The Beauty of Breaded Fish

What’s better than some good old breaded fish, served with fries, mashed potatoes, caponata or a crispy, refreshing salad? If you’re constantly on the go and don’t have much time to prepare your own food, our team at Azzopardi Fisheries – leading providers of fresh fish in Malta – has done the work for you.

The range of breaded fish we offer at Azzopardi Fisheries:

  • Fish fingers
  • Breaded tomatoes and cod
  • Breaded mozzarella cod
  • Breaded spinach cod
  • Breaded cod
  • Breaded fish nuggets

Breading your own fish

Of course, if you feel like getting a little messy, you could buy fresh fish and bread them yourself. Breading fish to fry, bake or broil is an easy and delicious way of cooking white fish. All you’ll need to prepare are 3 shallow dishes: one for the flour (with optional lemon-pepper seasoning), one for the egg, and one for the bread crumbs (the smaller, the better). Beat the egg lightly and dip one fish piece at a time, first in the flour, then in the egg. Once you’ve let the excess egg drip off, coat the fish in the breadcrumbs on both sides as evenly as possible.

Sauté the fish in a pan over medium heat for 3-5 minutes on each side, or until the breadcrumb coating turns a golden colour. Serve with optional lemon quarters on the side. Your kids and guests will love it!

Come over to Azzopardi Fisheries in St. Paul’s Bay, where we offer some of the tastiest seafood on the island, including the widest range of fresh fish Malta has to offer, as well as frozen breaded fish for those days you want to take a break. Having been in the business for over 30 years, we know a thing or two about the fruits of the sea. Our friendly staff is always helpful and willing to go that extra mile in order to provide a customer service experience that’s second to none!

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Create the perfect seafood platter

Who’s in the mood for food – more specifically, seafood? With summer now in full swing, we Maltese certainly are. Seafood is the perfect lighter alternative to meat or heavy pasta dishes; it’s fresh, tasty and healthy. Platters are an ideal way of combining all your favourite fruits of the sea and can be served as an appetiser or a snack to share with friends or family over a glass of wine. Read below for some tips on how to create the perfect seafood platter, brought to you by Azzopardi Fisheries, beloved provider of fresh fish in Malta.

Choose the Freshest Produce

When picking seafood, choose items that have a salty smell with a fresh aroma, but avoid those with an overpowering fishy odour. Don’t choose anything with dull or dark spots on the surface, and keep an eye out for those with bright colours. Fresh seafood usually has firm flesh and shiny shells which are not dry. For more tips on choosing fresh fish in Malta, have a look at our previous blog!

Salt and Ice Makes Everything Nice

To prevent ice from melting on the platter, sprinkle a small amount of salt around the surface of the dish. Cover the whole base with crushed ice, with an additional layer of salt on top, and finish with yet another thin layer of ice.

Prawn to be Wild

Prawdon the pun, but any seafood platter would be lacking something without these pink, succulent morsels of goodness. Opt for King Prawns, as they have a particularly rich flavour, with flesh that is moist and medium-firm. Those from Argentina are especially renowned for markedly sweeter taste and much larger size when compared to regular prawns.

Hustle for some Mussels

Mussels are often the pièce de résistance of a perfect seafood platter. The ideal way to serve them is steamed and marinated in dry white wine. Don’t forget to discard any mussels whose shells did not open whilst cooking.

Savour the Salmon

Fill any spaces left in your platter with either smoked salmon or even some raw sashimi. You can even pair it with avocado, and have an extra plate with plain biscuits or crackers with cream cheese so guests can create their own side snacks!

Be the Perfect Host and Provide Finger Bowls

Eating seafood can be messy, especially with all the oils and seasoning involved. Fill up some small bowls with two slices of lemon and warm water, so that guests can clean their fingers throughout the meal.

Here at Azzopardi Fisheries we have been providing fresh seafood in Malta for many years. Come over to our stores in St. Paul’s Bay, where our experienced staff will help you in your search for the freshest fruits of the sea!

 
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3 Marvellous Fish Marinades for the Grill

It’s time to hit the grill! There’s nothing like the smell of food cooking away on the BBQ outside during a lazy summer’s day. And it’s certainly no different when it comes to fish. Dress up your dish and make it spark with flavour with one of these fish marinades, brought to you by the leading provider of fresh fish in Malta – Azzopardi Fisheries.

Asian Marinade for Swordfish

Also delicious with a thick salmon steak, this marinade is a must-try. You’ll need ¼ cup of lemon juice, ¼ cup of sake, ¼ chopped cilantro, 2 tsp soy sauce, 4 cloves of garlic, 2 tbsp vegetable oil and 1 tsp lemon zest. Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl, and leave the fish to marinate for 1 hour, ideally at room temperature. Afterwards, grill for about 3-5 minutes, or until you are satisfied with the taste and texture.

 

Dijon Honey Mustard for Tuna Steaks

This is a great recipe to use if you are serving tuna with salad – it adds an irresistible flavour to both the fish and the vegetables. Grab 2tbsp dijon honey mustard, 2tsp soy sauce, 1tbsp extra virgin olive oil and 2 tbsp white vinegar. Mix all these ingredients in a bowl, and pour them over the tuna steaks in a way that ensures all sides are coated. Leave the tuna in the fridge for a few hours before cooking, covering the bowl or container. Grill the tuna for approximately 5-7 minutes.

 

Brown Sugar and Soy Sauce for Salmon

Incredibly tasty and easy to prepare, this marinade is sure to impress guests, family and friends alike! All you need is ⅓ cup soy sauce, ⅓ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup vegetable oil and ⅓ cup water. Combine all the ingredients, and continue mixing until all the sugar has dissolved. Season your salmon fillets with garlic powder, lemon pepper and salt to taste.

Pour the marinade over the fish, and place it in a large, resealable bag, leaving it there for roughly 2 hours. Finally, grill the salmon for 6-8 minutes on each side, or wait until the fish flakes when gently prodded with a fork.

Spice up your summer with the best fresh fish in Malta, courtesy of none other than Azzopardi Fisheries in St. Paul’s Bay. We’ve got some of the tastiest and most diverse seafood choices on the island, from swordfish steaks to breaded fish. Check out our shellfish selection of lobsters, octopus, mussels and razor clams, and don’t hesitate to ask our friendly and helpful assistants in store for assistance.

 

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Useful Tips for Barbecuing Fish

Grilling fish on the barbecue can be immensely rewarding, and can be a refreshing change from burgers and sausages. Served whole or as fillets, fish pairs superbly with the smoky, hearty flavour that comes from barbecuing. Since we at Azzopardi Fisheries offer a varied selection of fresh fish in Malta, we thought we’d share some useful tips for barbecuing fish.

 

Keep the skin on

Fish is much more delicate and flakier than meat, which is a big reason why most prefer to steer clear of it when barbecuing. Instead of removing the skin, leave it on while grilling – this will help to keep the fillet in one place and prevent it from falling apart. Many chefs actually suggest eating the fish with the skin intact instead of removing it after cooking – it leaves a delicious crispy texture, especially with mackerel or trout.

 

Prep the BBQ before grilling

The last thing you want is for the fish to stick to the grill, while you stand there awkwardly in front of your guests doing your best to scrape it off as they wait hungrily in the background. Make sure it’s piping hot beforehand, and that you have greased the BBQ with rag or vegetable oil as a preventative measure. When you place the fish on the grill, leave the skin-side facing down.

 

Wrap it in newspaper

This technique not only adds more flavour, but it also keeps the fish juicy and soft. Wrap the fish in several layers of paper, tie it together to form a package and then allow it to soak in water for a while before grilling.

 

A marinade can make all the difference

The great thing about grilling fish is that there are so many different herbs, spices and oils that pair well with it. Before placing the fish on the BBQ, we recommend soaking it in a marinade of your choice for about 20 minutes in the fridge. Salt and pepper should be added afterwards.

 

Use a fish (or grill) basket

Flipping fish on a grill can be a tricky and difficult process; many cooks advise not doing it at all if your fillet isn’t thick or meaty enough. Instead, consider investing in a fish basket. This is a valuable tool that makes it easy for you turn the fish over by flipping the basket instead, keeping it from breaking into pieces. Fish baskets come in all shapes and sizes – mostly oval, square and rectangular.

 

With summer fast approaching, we’re sure that most of you foodies out there have already brought out the BBQs and sent out the Facebook invites to your first big summer shindig. Visit Azzopardi Fisheries in St. Paul’s Bay and help yourself to our wide range of fresh fish in Malta – and if any of you have any tips for barbecuing fish, let us know in the comments!
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Ways of using smoked salmon

The taste, the texture, the flavour – we’re sure salmon among you knows what we’re talking about! Smoked salmon has now become a staple of the everyman’s refrigerator, partly because of its delicious and unique flavour, and also due to its wide versatility. Don’t leave it lying there in the cold – our team at Azzopardi Fisheries, popular providers of fresh fish in Malta, have put together a few ways of using smoked salmon.

Bring it out for breakfast

Whether served on scrambled eggs or in an omelette, smoked salmon makes for a tasty and healthy breakfast ingredient; it’s a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium and a number of vitamins which help to prevent depression and are highly beneficial for eye health. Besides this, who can resist juicy layers of salmon spread out on hot, buttery toast and eggs first thing in the morning?

Brie & Salmon Cucumber Bites

Feeling fancy? These delicious cheesy morsels are perfect for entertaining guests, and they’re not even complicated to prepare either. Simply bake chunks of brie for about 12 minutes in the oven, add some capers, garlic and scallions, and then spoon the mixture onto cucumber rounds – adding a topping of smoked salmon and dill.

Use it in a pasta sauce

Smoked salmon is one of the most flavoursome ingredients you can add to a pasta recipe, preferably served with a creamy base. Combine it with capers, onions, and olive oil to create a simple yet classic sauce. Use leftover salmon trimmings to cook up a carbonara with cream, eggs and chives for an indulgent dinner treat.

Serve up a summer salad

Quick, easy and perfect for the hot Maltese summers, a smoked salmon salad is ideal for a light yet nutritious lunch or supper. Grab your favourite greens (spinach, lettuce, celery) and mix them together with cucumber, tomatoes and perhaps some avocado for a variety of textures and flavours. Season with vinegar, oil, pepper, sea salt and lemon juice.

Pack a lunch-to-go with a smoked salmon sandwich

Another great summer snack, salmon sandwiches are easy to prepare and very healthy too. The best pairing is, of course, a thick cream cheese to complement the sweet flavour of the fish. Add some Greek yoghurt and dill as an extra layer of topping along with capers and tomatoes; use your favourite sandwich bread to complete the recipe (you can never go wrong with a bagel!)

Visit Azzopardi Fisheries in St. Paul’s Bay, where we have a variety of smoked fish in Malta, including a wide selection of smoked salmon: Smoked Salmon Gravlax, Smoked Salmon Superior and even Smoked Salmon trimmings. If any of you would like to share any ways of using smoked salmon, feel free to do so in the comments – we love hearing your ideas!
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Top 5 Fish Perfect for Barbecuing

When barbecuing meat, we can only eat so much steak before it starts to weigh us down, and with the arrival of summer, why not try cooking up something lighter and healthier on the grill? Grilling fish tends to be a bit trickier than meat. That said, certain types of fish make better choices than others, and some more delicate fillets just aren’t suited for grilling at all. That’s why our team at Azzopardi Fisheries has come up with a guide to help you choose the best fish for barbecuing.

1. Tuna

We’re obviously not referring to the canned stuff here – we’re talking about thick, fresh cuts of tuna steaks that you can season freely and throw on the grill without worrying it’ll fall through. Tuna steak boasts a distinct flavour, and its thickness makes it a perfect fish to sear and cook to medium rare.

2. Snapper

Snapper is a great mild white fish, whose skin helps keep the tasty meat from getting overcooked when grilling. Although it can be cooked in portioned fillets, this ever-popular fish stands up to the grill well when cooked whole. A hearty snapper may very well become your new spring or summertime grill favourite!

3. Salmon

This popular oily fish has become quite a staple in Malta, as it’s meaty enough to satisfy the hungriest mouths, yet light enough for the calorie-counters at table. Its somewhat strong flavour lends itself nicely to the smokiness that the grill will impart. Whether you cook it as a steak or a fillet, salmon can withstand the heat of the grill while keeping its distinct flavour.

4. Mahi Mahi

Mahi mahi – also known as dorado or dolphinfish – is a flavourful white fish. With a firm texture that makes it wonderful for grilling, not only is this seafood one of the more sustainable options out there, it’s also meaty and delicately flavoured.

5. Swordfish

Of all the types of fish you could grill, swordfish may possibly be the best choice. It’s very firm texture means you’ll get great grill marks. It tastes delicious whether seasoned with olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper or not. Although a mild-tasting fish, it holds up great on the grill. You’ll find this fish sold as steaks — whether you want to cook it whole or cut it up and skewer it, it’ll surely be the star of your meal.

When choosing a fish for grilling, it’s important to consider how firm it is. Going for delicate fish won’t fare so well on an open flame, as they are more likely to become flaky, break apart or fall through the grates. So forget about burgers and hot dogs – fish is awesome on the grill and a much better option for a well-balanced diet. Choose from a great selection of seafood – visit Malta’s favourite fishmonger – Azzopardi Fisheries!

 

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Razor Clams: Choosing, Cleaning & Cooking Guidelines

Razor clams are obscure creatures which despite their foreboding name, are not only edible, but delicious. Their fine white flesh is similar to squid, resembling the latter more than some of its closer relatives. Our team at Azzopardi Fisheries – your favourite fish shop in Malta – share some tips on how to prepare razor clams by choosing, cooking and cleaning them.

Buying

Make sure razor clams are alive and fresh. Poke the white fleshy part gently and if it wriggles back inside the shell, this indicates freshness. However, don’t keep razor clams immersed in fresh water as they’ll drown.

Cleaning

Knowing how to clean and prepare razor clams before cooking is necessary, yet it is a process which takes some time as each one needs to be checked separately. Check whether the clams are closed – any open shells should close when gently tapped – if not, you should discard them. If the outside of the shells are damaged, they too should be discarded. Once everything is checked, place all the clams in a colander and continually run cold water over them to get rid of any excess sand.

Cooking

The classic method for cooking razor clams is steaming them in a tasty liquid, perhaps with a dash of wine and onions and garlic. However, there are plenty of other options as razor clams’ sweet, delicate meat goes well with to a wide variety of flavours. Some opt for chilli with grated Parmesan and add breadcrumbs for added texture.

We suggest dicing them and presenting them in the shell with delicate pairings of spring onion and almond. If you’re going for a meatier texture, how about trying them with bacon, baby asparagus and seaweed? The options are endless! Before eating, be sure to remove the ‘foot’ and cut out the central dark intestinal tract, leaving only the firm white lam meat. Just avoid overcooking razor clams as they can become tough quite quickly!

Whatever the recipe or cooking method you choose to prepare razor clams, be sure to purchase some of the best from our wide selection of fresh fish and seafood at Azzopardi Fisheries! Keep up to date with news and competitions by following us on Facebook and LinkedIn!

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4 Traditional Maltese Seafood Dishes

Fact: we take seafood pretty seriously in Malta. With our generous selection of fresh seasonal fish caught all year round, who can blame us? The proverbial fruit of the sea is arguably some of the most delicious in the Mediterranean, so if  your love for seafood is abundant, read on to discover some incredible Maltese seafood dishes!

Our team at Azzopardi Fisheries – renowned vendors of fresh fish in Malta – decided to pay homage to our local cuisine by highlighting four of the most-loved, traditional Maltese seafood dishes.

1. Fish Soup (Aljotta)

Aljotta is possibly the epitome of Maltese Cuisine. This hearty, wintery meal is jam-packed with local produce such as garlic, fresh tomatoes, olive oil, local white wine, lemon, onions and needless to say, fresh fish. On occasion, some even choose to add rice into the tasty seafood concoction.

Perhaps the best thing about aljotta is the fact that it’s served all year round and doesn’t rely solely on one specific type of fish. What’s even better is the fact that it’s also incredibly easy to prepare, so you needn’t be a seasoned (excuse the pun!) chef to try your hands at this flavoursome dish!

2. Lampuki Pie (Torta tal-Lampuki)

The Lampuki Pie is a delicious mixture of fresh and pickled vegetables, an assortment of herbs and of course, lampuka – enveloped in either crumbly shortcrust or crunchy puff pastry – depending on how sinful you’d like to make your dish! Pie mixtures may vary from household to household, as it certainly depends on the available ingredients in one’s pantry. But staple ingredients every Lampuka Pie (apart from the star ingredient) must have are: spinach, olives and capers.

3. Grilled Swordfish (Pixxispad Mimli)

The most common way of preparing the fish is grilling, in order to preserve the rich, full flavour of the fish steak. Common pairings are white wine, lemon juice and lashings of olive oil.

4. Spaghetti with octopus sauce (Spaghetti biz-zalza tal-qarnit)

This is our take on the traditional Italian dish. The octopus is chopped and infused in a sauce of tomatoes, red wine, fresh herbs, onions, peas and black olives, which is then served over al dente spaghetti.

Not sure which kinds of Maltese seafood dishes to prepare? Visit Azzopardi Fisheries in St. Paul’s Bay to view our vast selection of fresh fish in Malta. If you’re lacking the inspiration, our friendly staff will surely help you decide what your next seafood dish should be!

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How to Fillet a Fish Skillfully

No matter the cooking method, freshly caught fish is a delicious treat whatever the occasion. Our team at Azzopardi Fisheries, popular providers of fresh fish in Malta – highlight essential factors to keep in mind when filleting fish.

1. Cut the fish

Lay the fish on one side. Cut just behind the top of the head until you hit the backbone. Just cut to the spine, not through it. Continue cutting in an arc shape around the fish’s head. You needn’t cut deeper than the backbone. Don’t cut the head off, just cut about halfway into the fish.

2. Cut the tail

Cut through the fish’s centre horizontally towards the tail. The knife will move vertically towards the backbone, which you can use as a guide to guarantee you’ll get a flat cut. Turn the fish on its other side, and repeat the above instructions.

3. Remove the ribcage

With a smaller knife, lift and remove the ribcage from inside the fillet. This will be the small, almost transparent set of bones on the lower third of fish fillet. This part generally comes off easily in one piece.

4. Scaling the fish

If you prefer cooking the fish with the skin on, use the blunt part of a knife for scaling. Apply a short, lifting motion from the tail to the head to quickly remove all the scales. If you’re not a fan of the skin, simply slide the knife between the fish and skin and cut the skin away.

5. If you want to cut steak pieces…

Using a sharp knife, cut the fish perpendicular to the backbone, going all the way through the spine to get thick, 1″ steaks. This method is common with bigger fish – like tuna and salmon – and retains the spine running through the middle of the fish.

6. (If desired) Cut off the head

You don’t have to; in fact, for some cooking methods it’s best to leave it on when filleting fish, as this is the part which adds flavour and depth. Nevertheless, if you do opt for this phase, make sure to cut the head directly behind the gills.

7. Removing the dorsal fin

It’s actually not necessary to remove this particular fin, but it is useful if you want to get rid of those really tiny bones left underneath. Hold the fin down near the tail and pull quickly – it will come off in just a single quick motion.

Filleting fish can be a tricky chore, so if you would like a helping hand, you can rely on our team at Azzopardi Fisheries in St. Paul’s Bay, who will gladly do the job for you. Come over and visit our store for the best selection of fresh fish in Malta.

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Fun Facts about Lobsters

Let’s face it: few dishes ooze as much flavour and deliciousness as much as a luscious plate of lobster. It’s a delicacy that’s loved all over the world, and in most societies it’s regarded as a status symbol due to its reputation as a rather fancy dish. Our team at Azzopardi Fisheries – suppliers of fresh fish in Malta – have compiled a few fun facts about lobsters for all you seafood fanatics out there.

They weren’t always meant for the upper crust of society

During colonial times, it was the poor and the working class who often used to eat lobsters, as well as prisoners or servants; it wasn’t until the late 1800s that the shellfish was recognised as a luxury food. There was such an overabundance of them that even children could run out to shore and catch them with a bucket and a few simple fishing tools. Farmers would use them to feed their stock or to fertilise their fields.

Cracking open a common myth: Lobsters don’t scream

Contrary to popular belief, the sound heard while the lobster cooks is air being forced out of the mouth after being trapped inside the stomach. Lobsters don’t actually have vocal cords or a pair of lungs. Many scientific institutes hold that due to their extremely primitive nervous systems, lobsters cannot even feel pain.

If we’re not eating them, they’re eating each other

Feeling guilty about that delicious plate of lobster you devoured last Sunday? Well, it’s likely that its own parents would have ended up eating it anyway! Biologists have recently discovered this strange phenomenon of lobster cannibalism, most likely provoked by climate change. Warmer temperatures cause these crustaceans to reproduce more rapidly, leading to an overpopulation and thus, more aggression amongst broods.

Get your claws on these health benefits

With a low amount of fat and plenty of protein, lobster meat is one of the healthiest types of seafood around. It has a rich, sweet flavour that is enhanced through a number of cooking methods, including grilling, baking or steaming. Avoid pairing it with overly creamy or buttery sides; instead, serve it with a fresh salad or a nice soup.

What the shell!

Lobsters caught between the months of July and October are considered the most delicious. During this period they are nicknamed “shedders” – referring to those which have recently moulted to swap their old shell for a new one. Next time you order a lobster, ask for one that is soft shelled – the meat is sweeter in taste and has a noticeably tender texture.

Enjoyed reading these fun facts about lobsters? Head over to Azzopardi Fisheries in St. Paul’s Bay, the top spot for fresh seafood in Malta. Don’t forget to check out our vast selection of fresh fish, both local and imported, while you’re here.

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