Any fish left in the ocean for that curry?

For me an issues is how do I get sustainable fish for the table. I look at the sustainable types of fish in my part of the world and oddly or perhaps not it is mostly what I ate as a youngster.

When I was young we used to go to lakes Entrance on the coast of Victoria. My father is an avid fisherman and we caught luderick, flathead, black bream, trevalli, leather jacket, slimy mackerel and others. I am a poor fisherman although I must admit the interest is rising again and much of my time was spent scaling, gutting and filleting fish that my sister and father had caught.

Oddly enough these are now the types of fish that I am looking for to fill my freezer and today I took a run down to the Preston market. I went there sick of seeing so few types of fish in the shops and most of it very unsustainable.

I saw all of the old types and noted that they were amongst the cheapest of the fish on offer. I grabbed a slight more expensive fish in Australia flathead fillets for a good curry, I grabbed some cheaper whole fish to fillet or bake whole I will keep the bones for making stock. To be honest the price seemed just a little too cheap to me and again I question if we need to pay a fairer price for these things in this rich country.

Today we also celebrated that the super trawler was banned in this country. We have to start to realise that like the people who run our cheese and tofu co-op that small is better. A decent small living on a longer term rather than gutting the world so a few can get super rich.

Small scale fishing in a sustainable fashion makes more sense to me. Less bye catch more people employed. No you don’t get a 20% return on your investment but maybe we are eating this fish curry in my great grand children’s time. It is much the same for small scale milling of timber or farming within the limits of the land. more expensive but even Ben Bernaki has commented that we need to look at a more sustainable lifestyle and enjoy that life.

It sounds like a great plan but it will come at a cost to us all in the form of higher food costs which will perhaps make us value the resource we are using. No different to buying organic chicken or heritage beef or pig breeds it will be better for us all. By the way a fish like leather jacket which most of the population have probably never eaten or heard of is one of the best eating fish you will come across and sustainable.

So go fishing or buy some good sustainable fish from a small supplier or local fisherman but be prepared and happy to pay a bit more so you value it. Allow the person making a living, make that living without being forced to trash the world to get by.

But as for the curry well, see below.

Pumpkin and Flathead Thai curry

Fry 1 medium onion and 2 tablespoons of yellow Thai curry past

  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of yellow Thai curry paste
  • Knob of ginger finely sliced
  • 2-3 pieces of lemon grass bruised
  • 400 ml can of coconut cream
  • 3 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 2 cups of fish stock
  • Chili to taste
  • Bok Choy or other greens to taste sliced (I used a bok choy and some broccoli from my ceres box
  • 500 grams of finely diced pumpkin
  • 500 grams of fish (blue grenadier or flathead works well) chopped into bite size pieces.
  • Dash of fish sauce

Fry onion, paste, ginger and lemon grass for around 2 minutes add garlic and continue to fry for around another minute. Add stock and coconut cream, fish sauce and mix through. Add in pumpkin and any sliced toughish stalks from your greens. Simmer until pumpkin is soft but not too soft. Add in the greens and simmer for 3 minutes then add in the fish and simmer around 3 minutes till the fish is just cooked through

Serve on rice (I would have added some coriander but mine in the garden is a bit light at present)


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