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Facts About King Prawns

Prawns are a delicious and tasty delicacy and ab easy crowd-pleaser, when it comes to entertaining. There are many different prawn species but King Prawns are some of the best known prawns. Because of their fairly neutral taste, prawns can be a wonderful base to a variety of recipes. Some prawn producers are sustainable, ethical, antibiotic-free and toxin-free so consumers do have the option to purchase prawns that are environmentally friendly!

Benefits of King Prawns

Prawns are a wonderful asset to any healthy diet due to having zero carbohydrates, a low calorie count, high quality protein and many vitamins and minerals. The following numerous benefits can be gleaned from prawns:

  • Zinc – promotes healthy immune system functioning
  • iron – produces red-blood cells and oxygen-carrying proteins
  • selenium – for immune system support
  • magnesium – maintaining strong bones and regulating muscle and nerve function
  • calcium – maintaining healthy bones
  • phosphorous – aids in metabolic process and assists with bone building
  • Vitamin A – healthy skin and an antioxidant
  • Vitamin B-6 and B-12 – useful in producing energy, protects against heart disease and maintaining normal nerve functioning
  • Vitamin E – improves fertility and is heart protective
  • 6 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids per serving – which have been proven to support health by reducing the rick of atherosclerotic heart disease, improve skin hair and nails, metabolise fat and support brain function.

Control of water borne disease

Prawns are helpful in protection from Schistosomiasis, which is a disease that leads to chronically poor health. This is acquired when contact is made with fresh water containing the lava of parasitic blood flukes. The adult worms then live in the bloodstream. Prawns themselves due not support the parasite in their organs and so prevent the spread of the disease by eliminating the lava. Experts are looking into introducing prawns into water systems that are causing this disease.

What is the difference between prawns and shrimp?

The names prawn and shrimp are often used interchangeably but there is a difference between prawns and shrimp. Shrimp have smaller gill structure, legs and claws. Prawns usually have a longer, curled tail while shrimp have a shorter and straighter tail. However, in the UK, smaller prawns are referred to as shrimps and the larger ones as prawns whilst in the USA and Australisa, ‘shrimp’ is the preferred umbrella term. Check out this giant king prawn recently caught in the waters off Australia

Cooking

When buying prawns, choose ones that smell fresh and look wet. A fishy smell indicates that they are passing their use-by date. After cooking, also make sure that you eat them within twenty-four hours. King Prawns are usually sold raw and either with or without their heads. If the shell is on the prawn, you will need to peel them but prawns tastes better when peeling them post-cooking. Cooking prawns causes their shells to turn pink and retain a sweet flavour whilst the flesh turns white with a tinge of pink. When cooked too long, the prawn flesh may become tough. To peel the prawn after cooking, turn the prawn over and pull the shell open along its length. If you notice a black line along the prawn, this is the full intestinal tract and you can remove it easily with a knife for a better aesthetic appeal. Leaving it on is also acceptable since it is not harmful to eat these. Prawns may be cooked through poaching, steaming, pan sautéing or frying.

  • Poaching

Poach prawns by cooking them in a low temperature liquid such as oil or coconut milk. The low temperature preserves the proteins of the prawns and prevents them from becoming tough too quickly. If you want to use the prawns in a salad or served immediately, dip them into iced water.

  • Steaming

Steaming your prawns will also take longer and preserve the prawns by heating them gently. You may wrap the prawns in aluminium foil with parsley or coriander and onion, then cook in a moderate oven heat for ten minutes. You may also use a microwave steamer and cook until the prawns have turned pink.

  • Pan Sautéing

Many recipes recommend this method of cooking since it brings out a delicious flavour in the prawns. Heat oil until it begins to smoke and then add the prawns. Use a good quality extra-virgin cold pressed olive oil, or coconut oil, which will provide you with additional nutrients. Drain and remove the excess oil on a paper towel.

  • Frying

A batter used during frying can protect the vitamins and minerals in the prawn from the high heat used in frying. For example, cover them in a flour, salt, pepper and herb mixture before adding them to hot oil in the pan. Make sure to monitor the pan carefully, turning as needed.

Fun Recipes to try:

Prawns as a starter: Saffron Dip

A dip is wonderful to use with prawns. Fry some prawns in a spice of your choice, such as cumin, and put them onto skewer sticks on a platter.  Try serving them with a cardamom and saffron sauce, blending:

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • a handful of chopped spring onions
  • 2 teaspoons lightly crushed cardamom pods
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 250g Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron strands
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander
  • salt and pepper to taste

Add the oil to heat and then the onions. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for a few minutes whilst stirring. Pour through a strainer. Serve warm.

Prawns for a simple dinner for two: Prawn Laksa

king prawn laksa

  • ½ kg raw prawns
  • ½ litre fish stock
  • 100g dried rice vermicelli noodles
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons laksa paste
  • Pinch of sugar
  • ½ tin of coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons Thai fish sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 sliced spring onions
  • Handful bean sprouts
  • ½ a small cucumber, sliced thinly
  • Coriander leaves to serve

Boil the prawns in the stock (with tails in-tact) in the stock and simmer for 15 minutes. Prepare and drain the noodles. Stir the Laksa over a medium heat with the sugar and add the strained stock with coconut milk. Boil and then simmer for 5 minutes. Add the prawns and continue to simmer until prawns turn pink.

To serve: cover the noodles with bean sprouts and cucumber, pour over the prawn soup and add spring onions and coriander.

bass-fishing

Fishing for Seabass – a Guide to Catching Seabass

If you want to get the most out of a fishing trip, one of the best things you can do is learn all about fish and how to catch them. Bass are a type of fish that you will enjoy catching, whether you are looking to eat them or catch them for sport, there is a sea bass recipe for you. With this in mind, make sure that you read on and do your best, so that you can apply these tips and begin fishing for seabass to the best of your ability.

Understand The Different Types of Bass

When it comes to fishing, there are a number of different types of bass that you can scope out. One type of bass is the black sea bass, which is found along the United States Atlantic Coast. The blue spotted sea bass is a very common type of fish, while the Chilean sea bass is most notably found in areas of South America or around the Antarctic areas of the world. There are many other types of bass found all around the world, including the Hawaiian sea bass, Japan Sea Bass, and Peruvian Seabass. One of the most common types of sea bass is the white sea bass, which is typically found on the West Coast. At the shop, www.aoseafood.co.uk/buy/sea-bass we sell seabass that is famed in the waters off Greece.

Find The Ideal Fishing Spots

If you would like to catch these fish, make sure that you do your best to find in ideal fishing spot. To do this, you can join a fisherman’s group or look into reviews regarding the amount of success people have when they fish, the size and health of the fish that the catch and more. When looking up these fishing holes, be sure that you understand their rules and hours of operation. Further, give yourself the opportunity to look up the proper permits and other credentials that you will need in order to get the most out of your fishing trip.

Catching Seabass

In order to catch these fish, you owe it to yourself to look them up by species and find out what type of bait they enjoy. You must also get a clear idea of their traveling patterns, so that you can get the proper weight and lower which will allow your hook to sink to the proper depths in which these fish live and dwell. It will take some practice and trial and error, so make sure that you are in it for the long haul.

seabass fishing

Fishing Tips For Catching Seabass

Seabass is a renowned type of fish sought out in various parts of the world. It’s regarded as a tough catch by experts who have spent years understanding the nuances of capturing this fish.

It’s important to have the foundation in place to catch seabass, and it starts with these tips.

Go through the advice in this read to shape your approach out in the water.

1) Time of Day & Location

There are two factors to consider when you are fishing and they’ll be mentioned here.

You will look at two things:

1) Time of Day
2) Spot In Water

When you have these two factors mapped out in your setup and plan, you’ll be able to do better in the water.

For this type of fish, you should be getting up after sunrise and heading to the water. This is when they’re most active, and you’ll catch something special. Not only should you be waking up early, but you should also be staying within 100 meters of the shoreline. They won’t go any further, so the closer you are, the better your chances are of reeling them in.

2) Use A Conventional Saltwater Setup

What tackle should you be using? A conventional reel will do so a 20-30 lb. test line will suffice. They have soft lining in their mouth, so pulling hard will do more damage than good.

Stick to this setup and tweak other aspects of your approach if things don’t work.

3) Live Squid Is Your Best Bait

What should you be using for bait? This is a question people will have who have never gone after this fish. The goal is to make sure you are using squid. They flock towards squid and will be prone to getting hooked.

Now, there are two options when it comes to squid.

You can go with the live option or stick to dead squid. It’s preferred to use live squid as it creates a better bait to capture fish.

If not, dead squid is fine and will do the job for you in most scenarios. Stick to this as bait and see the results race in.

Too many fishers head to the water without considering external factors such as the moon cycle. Studies have shown this type of fish is often hypersensitive to moon phases.

Therefore, it’s better to head out during the full moon rather than any other time of the month. It will attract fish in hordes, and this makes it easier to catch them.

Aim for a 2-3 day period before the full moon to optimize your sessions in the water. It will eradicate some of the time-based pressure on catching this fish and will give you enough time to get as many as you require.

It’s not easy to catch this fish, but that’s what makes them a special catch in the first place. Go through all of these tips and incorporate them into your fishing processes immediately. You will notice the results come in and that’s what it’s all about at the end of the day.

If however, you don’t want to go to all that bother of catching your own fish, why not browse AO Seafoods’ website & buy Seabass (www.aoseafood.co.uk) that is literally as fresh as if you’d caught it yourself.

Buy Seabass online

Eye of The Tiger(fish)

Probably the most recognisable movie soundtrack of all time – minus the fish, of course, as that sounds like a Spongebob parody but I had to have some sort of seafood reference in the title – Survivor’s 1982 hit is pretty inspiring when it comes to getting fit. There’s not one of us who, having watched the film Rocky, didn’t feel at least some motivation to get up and get active, if we weren’t already.

One of the most memorable scenes of the hit film involves a 4am wake-up, a wander to the fridge and a glass of five raw eggs being downed in record time…as you do. Whilst we here at AO Seafood aren’t in a position to endorse or recommend such actions, what that scene really emphasises is the importance of diet when training.

It’s a well-established fact within the health and fitness industry that it’s not so much how you train (although, clearly, significant effort is involved) but how you recover that really makes the difference. And the most vital ingredient to recovery? Protein.

If you’ve ever felt those pains a day or two after a good training session, they’re coming from tiny little tears in the muscle – nothing to worry about and perfectly normal – and it’s protein that the body uses to repair these tears and recover sufficiently. So, in order to maximise results in the gym, a high protein diet is recommended.

Can you see where this is going? Yep, you guessed it…FISH!

Seafood is an exceptionally good source of protein. For example, Tuna contains around 30g of protein per 100g serving. Similar size salmon and sea bass portions contain around 20g, to name but three. And of course, the average tuna steak and salmon supreme portions are a good bit bigger than that! In addition, seafood contains essential omega-3 and omega-6 fats which are an important part of any good diet.

In a nutshell – if you want to train well, you must eat well, and there’s nothing much better for you than seafood.

You’ll be pleased to know that AO Seafood stocks all of the aforementioned fish, and we offer tailor made boxes for your training requirements – you can check these out here!

Sorted. Now where’s my headphones?

Der…Der der der…Der der der…Der der derrrrrrrr.

I’m a Phire Starter, Twisted Phire Starter

Perhaps not in their wildest dreams did The Prodigy imagine the success arguably their most famous song would have – reaching number one in the UK charts, attaining platinum status with 600,000 sales in the UK alone…being used as a pun for my little old seafood blog. I’ll leave you to decide which is the most impressive (coincidentally, the album cover contains a picture of a crab!).

Despite the title of this week’s blog, you’re more likely to find this earthy, salty sea plant as part of a main course on seafood (mainly white fish) dishes at restaurants nationwide – hardly surprising given it’s habitat. But recently I enjoyed it with a beautiful confit lamb starter at one of my favourite eateries in the area. Talk about versatile!

Found on marshland and on rocks next to the sea, it’s such versatility that has lead to samphire’s elevated status amongst it’s green cousins. Others just don’t cut the mustard. Consider:

  1. Broccoli – mmm lovely boiled goodness. Unless it’s with blue stilton in a soup, I’m not interested.
  2. Green beans – brings back vivid memories of chewing the tyre from a Lego tractor. At least the squeak makes it feel like they’re cleaning your teeth.
  3. Asparagus – I’m a fan and this challenges the most of the three; in fact you could liken samphire to a smaller, gnarlier (thesarus has this as a synonym of twisted so I’ll take that) asparagus.

Samphire

Usually when I reach for the salt on the dinner table, it’s met with a glare from my wife followed by the usual remarks of salt not being good for your blood pressure… “I’ve already seasoned it enough, it doesn’t need it”. No arguments there. It’s a vice that I’ll have to overcome.

But despite it’s distinct salty taste, samphire actually contains very little sodium, just 0.8g per 100g. And it has other health benefits too – just 100 calories per 100g serving, free of saturated fat and cholesterol and rich in the ABC vitamins. Samphire also aids in liver cleansing and digestion.

Perhaps I should stick it in the salt grinder and sprinkle that on to my dinner in future. I’ll note that down in my Dragon’s Den idea book.

AO Seafood supplies samphire and at very good prices too. If you’re already enjoying samphire, or want to get on the bandwagon, then give us a call on 01282 429000 or fill out the contact form below.

 

Float Like A Butterfly, Sting Like…The Price of Salmon?

ali

So said the late, great famous boxer Muhammad Ali.

Ok…maybe I’ve altered it slightly to fit my theme. I’m sure you get the point.

But to eatery owners and kitchen chefs across the country, these words are ringing as true as George Foreman’s ears in the 8th round of ‘The Rumble in the Jungle’ (YouTube it), stung by the steep increase in the price of salmon, the same way Foreman was by Ali’s quick one-two in ’74 (like a bee, as the true saying goes).

So why the increase?

Chile, the second largest exporter of salmon in the world behind Norway, has suffered from an algal bloom, killing off around 20% of production levels. The bloom, caused by unusually high water temperatures fuelled by El Nino, starved the salmon of oxygen, and lead to the loss of 123,500 tonnes of the restaurant menu staple to date*.

In addition, extreme weather has affected Norwegian production, as well as an outbreak of sea lice in other areas.

As a result, the law of supply and demand has taken hold, driving salmon prices to unprecedented levels not seen before – estimates of the increase vary between 50-60% in the first half of 2016.

Some kitchens have taken the step of replacing the salmon with something else on their menu; others have persevered, waiting for the price to drop. Whatever you decide to do, whether you’re an existing customer or looking to change supplier, you can rely on AO Seafood to help. We use best Scottish, the ‘Ali’ of salmon, and our prices remain competitive. So if you’re “on the ropes” with your salmon why not give us a call on 01282 429000 or fill out the below form to discuss your options.

As the great man once said, “it is not the mountains ahead that tire you out, it’s the pebble in your shoe.”

Hang tough; it’ll soon be over.

*Correct as of May 2016

 

Fish Royalty – Dover Sole and Turbot

It was 1843 when Hans Christian Andersen told the story of a homely little bird born in a barnyard, bullied by those around him for the way he looked. The ugly duckling, as the famous children’s fable is known, soon had the last laugh though, blossoming into the most beautiful swan of all.

When it comes to seafood, substitute the ugly duckling for turbot and Dover sole. Brown, spotty skinned, with two eyes nestled close together on one side of the head, these two will never trouble the judges in an underwater beauty pageant. But when it comes to taste, substitute the most beautiful swan of all for these two cousins of the flat fish variety – without doubt the royalty of restaurant fish dishes.

What is it that gives turbot and Dover sole their regal status amongst foodies and chefs the world over?

Both found in European waters, weighing anywhere from 400g to 10kg (turbot) and 300g to 1.3kg (Dover sole), it’s their elegant, lightly sweet flavour and the resilience of it’s tender white flesh when cooked that makes these fish so popular.

And you needn’t feel you need to be a cook of Michelin standard to enjoy the unique flavours of turbot or Dover sole. These are both enjoyed best when allowed to stand out as the stars of the show. You’ll have heard of sole meunière, a simple method of coating the fish in flour and combining lemon, butter and parsley to enhance the delicate taste of the fish.

These words are echoed by French restaurant critic, Robert Courtine who, when commenting on how best to enjoy sole, “the sole, that fish so elegant and rich in itself, has no need for so much flattery. . . . If you want to serve a sole, just cook it as simply as you can.”

Unfortunately, sustainability has become a problem for turbot. Whilst some would say wild turbot tastes better, farmed turbot is still delicious and you know you are doing your bit for the environment, meaning future generations can enjoy the same wonderful taste of turbot for years to come.

AO Seafood offers both Dover sole and turbot at wonderfully competitive prices, available fresh and frozen all year round, so if you’re hesitant at including these regal flat fish on your menu, hesitate no more!

All hail, the kings of the seabed, the turbot and the Dover sole!

 

Smoked Salmon (200g)

SMOKED SALMON ASPARAGUS & ADVACADO SALAD – SUNNY WEATHER

IMG_1589Wow! the weather has taken a turn for the better so i’m thinking, salad, quick and easy!

Cook 200g of asparagus spears in salted water for 4 mins. Cool under cold water. Cut and slice the advacado, brush with lemon to prevent discolouration.

Arrange the rocket leaves, asparagus, advacado and strips of smoked salmon on your plates, sprinkle with fresh chives and parsley.

Drizzle over the dressing:

1 garlic clove

4tbs extra virgin olive oil

2tbs white wine vinegar

1 tbs lemon juice

pinch of sugar

1tsp mustard

Serve with lemon wedges and brown bread and butter “VOILA!”

view all our smoked salmon products on line now!

 

Seafood Hamper Competition

Win a £100 Seafood Hamper delivered to your home every month for 3 months

seafood hamper

bodybuilding fish protien fish boxIt is well known that Fresh Fish & Seafood should be part of a healthy diet. The benefits of eating a healthy diet are linked to better health in general plus, lower blood pressure, lower rates of heart disease, reduced risk of developing cancer, reduced chance of developing an auto immune disease & the list goes on. Fish is a great way of getting high-quality protein that is low in saturated fats, but high in omega 3. Eating Fresh Fish, as part of a healthy diet, is also linked to living a longer life. As part of our mission to encouraging more people to eat fresh fish & seafood we at AO Seafood have put together a selection of 3 luxury seafood hampers to be won. The Winning prize is a £100 seafood hamper filled with the finest fresh fish available, delivered to your home each month for 3 months so that 3 x £100 hampers over 3 months.

All you need to do to have a chance of winning is to enter your email in the form below. The lucky winner will be announced on Friday 20th May 2016. All entries need to be in before that date.

 

 

Even on a Saturday morning, we are up bright and early putting together your orders! Check out this fish box!


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