The sustainability of seafood can vary significantly depending on how and where it has been caught or farmed. Many single species are caught or farmed in different ways and by different methods. The range displayed here reflects Irish sourced seafood only and may differ from the sustainability range in the UK or other European countries.
To find out more on the sustainability of the species featured in our historical recipes click on 'sustainability info' (button to the right).
'Best choices' are rated 1 (dark green) and 2 (light green), 'Seafood to avoid' are rated 5 (red). Ratings 3 (yellow) and 4 (amber) mean 'Think' and 'Don't eat too often', as there might be better alternatives.
The question mark icon indicates that this particular seafood is under review or there are insufficient data to assess the sustainability of this seafood and it cannot be given a rating at this point in time.
We created each sustainability rating to our best knowledge and based on current information available. The template is modelled on the system developed by the Marine Conservation Society (UK) to help consumers and businesses choose the most sustainable seafood.
For September we have a sophisticated and delicious oyster dish! Cian O'Leary reimagined this recipe for you. Cian is a professional chef who's gorgeous creations have been enjoyed by many not to mention big names such as Joe Biden during his stay at Farmleigh House and Prince Charles and Camilla on their visit to Ireland. A Galway man himself, he is the perfect candidate to take on our historical oyster recipe and we're excited with what he came up with.
We created a google map of fishmongers and seafood shops in and around Dublin where you can get your seafood for your recipe. This list is by no means exhaustive and if you can't find your local or favourite seafood shop here or you're a fishmonger who would like to be added, please get in touch and we will update our map.
Enjoy your seafood experience!
Click on the oyster to find out about its history and ecology.
Our September recipe is based on a historical oyster loaves recipe by Ceres from 1769 out of her cookbook "A Lady's companion: or accomplish'd director of the whole art of cookery".
The recipe we give you here was reimagined and adjusted to the modern taste by the talented Cian O'Leary. It's the perfect dish to impress your family and friends with. One great thing about this recipes is that you can cut corners in some places (like Ceres did herself in her recipe), for example, if you don't want to make the bread buns from scratch, you can just buy "French bread" or some buns to your taste. And if you feel that the Kinsale mead in the oyster soup is just a wee bit too expensive you can swop it with Guinness.
And just because it is oyster season now and we are uber-excited about this we give you two ways to enjoy your oysters - a historical recipe or naked oysters.
So whatever way you fancy your oysters is entirely up to you. We encourage you to at least try our historical recipe from 1767, you won't be disappointed! Have an amazing oyster experience!
Tips for shucking oysters: Watch Niall and Cordula shuck an oyster in the video below. The most important thing - be careful and have a good shucking knife, it doesn't even need to be expensive!!
Also, make sure your oyster is closed (nice and tight) and it doesn't loose any water.
Look out that the shell isn't damaged and that the oysters are cool and damp when you buy them.
If you don't eat them straight away, store them "cup" down (the heavy roundy bit) and that you keep them chilled and damp - this way they can last up to 8 days after you purchased them fresh from your local fishmonger.
Watch this step-by-step video on how to shuck an oyster with Niall Sabongi and Cordula Sherer. They are shucking the Irish rock oyster or Gigas a Pacific species introduced to Ireland in the early 1970s.
Oyster soup with Kinsale mead served in individual bread cups
prep: 90mins; cook: 40mins (bread buns) 20mins (oyster soup); difficulty level: medium; serves 4 as main and 8 as starter
Ingredients for the Bread Buns
350ml warm water
500g strong white flour
70g caster sugar
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbps olive oil
1 tbsp cornmeal
1 egg white
1 tbsp water
7g dried yeast
In large bowl dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy. About 10 min.
Add salt, oil and 2/3 of the flour to the yeast mixture. Beat well.
Stir in remaining flour a small bit at a time, beating well with an electric mixer.
When the dough has pulled together scoop out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Lightly oil a large bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until it doubles in volume. 40 min approx.
Punch dough down (knock back) and divide into 4 or 8 equal portions depending on whether you make them as a starter (8) or main course (4). Shape each portion into equally sized round loafs. Place loaves on lightly greased baking sheets and sprinkle with cornmeal. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. 35 min approx.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
In a small bowl beat together egg whites and 1 tablespoon of water and lightly brush the loaves with half the egg wash.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 min. Brush with remaining egg wash mixture for another 10-15 min until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.
To make bowls. Cut a half inch thick slice from the top of each loaf. Scoop out the centre leaving half inch thick shell. The bread shells are ready to be filled.
Ingredients for the Oyster Soup
12 oysters (shucked) and juice saved
2 shallots finely diced
3 slices smoked streaky bacon cut into thin slices (julienne)
70ml dry mead. Kinsale mead works well (you can use Guinness instead)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 cloves of garlic crushed
4 sage leaves finely chopped
1 small bunch of flat parsley finely chopped
6 scallions or spring onions finely chopped
1 medium-sized potato cut into 1cm cubes
100ml fish stock
100ml chicken stock
150ml double cream
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pper to season
In a thick base pot melt butter and sweet of shallots, garlic and sage on a low heat til the shallots go soft.
Add the slieces of smoked streaky bacon. Cook for a further 10mins.
Add the mead and juice from the oysters and reduce the liquor by half.
Add the fish and chicken stock and bring to the boil. At this point add the cubed potato and the pinch of nutmeg. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Stiring occasionally. Simmer for 10min approx until the potato cubes are soft but not brittle.
Add the cream and bring to the boil again. Reduce by one quarter. When the mixture thickens and would coat the back of your spoon add the scallions or spring onions, flat leaf parsley and lastly your oysters. Cook for a further two minutes. Season with the lemon juice, salt and pepper.
To assembly the dish put the bread bowls into the oven preheated to 150 degrees Celsius for about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove and place on plates.
Carefully ladle in the oyster soup putting 3 oysters a serving in each bread bowl. Place the top of the bread loaf over the opening.
All that's left then is to eat it. Enjoy!
Just shuck your Natives or Gigas as shown in our video and enjoy them straight from the shell. Sprinkle a bit of lemon juice onto it if you like. YUM!
We have now completed our archival work to identify historical, local seafood recipes of the Dublin coast communities. We searched through the archive of the National Library of Ireland on Kildare street in Dublin, and visited the National Folklore Collections at University College Dublin (UCD). To optimise our outcome we listened to sound archives from the Urban Folklore Project carried out by UCD in 1979-1980. Even though our archival work is officially completed now, we keep our ears and eyes open for any seafood recipes that may have been commonly used in Dublin up to the 1950s. If you have a seafood recipe from your Nana or parents or greatgreat grandparents, please get in touch with us. We would love to hear from you!
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Below you will find all the recipes we cooked. You can cook them anytime until they are out of season. Information on the seasons can be found in the sustainability section of each recipe or in our seasonality summary chart. Enjoy your sustainable seafood!