Enjoy your catch of the day in a tasty yet sustainable way + My fishy treat in Bishop’s Stortford + My recipe for flexible fish cakes

Alex Ballard, who grew up in Bishop’s Stortford and is effective as a expert group dietitian for the NHS in West Essex, writes a fortnightly column, Diet program Discuss, in the Stortford Indie about taking modest ways in direction of a more healthy way of life…

Alex Ballard’s Alex Talks Diet program column (34777177)

Fish has constantly played a large job in British foodstuff history, with classics such as prawn cocktail, sardines on toast and, the public’s favourite, fish and chips. Even the English-born Worcestershire sauce employs anchovies for a punchy part.

Together with the adaptable flavours, contrasting textures and wealthy colours, fish presents us with nourishing dietary sources of protein, calcium, iodine, selenium and vitamin D.

Baked salmon garnished with asparagus and tomatoes with herbs. (34777005)
Baked salmon garnished with asparagus and tomatoes with herbs. (34777005)

Fish, and specially oily fish, is also a principal supplier of omega-three. In the latest a long time, this family members of fats has been placed on a pedestal, with investigation demonstrating that suitable intakes can reduce the threat of heart illness, make improvements to inflammation, protect memory and prevent melancholy.

We are hence encouraged to eat two parts of fish per week, such as a person of an oily wide range, these kinds of as mackerel, kippers, sardines, salmon, trout, sprats, herring, whitebait and pilchards.

Tinned fish can also offer omega-three, but just consider a peek at the label 1st. An adult-size portion is either 140g of refreshing fish (roughly the size of the palm of your hand) or a person modest can.

The varied selection of fresh fish available from Potter Street Fishmongers in Eat 17 (32212247)
The varied assortment of refreshing fish available from Potter Street Fishmongers in Eat 17 (32212247)

Shark, swordfish and marlin can have concentrated sources of mercury and, as a result, need to be averted by girls who are pregnant or setting up a infant, and by all youngsters below 16. All other adults, such as breastfeeding girls, need to restrict these distinct species to a maximum of a person portion per week.

If fish is off your menu, different omega-three wealthy food items include nuts and seeds, rapeseed and linseed oil, soya merchandise, inexperienced leafy veggies and omega-three enriched eggs, breads, yoghurts and spreads.

Even with the wealth of rewards this natural foodstuff resource provides, generating sensible and environmentally-pleasant decisions is important for the fate of our oceans. At the moment, world wide fish output is nearing its sustainable restrict and exploitation has increased threefold due to the fact the seventies. Listed here are some straightforward guidelines to aid prevent inventory depletion and obvious purchaser conscience…

  • Cut back if your family consumes a lot more than the encouraged weekly sum and instead up your plant-based protein video game with a lot more beans, pulses, nuts, seeds and tofu.
  • Lots a lot more fish in the sea! There’s a whole ocean to enjoy, so aid give shares a possibility to replenish by mixing up your weekly procuring checklist and rotating concerning a large wide range of seasonal solutions.
  • Use significantly less common possibilities for instance, by switching cod and haddock for coley and hake, applying mackerel fairly than tuna and opting for Uk rope-developed mussels in excess of prawns.
  • Shares of lesser, non-predatory fish (these kinds of as sardines and anchovies) swim decrease down the foodstuff chain and normally replenish more rapidly than larger, predatory species.
  • Assist moral fishing procedures by searching out for and buying merchandise with MSC (Maritime Stewardship Council), RSPCA and ASC certified labels.
  • Where probable, pick out organically-farmed seafood as this tends to make it possible for fish a lot more motion area and employs responsibly-sourced feed.
  • Check out the Maritime Conservation Society Good Fish Guide or application for an up-to-date position technique on the sustainability of a lot more than a hundred and fifty different species of fish all in excess of the entire world – go for inexperienced, restrict amber and steer clear of pink.
  • Retain educated about the issues facing our seas by on a regular basis checking out the Maritime Stewardship Council web page.
  • Obtain British merchandise to aid reduce the foodstuff miles from water to plate.
  • When ingesting fish out, enquire about which menu solutions have been sourced closest to your dining place.
  • Get chatting with neighborhood fishmongers to keep up to date on seasonal decisions, fish sourcing policies, travel miles and cooking guidelines (F.E. Tucker and Sons mobile fish van, Potter Street Fishmongers and grocery store fish counters).
  • Stay clear of binning any edible fish by keeping on top rated of use-by dates, freezing solutions right before they go off, buying and cooking only what you have to have and incorporating today’s leftovers into tomorrow’s foods.
  • Cut back on plastic as lowering use on land allows to reduce the plastic floating in our waters. Say no, reuse or reduce.
  • When you are checking out the coastline (or the River Stort!), established aside a modest sum of time for a clear-up. Seem out for organised Nationwide Rely on and MSC events.
  • A large trigger of micro plastics sinking into our oceans is from car tyre flakes. Any time probable, walk, cycle or get community transport.
  • Include and teach youngsters so that they understand to regard the ocean from day dot and tactfully distribute these favourable messages to your family members, friends and colleagues and on social media.

The F.E. Tucker and Sons mobile fish van visits Bishop’s Stortford every Thursday, Friday and Saturday (34776947)
The F.E. Tucker and Sons mobile fish van visits Bishop’s Stortford each individual Thursday, Friday and Saturday (34776947)

Alex’s neighborhood address: Tucker’s fish van in Bishop’s Stortford

F.E. Tucker & Sons is a third generation business that has been up and sailing due to the fact 1956. They individual the oldest mobile fish models in East Anglia and have viewed the common sector town streets of Bishop’s Stortford evolve in excess of the past forty two a long time.

Trevor and his sons, Andrew and Daren, are passionate about supplying outstanding-high-quality seafood directly from the coastline which is normally months fresher than grocery store solutions.

They are based in Excellent Yarmouth and pride them selves on ninety nine% of the fish they sell staying sourced straight from British waters. Not only this, but they can explain to you who caught the lobsters and dressed the crabs!

With the ocean as their business, this father-and-sons collaboration can aid information you in direction of seasonal and sustainable solutions each individual month of the calendar year. Plaice is a very good alternative to plate up for your fish supper. It is adaptable and can be baked with a squeeze of lemon, delicately combined into a fish stew or stir fried alongside pak choi.

Get by yourself the capture of the day on Thursdays, Fridays or Saturdays outdoors Host in Stortford (ditch the plastic wrap and consider a Tupperware box).

Ingredients for Alex's flexible fish cakes (34776972)
Ingredients for Alex’s flexible fish cakes (34776972)

Alex’s recipe for flexible fish cakes

With inventory shortages, shelf wipe-outs and shop cupboard dinners, now is a time for adaptable recipes that use a minimal to go a long way.

(serves four)


  • 600g potatoes, peeled and slice into chunks
  • three tbsp chopped refreshing herbs, e.g. parsley, coriander, dill, basil
  • two x 120g cans sardines in olive oil, drained (or very similar sum of any tinned fish)
  • one modest lemon, juiced and zested
  • one modest pink chilli, deseeded and chopped finely (or ½ tsp dried chilli flakes)
  • Simple flour
  • two tbsp rapeseed oil


  1. Provide a large pan of water to the boil. Include the potato chunks and prepare dinner for about fifteen-20 minutes until tender
  2. In the meantime, drain the sardines and mash them in a bowl
  3. Mix in the chopped herbs, lemon zest and juice, and finely chopped pink chilli
  4. When the potatoes are cooked, drain them and mash until smooth
  5. Stir the sardine combine into the mash potato
  6. Divide the combination into 8 even-sized balls (the moment neat enough to tackle)
  7. With flour-dusted palms, condition the balls into fish cakes and evenly flour equally sides
  8. Heat a person tbsp of rapeseed oil in a large frying pan and prepare dinner 4 of the fish cakes for about 5 minutes on each individual facet
  9. Repeat with the remaining 4 fish cakes and provide alongside salad or veggies

Read through ALSO Alex Talks Diet program: Targeted visitors gentle technique to aid you set the brakes on much too much salt + my hidden wholefoods heaven in Stortford + make your individual inventory from vegetable scraps

Read through ALSO Alex Talks Diet program: I want my passion for wholesome ingesting to bear fruit with Bishop’s Stortford Impartial audience