Light, colourful, tasty, quickly cooked and at its best in summer, Irish seafood is perfect for barbecues and casual entertaining.

These favourite recipes are from From Tide To Table – All You Need To Know About Buying, Preparing & Cooking Seafood, with photography by Paul Sherwood which was originally published in association with Bord Iascaigh Mhara and has become a go-to reference for all things fish and seafood.
A complete user-friendly guide to buying, preparing and cooking the wide variety of fish and seafood caught or harvested in Irish waters, From Tide To Table gives home cooks the low-down on all the basic cooking methods, and the sauces, side dishes and accompaniments (including sea vegetables) that pair best with fish and seafood. Dishes featured include ideas for every occasion - wonderful chowders, great classics like prawn cocktail and grilled sole on the bone, comfort food, family fare and gorgeous seafood party platters.

* Available from good bookshops (ISBN: 978-1-903164-358), and online from From Tide To Table – All You Need To Know About Buying, Preparing & Cooking Seafood is priced at €20 (p&p free in Ireland).

Grilled Mackerel with Three Tomato Salad and Bruschetta
If cooking mackerel on the barbecue try using a hinged wire rack, which makes it easier to turn the fish over during cooking and helps to prevent them from sticking to the grill. Be careful not to overcook the mackerel, as they dry out easily. This mixed tomato salad is visually striking and the different varieties of tomatoes have their own individual textures and flavours. Serves 4

4 whole mackerel, gutted and cleaned
8 slices sourdough / country-style bread, cut on the diagonal
1 garlic clove, halved olive oil, for drizzling

For The Three Tomato Salad
2 beef tomatoes, thinly sliced
4 ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
100g (4oz) sunagold or baby plum cherry tomatoes, halved
1 shallot, thinly sliced
handful fresh basil leaves, shredded
6 tbsp balsamic and honey dressing (see below)
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the grill or prepare a barbecue with medium-hot coals. Slash the mackerel through the thickest part and cook directly on a grill rack for 6-7 minutes on each side until cooked through and lightly charred.
Add the sliced bread to the grill rack for the last minute or two of cooking, turning once. Rub with the cut side of the garlic clove and drizzle a little olive oil over each one. Keep warm.
Meanwhile, make the three tomato salad: Arrange the beef tomatoes in a single layer on the base of a large serving plate, then scatter over the tomato wedges and finish with a pile of the cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle over the shallots and basil and then drizzle the balsamic and honey dressing on top. Add a good grinding of pepper.
Serve the mackerel on plates with the bruschetta and hand the tomato salad around separately so that your guests can help themselves.

Balsamic And Honey Dressing
A variation of classic French vinaigrette that works well with the mackerel recipe above. You can adapt it to your own personal taste by using red or white wine vinegar, or experiment with different oils (some variations are suggested in From Tide To Table). This makes enough to dress a good-sized green or mixed salad

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon honey
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, crushed
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the vinegar in a screw-topped jar and add the honey and a good pinch of salt, then shake until the salt has dissolved. Add the oil to the jar with the garlic and shake again until a thick emulsion forms. Season to taste and chill until needed.

Salmon Teriyaki Sticks with Asian Noodle Salad
This is a great way of cooking salmon and, as the skewers are only brushed with honey just before serving, there is no danger of them sticking to the pan and burning before the salmon is cooked. Remember to soak the bamboo skewers if you are using the grill, so they won’t catch light whilst cooking. Serves 4

675g/1½ lb skinless salmon fillet, pin bones removed
4 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp caster sugar
2 tbsp mirin (Japanese rice wine) or dry sherry
2 tbsp sunflower oil plus extra for brushing
2 tsp Dijon mustard
juice of ½ lemon
4 tbsp runny honey
To Serve: Asian noodle salad (see below)

Soak twelve bamboo skewers in cold water for at least 30 minutes. Cut the salmon into long, thin strips no more than 2.5cm/1 inch wide and about 5mm / ¼ inch thick.
Place the soy sauce in a shallow non-metallic dish. Stir in the caster sugar, mirin or sherry, sunflower oil, mustard and lemon juice until well combined and the sugar has dissolved. Add the salmon strips, stirring to coat, and set aside for 15 minutes to allow the flavours to develop.
Preheat the grill or prepare a barbecue with medium-hot coals. Thread the marinated salmon onto the soaked bamboo skewers in a zig-zag fashion. Brush with a little extra oil and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until just tender and lightly charred.
Heat the honey in a small pan or in the microwave. Remove the salmon teriyaki sticks from the grill and brush with the warm honey. Arrange three sticks on each plate with the Asian noodle salad to serve.

Asian Noodle Salad
This salad is packed with great textures and flavours. You can experiment by using different types of noodles but glass noodles work well as they soak up the sauce a treat. They also provide a contrast in texture to the crunch of the pepper, spring onions and cucumber.

225g/8oz Thai glass noodles
1 tsp sesame oil
1 large red pepper, halved, seeded and finely sliced
6 spring onions, finely shredded
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely sliced
handful fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped

For the Dressing (Serves 4-6)
4 tbsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
4 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
11/2  tsp sugar & 1 crushed garlic clove 

Cook or soak the noodles according to packet instructions. Drain well and then toss with the sesame oil. Fold in the red pepper, spring onions and cucumber.
To make the dressing, place the Thai fish sauce in a small bowl with the lime juice, chilli flakes, sugar and garlic. Whisk until well combined and then add to the noodles, stirring until evenly combined.
If time allows, cover with clingfilm and leave for about 2 hours to absorb all the flavours. Just before serving, fold in the fresh coriander.

Wok-Fried Clams with Spring Onions, Chilli & Ginger Butter
This recipe is from Martin Shanahan, of the famed Fishy Fishy restaurant in Kinsale, County Cork. He suggests using 'carpetshell’ clams (or 'palourdes’, as they are known in France) as they are so tender and sweet. This really does them justice and it is a very popular way of cooking clams in the restaurant. Serves 4

1 kg/2½ lb fresh clams, washed
60g/2¼ oz butter
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2 tbsp shredded fresh root ginger
2 spring onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander plus extra to garnish

Rinse the clams quickly in cold running water. Place in a pan with a tight fitting lid and steam for 2 minutes until opened; discard any that do not open.
Heat a wok or large frying pan until almost smoking. Add the butter, sweet chilli sauce, ginger, spring onions and coriander, and use a spoon to mix together quickly.
Tip the steamed clams into the wok, and toss a couple of times, so that all the sauce coats the clams. Transfer to warmed bowls, garnish with a little more coriander and serve at once.
Variation: Substitute the clams with mussels and steam initially for 2-3 minutes.

Seafood Paella
From a recipe ‘collected in Spain by Donegal medics Paul and Bella Stewart’, this is a more-ish variation on a great classic dish as given in Prannie Rhatigan’s Irish Seaweed Kitchen. “Alaria and sea spaghetti add the final layer of sea flavours to this dish”, she says. “Great for a special occasion and even more idyllic if you can cook it outdoors...” Serves 4

Seaweed UsedSea Spaghetti, Alaria
2-4 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped finely
4-6 cloves garlic, sliced finely
450g/1lb long grain rice, white
4-5 teaspoons sea spaghetti, dried and ground
2-3 tsp turmeric, or 1 tsp crushed saffron
1 litre/1¾ pints vegetable stock
125g/4½ oz garden peas
1 red pepper, diced
Selection of Fish
2 medium squid, cut into strips
24 mussels, 6 per person, scrubbed and beards removed
24 clams, rinsed under running tap water, or a mix of shellfish and crab claws in season
To Serve:
parsley, chopped
1 tsp Alaria, dried and ground
2 organic lemons and/ or limes, quartered

Heat half the olive oil and half the butter in a large frying/ paella pan
over moderate heat, add the onion and fry gently for about 2 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted
spoon and set aside.
Add the rice, sea spaghetti and turmeric, if using and mix well. If using saffron add with the stock. Return the onion and garlic to the pan and add the vegetable stock. Reduce the heat and cook slowly for 10-15 minutes, adding the peas and red pepper towards the end of the cooking time.
When the rice is almost cooked, place the remaining butter and oil into a separate pan over moderate heat. When hot, add the squid and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the rice dish.
Add the prepared mussels to the pan and cook until they open, then transfer to the rice dish.
Cook the clams and add to the cooked rice dish. Mix gently.


  • Arrange the quartered lemons and sprinkle with parsley and Alaria.
  • Serve from the paella pan in the centre of the table and leave extra Alaria and parsley in small dishes for sprinkling.
  • Dried seaweed can be prepared in several ways - in a hot or slow oven, in a dehydrator, in a pan or under a grill. For the slow method, place in a cool oven 105.F/40.C or dehydrator and leave overnight. When all moisture has been expelled and the seaweed is crisp, crush and use as required. Store excess in a sealed container.

Summer Seafood Linguine Marinara
The best way to treat fresh seafood is simply and this recipe is perfect for lazy summer evenings when you just want something light. An important part of this dish is getting the pasta just right, so the slightly firm texture of the pasta contrasts with the soft shellfish. Serves 4

1.75kg/4lb mussels, clams and cockles, cleaned
4 tbsp dry white wine
350g/12oz linguine
4 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
300ml/1/2 pint passata rustica (crushed tomatoes)
2 tbsp torn fresh basil
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the mussels, clams and cockles in a pan with a lid and pour over the wine. Cover tightly and cook over a high heat for a few minutes, shaking the pan occasionally until all the shellfish have opened - discard any that do not. Strain through a sieve, reserving 150ml/¼ pint of the cooking liquor, and leaving behind any grit.
Meanwhile, twirl the linguine into a pan of boiling salted water; stir once and then cook for 10-12 minutes until al dente, or according to instructions on the packet. (Use the bite test to check; fresh pasta will take less time than dried.)
Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan and add the garlic and chilli, then sauté for about 20 seconds. Pour in the passata and add the reserved cooking liquor. Bring to a gentle simmer and then stir in the cooked shellfish with basil and parsley. Season to taste and allow to just warm through.
Rinse the pasta under cold running water and drain well. Return to the pan, then pour in the seafood sauce and fold together until well combined. Divide among warmed pasta bowls and serve at once.

*** Priced at €20 (p&p free in Ireland) From Tide To Table – All You Need To Know About Buying, Preparing & Cooking Seafood is currently available from good bookshops, ISBN: 978-1-903164-358 and online from


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