Sustainable seafood recipes

Fish & Co's banana prawns with chillli and caramel sauce.
Fish & Co's banana prawns with chillli and caramel sauce. 

Sydney-based chef Tom Kime is a passionate opponent of the plundering of the world's oceans for seafood.

The head chef of Fish and Co cafe in Annandale is a supporter of the Marine Stewardship Council and has used his restaurant and food as a platform to alert the public about depleting fish stocks and encourage consumers to think about the impact of their shopping and eating choices.

Here he has shared two of his favourite recipes using MSC-certified Australian seafood with readers.


This dish is a visual feast of contrasting colours and textures. It looks vibrant and  exciting on the plate. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has certified Australian Banana prawns from the Northern prawn fishery as sustainable.

Serves 4

300g cooked banana prawns, peeled and halved
4 green shallots, finely chopped
4 sprigs fresh mint, leaves picked
4 sprigs fresh coriander, leaves picked
2 sprigs of fresh dill, leaves picked
2 sprigs of Thai basil, leaves picked
4cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
50g of palm sugar or soft brown sugar
2 limes, juiced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons blanched peanuts,roasted


To make the dressing finely chop the garlic, chilli and ginger. Heat a splash of oil and fry the ingredients over a moderate heat until fragrant and aromatic, about 2 minutes. Add the palm sugar to the pan and allow to slowly caramelise. When golden brown add the lime juice and fish sauce.

Tear the herbs and finely slice the green shallots. Mix them with the cooked prawns and season well, with a little salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Mix with a little dressing.

To serve: Divide the salad into four bowls and scatter over the golden,roasted peanuts

Fish & Co's fillet of Coorong yellow eye with oregano, garlic and chilli.
Fish & Co's fillet of Coorong yellow eye with oregano, garlic and chilli. 

Tip: Only add the herbs when you are ready to serve because the acidity of the dressing will turn the leaves black.


Fillets of mullet are perfect served as individual portions, and are easy to cook in a variety of ways. Mullet is very good for you as a source of omega 3, and because this oil is just underneath the skin the flesh is soft textured, not oily like a sardine or mackerel. This type of fish can take a variety of seasonings and spices from different cuisines. Here, fillets are grilled or fried and then marinated so they take on lots of flavour.

Serves 4–6

1/2 bunch of fresh oregano or marjoram leaves (save half for the garnish)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pinch of crushed dried red chilli
olive oil
1 Coorong mullet per person, butterfly filleted and pin-boned

For the marinade:
2 garlic cloves
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp red wine vinegar

Place half the oregano leaves in a pestle and mortar with a pinch of salt and the dried chilli. Crush the leaves to a green pulp. Add enough oil to make it into a spreadable paste. Season the mullet on the flesh and skin side with some salt and black pepper. Spread some of the green herb paste onto each small fish.

Tip: Make the marinade before you grill the fish, as they take no time to cook.

Cut the garlic cloves in half, remove the green central shoot and discard. Finely slice the garlic lengthways into thin slithers. Finely chop the red chilli. Roughly chop the remaining oregano or marjoram leaves.

Heat a small pan and add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the sliced garlic and fry to a pale golden brown, then remove the oil from the heat. With a slotted spoon, remove the garlic and drain on kitchen paper so that they crisp up into little chips. Do not overcook them in the oil as they will become bitter if too dark.

Add the fresh red chilli to the small pan with the remaining olive oil and the lemon zest and juice and the red wine vinegar and leave to steep. You are not cooking these ingredients just allowing them to infuse, like when making tea.

Preheat a char-grill, griddle pan or overhead grill so that it is hot. Grill the mullet fillets for 2 minutes on each side and then remove from the grill and arrange in a shallow dish. Pour the garlic and lemon oil with the chilli over the grilled mullet fillets. Scatter the golden-brown flakes of garlic over the top and leave to marinate for at least 10 minutes.

Before serving scatter over the remaining roughly chopped marjoram or oregano leaves.

Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature as a starter or an antipasti dish, or as a main meal with salad or vegetable accompaniments.