The River Cottage Fish Book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Nick Fisher (UK)

Search this book for Recipes »
    • Categories: Rice dishes; Japanese; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: sushi rice; rice wine vinegar
    • Categories: Rice dishes; Japanese
    • Ingredients: fish fillets; wasabi; sushi rice; rice wine vinegar; light soy sauce; Japanese pickled ginger
    • Categories: Rice dishes; Japanese
    • Ingredients: fish fillets; nori; sushi rice; rice wine vinegar; wasabi paste; sesame seeds; Japanese pickled ginger; light soy sauce
    • Categories: Rice dishes; Japanese
    • Ingredients: whole mackerel; rice vinegar; mirin; sushi rice; wasabi; light soy sauce; Japanese pickled ginger
    • Categories: Lunch; Main course; Appetizers / starters; English
    • Ingredients: salmon; Worcestershire sauce; Tabasco sauce; parsley; capers; pickled gherkins; red onions
    • Categories: Lunch; Main course; Appetizers / starters; Italian
    • Ingredients: black bream; fennel; capers
    • Categories: Lunch; Main course; Appetizers / starters; Mexican
    • Ingredients: black bream; limes; lemons; oranges; celery; red chillies; paprika; coriander leaves
  • Gravad max
    • Categories: Appetizers / starters; British; Scandinavian
    • Ingredients: mackerel; dill; English mustard; crème fraîche
    • Categories: Dressings & marinades; Appetizers / starters; British
    • Ingredients: black bream; tomatoes; thyme; sea salt; bay leaves; red onions
    • Categories: Chutneys, pickles & relishes; Appetizers / starters; Snacks; British
    • Ingredients: herring; apple cider vinegar; allspice berries; bay leaves; oranges
    • Categories: Chutneys, pickles & relishes; Appetizers / starters; Snacks; British
    • Ingredients: mackerel; apple cider vinegar; dried red chiles; coriander seeds; celery seeds; allspice berries; bay leaves; parsley; celery
    • Categories: Lunch; Main course; Spanish
    • Ingredients: fresh sardines; cumin seeds; coriander seeds; caraway seeds; paprika; dried chilli flakes; red onions; bay leaves
    • Categories: Dips, spreads & salsas; Lunch; Main course; Appetizers / starters; French
    • Ingredients: white fish fillets; floury potatoes
    • Categories: Dips, spreads & salsas; Lunch; Main course; Appetizers / starters; French
    • Ingredients: salted fish; new potatoes; parsley
    • Categories: Egg dishes; Main course; Breakfast / brunch; Lunch; British
    • Ingredients: pollack; bay leaves; spinach; apple cider vinegar; eggs
    • Categories: Lunch; Main course; British
    • Ingredients: sea trout; Morello cherries
    • Categories: Salads; Lunch; Main course; British
    • Ingredients: pork sausages; chicory; smoked mackerel; red onions; English mustard; apple cider vinegar; crème fraîche
    • Categories: Egg dishes; Lunch; Main course; British
    • Ingredients: heavy cream; smoked pollack; eggs; cheddar cheese
    • Categories: Egg dishes; Appetizers / starters; British
    • Ingredients: white breadcrumbs; smoked pollack; bay leaves; milk; English mustard; cheddar cheese; eggs
    • Categories: Appetizers / starters; Canapés / hors d'oeuvre; British
    • Ingredients: baguette bread; lemons; roe
    • Categories: Dips, spreads & salsas; Appetizers / starters; Canapés / hors d'oeuvre; Greek
    • Ingredients: roe; white bread; milk; parsley; chives; paprika
    • Categories: Dips, spreads & salsas; Appetizers / starters; Canapés / hors d'oeuvre; British
    • Ingredients: smoked mackerel; horseradish; crème fraîche; dill; paprika
    • Categories: Sandwiches & burgers; Grills & BBQ; Appetizers / starters; Canapés / hors d'oeuvre; Welsh
    • Ingredients: smoked pollack; milk; ale; whole grain mustard; cheddar cheese; parsley; wholemeal bread
    • Categories: Grills & BBQ; Lunch; Main course; British
    • Ingredients: fresh sardines; marjoram; thyme
    • Categories: Grills & BBQ; Lunch; Main course; British
    • Ingredients: fennel; red mullet; garlic; bay leaves

Notes about this book

  • wester on September 15, 2011

    This is much more than a good fish cookbook. It tells you how to kill a fish, or how to buy it, how to clean it, how to cook it, what to do with the leftovers. The book is in three parts - Understanding fish (how fish live, sustainability issues, how to buy a fish, basic fish skills), Fish cookery (raw fish, smoked, barbecued, baked, soups, frying, cold fish, and fish thrift and standbys), and British fish (a complete list of all fish around Great Britain). These guys love fish, and it shows everywhere. They love cooking and eating fish. They are willing to go to great lengths occasionally (not just catching your own fish, but also building your own smoker, etc.) but they are also comfortable with really simple recipes - even a few with canned fish. All the recipes are there to let the fish shine, not to let the cook show off. They also feel they have a large responsibility towards fish, and they will educate you, and you will probably enjoy that too.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Smoked pollack with poached egg

    • wester on September 16, 2011

      Excellent. The smooth egg yolk complements the smoked fish perfectly. I did feel I would have liked more eggs relative to the fish, something like 250 g fish with 4 or 6 eggs would be perfect. I made this with smoked gurnard. I used the poaching milk to make mashed potatoes, which also went very well with it. I will put some nutmeg in the spinach next time, or use a different vegetable.

  • Warm smoked fish and sausage salad

    • wester on September 21, 2011

      This was totally delicious, even with supermarket mackerel and sausages. The sausages, smoked fish, chicory and creamy dressing blended together to a total that was definitely more than the sum of its parts. Even the kids loved it - my five-year-old daughter actually asked if she could have more chicory! I think keeping the leaves of the chicory whole makes them too big. Halving them (except the really small ones in the middle) works better. I always leave out the sugar.

  • Hot-smoked mackerel pate

    • wester on April 10, 2018

      Very tasty. I just took the ingredients list and kept on adding things until I liked the result. The main thing that differed in the end result was that I used a lot more creme fraiche. The horseradish and dill gave a nice edge to the creamy mackerel/creme fraiche mixture.

  • Seared squid

    • wester on September 14, 2011

      This was lovely. I used a squid that was slightly bigger than recommended and so it was a bit tough - but they warned me about that, The flavor was very good and the cleaning and butterflying instructions were clear. Both the sumac and the paprika version work well.

  • Smoked pollack and spinach tart

    • wester on November 06, 2011

      This was very good, although I think it's not, as the authors claim, the best recipe in the book. But it does have a very good balance of salty smokiness, creaminess, and lightness from the spinach. I make it regularly. The kind of fish you use should influence the amount of fish you use. I made this with smoked trout, and got a very subtle result, and with smoked sprat, which was very strong-tasting. Good quality frozen spinach (leaves!) works well here. If you use fresh, do make sure to really squeeze it dry well, else the tart can turn out a bit wet. I made it without the crust (I'm on a low-carb diet). Instead I baked it in individual ramekins (2 of 11 cm diameter, 2 of 9 cm). This worked well.

  • Slow-braised cuttlefish or squid

    • wester on June 05, 2012

      This was a disappointment. I braised it for the full two hours and it came out only just tender. The other flavors were nice, giving a very Mediterranean feel.

  • Japanese slow-cooked mackerel

    • wester on October 01, 2011

      Lovely. A very different way of cooking mackerel (horse mackerel is good too, but the fattier the fish, the better). Aromatic but not overly hot - children can eat it too, just don't serve them the ginger pieces. I also like it that the bones go soft enough to not be a nuisance anymore (although you will still have to remove the central bone). Nice with guests too, as you can put it on a slow fire early in the morning and then forget about it until it's nearly serving time. I served this with rice and a cucumber-sesame salad. Good combination. It can be difficult to get the fish smell out of the pan. If possible, use a pan that you will only use for fish.

  • Black bream with herbs

    • wester on September 15, 2011

      I probably used too big a fish for this (almost a kg), which meant I had to put the lid on the pan for a bit, and it looked a bit messy when it was done. But thanks to the general information on pan-frying a fish earlier in this chapter and their tips on how to check for doneness, the fish came out very well-cooked, and the herbs were very good with it.

  • Mackerel stuffed with salsa verde

    • wester on October 26, 2011

      I still have to get the hang of the filleting and removing the pinbones. But the taste of this was excellent - the fresh green salsa verde works very well with the rich mackerel. And apart from the filleting it's very easy.

  • Brill with celeriac and crispy belly pork

    • wester on October 07, 2011

      Very tasty, and it looks spectacular. Do keep a good eye on the celeriac while it is simmering - there is a very thin line between milk simmering and boiling, and you want to avoid the latter.

  • Chloe's sardine and onion omelette

    • wester on September 21, 2011

      A good store-cupboard dinner. I used the second cooking method. The flavor was very good, but I found it a bit dry, and it was quite hard to flip over. Next time I'll use the first method, or possibly just make scrambled eggs with the ingredients.

  • Fish-topped pizza bianca

    • wester on October 10, 2011

      Comfort food. Sweet onions, salty fish, and crème fraîche. In between pizza bianca (with no mozzarella) and pissaladière (with no olives). I wouldn't have minded a bit more anchovies.

  • Puy lentil and mackerel salad

    • eliza on January 31, 2017

      A really nice combination of flavours and textures. I omitted the onion and anchovies from mine, and it was still delicious. This recipe is available on the publishers website. Very simple to make.

  • Roasted whole plaice with cherry tomatoes

    • joneshayley on June 03, 2018

      The tomatoes overpower the plaice. I’d rather bake the plaice with the bay, butter and thyme and serve with new potatoes and green beans

  • Braised squid stuffed with chorizo and rice

    • Sophph on July 27, 2022

      So delicious! I had loads of filling left over so served it alongside.

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Reviews about this book

  • Kitchn

    So much information! I'm glad to have this book on my shelf to reference whenever I get the urge for something from the sea.

    Full review
  • Huffington Post

    Measurements and ingredient names in the recipe section have been adapted for our shores. Anglers as well as cooks will find this completely absorbing.

    Full review
  • Oregonian

    The book is loaded with photos, so you'll never confuse mackerel and minnows -- and you'll wonder how anyone ever decided that sea monster-like monkfish might be worth trying.

    Full review

Reviews about Recipes in this Book

  • ISBN 10 1408814293
  • ISBN 13 9781408814291
  • Published Jan 03 2011
  • Format Paperback
  • Page Count 608
  • Language English
  • Countries United Kingdom
  • Publisher Bloomsbury
  • Imprint Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

Publishers Text

More than just a cookbook, this beautifully produced volume in three parts promotes a total understanding of British fish, from their natural habitats to what sauce they go best with to how to respect their seasonality, in keeping with the River Cottage ethos. The first part is dedicated to understanding fish - Hugh and Nick explain the ins and outs of procuring a good fish, discussing fish farming, aquaculture, sustainability and harvesting issues, how to buy and catch fish in an ethical way, and how to prepare it for the kitchen. Next they open up a whole world of fish cooking - pickling, salting, barbecuing, frying, potting, stewing, smoking and more are explained in depth, each technique followed by classic recipes from gravadlax to kedgeree, from sashimi to chip shop battered cod. Finally, Hugh and Nick present Britain's best fish by species, giving portraits with notes on seasonality and ecology, as well as listing the relevant recipes from part 2 with alternatives. The River Cottage Fish Book is the only book on fish that the adventurous fish lover will ever need.

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