Monday, 18 April 2011

Sydney Fish Markets, Seafood School

The birthday festivities have started early this year with a trip to the Sydney Fish Markets Seafood School on Sunday to take their Seafood BBQ lesson. I hardly ever cook fish so it was great to get some hints and tips on what to do. Hopefully I'll be a bit more inspired going forward!

The four hour lesson started in a lecture theatre where we were given a demonstration on how to cook the five dishes that we would be tackling. The room was nicely decked out with four large TVs above the bench in case you weren't close enough to see what was happening on the chopping board.

Thai style squid salad

Our teacher was quite engaging and talked us clearly through each recipe. For someone reasonably unfamiliar with seafood it was good to get hints on what to look for when buying fish, which fish are in season and the best ways to cook them.

The best tip was how to de-vein a prawn without the need for butterflying it. The most random fact was how to tell the difference between a male and female mussel.

BBQ Garfish

After approximately an hour and a half of demonstrations we were led through to the kitchens. The kitchens were equally swish, with sweeping views of the trading floor and moody black walls. Divided into groups of five we were tasked with cooking all of the dishes we'd been shown before sitting down together to eat.

I thought it had been well planned with their being enough ingredients for us all to have a go at filleting and de-veining each fish. And what's the correct word for preparing a squid?

Yellowtail Kingfish

My only critique of the day would be that the cooking session was rather unstructured and one of the teachers floating round was pretty moody. We were left to our own devices quite a lot and I would have preferred if the teachers were around more to give us some hands on demonstrations / assistance at different points.

However, in all honesty the recipes were quite simple so we managed perfectly well on our own. And I didn't mind moody girl not being around and trying to sour the mood.

Blue mussels with garlic butter

After we'd cooked our lunch it was into the dining room to enjoy the food that we had prepared. Everything was very good. You could tell that we were eating top notch seafood, and even though I say so myself, we didn't cook it too badly either.

My favourite dishes were the prawns with charmoula (no photograph) and the BBQ garfish. The squid salad was also good, but I think I could zing it up with some more authentic Thai flavours that I learnt my Sailors Thai cookery lesson last year.


  1. Less keen on the mussels, the squid salad looks more my thing.

  2. How early are u celebrating your birthday?? Birthdays should be a looooong celebration ;)
    Keep meaning to check out the classes for SFM cooking school but life keeps getting in the way. Looks like heaps of good fun =)

  3. Just by looking at it makes me crave for more seafoods..Yummy!!

  4. Yellowtail kingfish looks kinda sunburnt and dry :(

  5. It does look like that and I feared that it was over cooked, however, it was still very rare in the middle.

    We were lucky enough to have sashimi grade yellow tail, so there was a minute on a very hot grill to get a crispy skin and then straight on the plate.

    I think the grill was a bit too hot as the inside was still a bit rare for me.