27 April 2009

Pre-Frozen and Packaged Seafood Challenge for Birthday Lunch (26 April 2009)

Sydney Fish Market, Bank Street, Pyrmont NSW 2009

Frozen seafood taste test

I'm a huge fan of quality fresh seafood and what better place in Sydney to find it than the Sydney Fish Markets. But today, for some strange reason, I end up buying mostly frozen seafood for my brothers birthday lunch with the family — although he did happily agree to the purchases.

My brother wanted to try his hand at cooking salt and pepper whitebait and we could only find frozen whitebait which I assume is the norm. My dish was to prepare prawn rice paper rolls which I'd always religiously buy fresh ones to peel and devein but we noticed the perfect looking frozen prawns in the freezer section of De Costi Seafood and thought we'd give them a go to save time and effort — possibly foodie sacrilege. Added to the menu was a box of pre-crumbed calamari rings on sale which we tasted samples outside and a bag of mussels. I always seem to buy my oysters from Christie's Seafood which display them so appealingly and seem to be more freshly shucked than other shops.

Here's the before (packaged) and after (cooked) comparison to show what each dish originally looked like and how it was served to try and appease our food critics aka Mum and Dad. Apologies to the Environment for all the packaging. I think my dad was both shocked and surprised when we told him after lunch the prawns were frozen ones although I'd still preferably have the freshly cooked ones any day for taste factor.

Other visits to the Sydney Fish Market:
23 Dec 2011 – Pre-Christmas Shopping
23 Dec 2010 – Pre-Christmas Shopping, Oysters, Mussels
23 Dec 2009 – Pre-Christmas Shopping
26 April 2009 – Whitebait, Mussels, Oysters, Prawns, Calamari
23 Dec 2008 – Pre-Christmas Shopping

Whitebait $10.99 (1 kg bag)
Deep fried salt and pepper whitebait

Mussels $6.99 (1 kg bag)
Mussels cooked with white wine, tomato, onion, garlic and vietnamese mint, Chef Leong :-)

Left over cooking sauce from the mussels served as the Soupe Du Jour Amuse-bouche, Chef Leong :-)

Pacific oysters $15.90/dozen

Just Caught Quality Seafood Frozen Tiger Prawns $21.99 (1 kg bag) — Considering you loose about half the weight when you peel fresh prawns it's actually very good value and cheap.

You can't really compete with the taste, texture and smell of freshly cooked prawns but if your running out of time I think these would be a decent substitute in a rice paper roll, pasta sauce, laksa or other saucy dish.

Prawn rice paper rolls with lettuce, vermicilli and Vietnamese mint

Dipping sauce for rice paper rolls made from hoison sauce, peanuts and fresh chilli

Sealord Calamari Chips $4.99 (450g)

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