As a vegetarian, I really struggle with not eating fish. Its health benefits and amazing deliciousness really do my head in. However, if I can feel assured that a fish is sustainably sourced, locally caught and not over-fished, I feel a lot happier about indulging every once in a while, which is why I took part in MSC’s sustainable fish day. Last Friday on March 16th, individuals and businesses in Australia were encouraged to take part in ‘Australian Sustainable Seafood Day’ by buying and eating certified fish.
Sustainability can sometimes be an airy-fairy word, used to describe an array of ideas. However the Marine Stewardship Council have sat down and really set out the terms of sustainability in order to create a fish certification system. The MSC certification ensures that fishery’s practices are sustainable (via a third party assessment process) and that their supply chain has undergone a traceability audit. All in all, I get a strong feeling that a lot of good effort has been placed to ensure that this certification is legitimate.
I know I say this a lot, but by creating demand for sustainable practices, you are not only helping the fish industry, but are spreading the message to all other food industries which I believe is really important. To help the fish and sustainable fisheries’, make sure you look out for MSC certified fish (full product list here) or eat from one of the restaurants/cafes which participated last Friday; here.
I am going to cook a MSC certified Tasmanian Salmon fillet en papillote style. I have vivid memories of this dish when we attempted to drive a houseboat along the Canal du Midi in South of France last year. A Belgium couple had set up this amazing restaurant in a tiny tiny town and every single meal (including the fish en papillote) was made from locally sourced and in season produce making it so delicious. I even have a video of my sister licking the last morsels of her tiramisu off her plate – I have never seen her so happy.
Salmon en Papillote with baked asparagus
(Preparation time: 5 minutes, cooking time: 15 minutes)
A MSC certified fillet of Salmon
1 tbs oil
1 tsp ginger, finely sliced
½ tsp garlic, finely chopped
2 slices of lemon
Mix of herbs: I used parsley, lemon thyme & a kaffir leaf
A handful of asparagus stalks
Salt and pepper to season
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Rip a large sheet of baking paper and poor half the oil on the area where the salmon fillet will sit. Place the salmon on top of the oil and rub in salt, pepper, ginger and garlic into the flesh. Place the 2 slices of lemon on top and finish with the herbs. Lay the asparagus on the side of the fish and drizzle everything with the remaining olive oil.
To create the wrapping, fold the baking paper over the fish and from one side begin to tightly wrap the pieces together inwards. Keep on doing this so that you complete a full circle and the entire fish is wrapped up with no way of air coming in or out (this is important as you want the steam to stay inside the package). Place in the oven for 15 minutes and voila you have a perfectly baked fish. Enjoy!