 60 million Northern Pacific Sea Stars in the bay.

Sea urchin are another introduced species but one that are proving a commercial success with profitable export markets in China and Japan.

Johnathon says that the bay is cleaner now than it has been cleaner in 15-20 years, with fish stocks at record highs.

From the look of today’s catch this morning, it’s true. The morning sun is well in the sky by the time the net is winched in to the side of the boat. Ben Jenkins, clad in a long-sleeved wetsuit, has jumped into waist-deep, icy cold water to sort the fish by hand.

“The fish are sorted in the water so they’re not stressed,” explains Johnathon. “There’s almost zero by-catch because they’re released alive. The efficiency of net fishing, live fishing, that has to be the best.”

Matt Binney, the 2015 Highly Commended Young Chef, and sous chef at Merricote in Melbourne, agrees.

“I thought there would be more by-catch but the amount of fish they released was exceptional,” he says. “ The process, netting and gathering by hand, it’s such a small operation but they have so much passion for it. They can provide a sustainable, high quality and manageable product for restaurants.”

The fishermen are moving fast, holding each fish against a board to check its legal size before tossing it into the boat, or the bay again.

“Everything’s maintained live until they decide it’s legal size and of market value,” Johnathon tells us. “Then it goes into bins full of ice. The fish go straight to sleep in there, it’s like a hibernation. They are live until the buyer buys them. For some of the bigger fish, like tuna, they do the iki-jime [spiking] straight into the brain; this keeps the meat as red and fresh as possible.”

Fisheries Victoria monitor commercial fishing regularly, with daily logbooks on where fishing takes place, the catch, species, conditions, by-catch, and other statistics. This has to match the sales records at the market. As well, fishery compliance officers visit the bay.

The information also assists research into fish species and sustainability. Snapper, calamari and whiting, for example, have all been labelled sustainable.

In the wake of the Victorian government’s plan to close Port Phillip’s commercial netting in favour of recreational fishing by 2022, Johnathon worries that it will be harder to keep track of species. He also says that consumer choice and availability will suffer.

“I can only assume there will be more of a reliance on imports or other states,” Johnathon tells us. At the moment Australia imports 70% of our seafood; we could end up at 85% imported.”

 

 

A36O0494

australian oysters guide

Aphrodisiac or not, oysters have a history linked to pleasure, whether it be the association derived from myth, or, simply from eating them. In Roman times they were bought by their weight in gold. Casanova considered them to be a potent aphrodisiac who ate a dozen every night to assist him in his adventures. In Australia oysters were first coveted by Aborigines, then by European settlers who had exhausted native oyster beds by the mid 1800’s and oyster farming began. One reason is not only were oysters used for their meat, but also their shells which were burnt at a very high temperature to make lime for mortar. Oyster farming is the oldest aquaculture industry in Australia. Prior to farming, oysters were dredged or collected from their natural beds until the stocks were depleted – in some cases completely for both their meat and lime. There are three main species of oysters farmed in Australia; Sydney Rock Oysters, Pacific Oysters and Angasi or Flat Oysters which are similar to Belon Oysters.

Sydney Rock Oyster rock oyster article

Where:
native to Australia, cultivated since the late 1800’s. Grown from south east Queensland, along the New South Wales coast and in Western Australia.
Taste:
A soft oyster of rich savoury flavour with subtle mineral and herbaceous finish. Just like the Pacific oyster there are many taste and texture variations.
Season:
Peak in late spring through to autumn with availability all year across Qld, NSW and WA.
Did you know:
Rock oysters can take up to 4 years to reach maturity. They can live out of water and remain in prime condition for up to 2 weeks if kept out of direct sunlight and in a cool, moist condition. The best method for storage is in a hessian sack.

Pacific Oyster pacfic oyster article

Where:
Introduced from Japan in the 1940’s and the most common in Australia. Grown in southern Australian waters of South Australia and Tasmania, and in some New South Wales estuaries.
Taste:
From Tas and NSW – A firm oyster with a refreshing salty, sweet ocean burst and subtle herbaceous flavour. From SA – A firm oyster with a refreshing sweet ocean burst and pleasant saltiness. Many variation between regions and even between growers!
Season:
Peak in winter and spring with availability all year across NSW, Tas and SA.
Did you know:
pacific oysters are the most common oyster in the world and take between 18 – 24 months to reach maturity.

Angasi (or flat) Oysters flat-angasi-oyster-article

Where:
Native to Australia but frown in small quantities around the Australian coastline.
Taste:
a firm oyster of full bodied flavour with subtle mineral and herbaceous finish.
Season:
peak in autumn and winter with availability all year across NSW, Tas and SA.

Some of the information about each oyster is courtesy of FRDC. Interested in expert and interesting information about Australian seafood? Head to fishfiles

nose to tail of fishing

written by braden white, julia paussa & stephanie jacob

We were lucky enough to meet Glen and Tracey Hill, who own and self-operate Wild Coorong Seafood in South Australia, and experience for ourselves a day in the life of a fisherman and the challenges faced within the fishing industry.

Glen Hill has been a fisherman for nearly 25 years and in business as a fisherman on the Coorong inlet for the past 10 years. His vast level of experience is evident from his rather impressive beard, but more so from his extensive knowledge of the Coorong and the fishing industry in general. Glen sets out early each morning (in order to beat the pelicans) to pull in nets from different parts of the Coorong which catch mullet, mulloway and bream. Day to day fishing can vary although Glen tries to target 5 boxes of mullet a day in a series of nets.

140929_producer_seafood_coorong_1

Glen fishes to order, his nets are sized specifically for these fish species and the depth of the nets are also very important to the environment as it does not touch the bottom of the inlet which leaves the sediment on the Inlet floor to stay natural and enable other creatures & sea life such as crabs and reefs to their natural state. These practices make his business completely sustainable. This is very important to Glen and Tracey, who are both involved with the government as industry people trying to promote and control sustainable fishing both in the Coorong region, and across South Australia.

Over the past ten years with the Murray River being extremely low from years of drought, maintaining the ecosystem has been both difficult and extremely necessary for Glen and Tracey’s business. This has led to them becoming a voice for the industry to help the government see how sustainable their practice is. Glen also believes that over fishing is a problem on the commercial side of things so this is why he has adapted to fishing to order, where by reducing the chance of over fishing and also increase freshness for the consumer.

Whilst Glen is out on the Coorong hauling in fish, Tracey runs the processing factory for the fish – right in their backyard! The fish goes through descaling and filleting process. The local pub always has some fresh mulloway or mullet on the menu, and is very popular amongst the locals. When asked if he eats any fish from SA like snapper or tuna, Glen replied, “Why would I need to when the fish here is so good!”
Coorong wild seafood produce some snap lock frozen products that can be purchased by the consumer as a ready to go single portion packs. Glen also practices a no waste approach to fishing with all of the skeletons and guts going in to big frozen blocks that he sells to the public for bait.
The passion both Glen and Tracey have for their trade shows in the final product. After our 6am start on the Coorong with Glen pulling in nets and teaching us the tricks of the trade, we were lucky enough to enjoy fresh fish cooked on the BBQ with some lemon and foraged ice plant, and as we defrosted our hands over the grill, we were able to really appreciate the value of amazingly fresh produce.

140929_producer_seafood_coorong_3

Wild Coorong Seafood
www.coorongwildseafood.com.au
info@coorongwildseafood.com.au