The Sunshine Coast is home to one of Queensland’s largest fishing ports (in Mooloolaba), which means our seafood comes straight off the boat and is delivered fresh to the region’s abundant supply of fishmongers. A Queensland department of fisheries spokesperson says more than 1100 tonnes of fish was caught in the Sunshine Coast region in 2017. And according to the experts, some of the most sustainable seafood in the world comes from Queensland’s waters. So, what are you waiting for? Dig in!
Celebrity chef Adam Liaw of Destination Flavour fame, shares his tips for perfecting a seafood Christmas feast.
“Food is the story of our country,” he says.
“As an agricultural and migrant nation there is no better way to appreciate Australian culture than through food. It’s what brings us together and hidden in it is the code of our history.
“Seafood in Australia is truly second to none, but I wish at home we had a bit more confidence around it. We don’t eat enough variety in our seafood, which isn’t great for sustainability, our fishermen, our health, or our wallets. If we were a bit more varied in the seafood we ate, we’d all be better off.
“My top tip for choosing great seafood is to get to know your fishmonger. They’re the experts and can tell you what’s good, what’s in season and what’s a bargain. My local fishmonger texts me or my wife when something comes in that he knows we’ll like, and if you want great seafood that’s the kind of relationship that’s important.
“Simple is always best when it comes to cooking seafood. For salmon we’ll usually just grill it with a bit of salt and serve it with a wedge of lemon. If you get the skin nice and crisp and the inside delicate then that’s all you need. With prawns I love to roast them in their shells on the barbecue. The shell is where all the flavour is.”
Adam Liaw knows a thing or two about prepping for a Christmas meal.
“Our family Christmases are huge,’’ he says. “The past few years there have been around 60 family members at each, and I’m generally the one doing the cooking. I don’t mind it though. Christmas is actually a pretty easy meal to cook for a crowd – there are lots of hands to help.”
Here are Mr Liaw’s top five tips for preparing a successful seafood feast these holidays.
- Order ahead. If you’ve got a good fishmonger that you trust, get them onto it. The last thing you want to do on Christmas Eve is to fight the crowds for what’s left.
- Go whole. Whole fish are easy to cook and taste much better than fillets.
- Start with oysters. They take almost no time to prepare, and it gets every Christmas off to a good start.
- Don’t throw out prawn shells. They make a great stock or oil.
- Don’t leave it out all day. Get the seafood on the table at the start of the meal but then put it back in the fridge after about an hour. You don’t want it sitting in the sun all afternoon. If people want seconds, they can get it from the fridge.