The cheapest, best way to buy fish, is to buy it whole and fillet it yourself. On average 40% of the fish is thrown away, including the guts, head, skin and bones….but lots can be done with this! Buying a whole fish, encourages using the head, tail, bones and skin to harvest the full flavour. These can be used to make seafood sauces, stocks, bisques and broths. For example, have you even used prawn heads and shells to make prawn powder?
Here are 3 top tips for making the most of parts of fish and seafood you might usually throw away. Don´t waste any of that precious, fishy flavour! I incorporate these 3 things into soups, sauces, stir fry´s, omlettes, salads….anything which can be pepped up with a little fish flavour.
1 Make your own ´Prawn powder´
When I met my other half he was shocked and sad to see my throwing away my prawn heads and shells. All that beautiful flavour going to waste! He taught something which has proved invaluable and I use it all the time now.
Spread the shells out on a baking tray and bake them in a low oven (around 120°) for a few hours.
You don´t want to cook them, just totally dry them out so that there is no moisture. When they are dry, blitz them in a food processor, until you have a fine powder. This intense prawn powder can be added to sauces, sprinkled onto stir fry´s and adds a great depth of flavour to any dish.
2 Make your own ´crispy fish skin´
I had to de-skin a lot of fish fillets when cooking a recipe for sea bass papillote. Instead of throwing this away, I wanted to harness all the goodness and flavour (lots of the nutrients of a fish and the omega-3 fatty acids are found in it´s skin).
Heat a little oil in a pan and shallow fry the skin (on both sides) until it is crispy.
Remove from the pan and leave on some kitchen towel, to remove the excess oil.
Cut the skins into thin strips, to be sprinkled into other dishes.
·3 Make your own ´Prawn stock´
These shells and heads were peeled off some cooked prawns, bought recently
Fry the shells in a little oil to enhance the full flavour. Put them into a saucepan, cover in water and boil them. The longer, the better, to extract all the flavour. You are aiming for at least an hour.
When finished, blitz the shells and heads using a hand blender, until it has a smooth texture. This lovely seafood stock can be frozen, and used at a later time.