Tuesday 21 October 2014

Chef and food writer Rick Stein: Dublin Bay Prawn is 'the best in the world'

The legendary BBC television presenter and food writer Rick Stein has said Ireland does not make the most of our beautiful seafood.

Patricia Murphy

Published 22/08/2014 | 11:49

Howth is hosting a prawn festival
Howth is hosting a prawn festival

Chef and television presenter Rick Stein said that the Dublin Bay prawn is the best he has ever tasted, despite having travelled the world extensively for BBC.

The legendary food writer said that both he and his wife Sarah have never had a better prawn, but our bountiful fishing waters are not utilised enough.

“Ireland has fantastic langoustines. My wife is from Australia where the quality of prawns available are great but even she thinks that the Dublin Bay prawn is the best in the world and I agree,” said Rick, speaking to Newtalk’s Pat Kenny Show.

“It’s a problem because historically, both in Ireland and where I’m from in Cornwall, we don’t have a culture where people ate a lot of fish, despite having some of the richest fishing waters on earth. I’m making a plea for us all to eat more of our local prawns.”

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The chef, who has just released a new book Fish and Shellfish, said that people are often under the impression that cooking fish is complicated.

“Plaice and sole are so simple to cook. I just place them in a baking tray, with a bit of butter or olive oil, lemon juice and some salt and pepper and bake in an oven at 200°C.

“One of my favourite meals is just a simple fillet of fish, dusted in semolina, and shallow fried. I always have it with the same salad; sliced tomatoes, avocado, lettuce and a simple dressing,” he said.

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Rick believes that many of us don’t know what we should be expecting from supermarket fish and that the fear of overcooking it hinders our experience in the kitchen.

“Fresh fish doesn’t smell of fish and it is that fishy smell that puts many people off and rightly so.

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“With regards to overcooking, I think everyone should invest in a temperature probe. You can get them for about ten quid now. Push the thermometer into the centre of the fillet and if it’s 55° or 60° you’ll have a perfectly cooked fillet,” he said.

The star is in the middle of filming a new series for BBC focused on the rich foods in Turkey and Greece.

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