Whiting, and I’m talking about English whiting here, are seriously underrated as an eating fish.
When these English whiting caught by beach, boat or commercial anglers, they are thrown back in the main or turned into fish cakes. However, I like fish cakes and we have a good recipe later on.
However we are not talking about the undersize or “pin” whiting which seems to arrive inshore in huge numbers after dark. Pin whiting can be so prolific that they prevent you from catching anything else.
Whiting for Cats
As a boy in the 1960s I lived with my Great Aunt in Folkestone. She considered any size whiting only suitable for cat food along with pouting.
After some fishing from the harbour wall, the cats would be waiting patiently for me outside the kitchen window. My Aunt would steam them for the cats dinner.
“Whiting is similar in many ways to its severely endangered and overfished relative, the Atlantic cod. But whiting is considerably more delicate in both texture and flavour. Although this means whiting is the perfect sustainable substitute for cod in many recipes, we have to be careful to not overwhelm its delicate taste or cause it to break up due to inappropriately extensive or robust cooking techniques.”
I like to bake them with a crumble on top which gently cooks them and they can be slid onto the plate without falling into pieces.
Try using this recipe for Baked Whiting with Cream Cheese, Spinach and Garlic Crumble. It works really well with whiting.
Other Stuff You Maybe Interested in …..
Recipe – Baked Whiting with Cream Cheese, Spinach and Garlic Crumble
Baked Whiting with Cream Cheese, Spinach and Garlic Crumble
- 4 large Whiting Fillets
- 1 pinch Black Pepper
- 100 g Cream Cheese
- 2 cloves Garlic finely chopped
- 1 Lemon zest and juice
- 100 g Baby Spinach
- 50 ml Cream
- 80 g Fresh Breadcrumbs
- 1 bunch Fresh Parsley Flat Leaf
- 1 pinch Ground Nutmeg
- 1 handful Rocket Leaves
- Preheat the oven 200°C/ Fan 180°C/ Gas 6.
- Warm the cream in a medium-sized pot set over a medium heat, then add the baby spinach, garlic, nutmeg and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the spinach has wilted down.
- Place the cream cheese, half of the breadcrumbs and the lemon juice in a medium mixing bowl and mix well.
- Spread the cooked spinach and cream over the base of a baking dish. Lay the fish on top and cover with the cream cheese mixture.
- Mix the remaining breadcrumbs with the lemon zest, parsley and some salt and pepper, then sprinkle this over the fish. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the fish is cooked through and the breadcrumbs are golden. Serve with a rocket salad on the side.
Try one of these recipes from my cookbook …
Recipe – Thai Style Fish Cakes
Thai Style Fish Cakes
- 300 g whiting fillets
- sea salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil for drizzling
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil or olive oil for frying
- flour for dredging
For the Thai flavouring ingredients
- 3-4 lime leaves
- 1 large red chilli
- 4 cm piece fresh root ginger
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 stalks lemongrass
- 200 g potatoes cooked, mashed and cooled (about two medium potatoes)
- 2 tsp fish sauce or to taste
- small handful fresh coriander root included
- 1 lime juice only, or to taste
- fresh lime wedges
- ready-made sweet chilli sauce for dipping
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan °°180°C/Gas 6. Skin the fish and remove any bones.
- Place the fish in a roasting tray and season with sea salt and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 7-8 minutes, then remove from the oven and cool.
- While the fish is roasting, prepare the flavouring ingredients. Finely chop the lime leaves.
- Slice the chilli in half and remove the seeds. Finely chop.
- Peel the ginger and finely chop.
- Lightly crush the garlic cloves with the flat side of a knife blade, then peel and finely chop.
- Bruise the lemongrass stalks with a heavy knife. Trim off the root end and discard the tough outer leaves. Finely chop.
- Chop the lime leaves, chilli, ginger and lemongrass on a chopping board until all ingredients are very finely chopped.
- Place the finely chopped ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the mashed potato and a dash of fish sauce.
- Break up the cooled fish and add it to the bowl. Mix the ingredients together well.
- Finely chop the coriander and add to the bowl with a squeeze of lime juice. Mix thoroughly.
- Heat the vegetable oil or olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. Form the fish mixture into small cakes about 6cm-8cm/2.5in-3in wide.
- Dredge the fishcakes in the flour to coat, shaking off the excess. Fry the fishcakes in the hot oil for 3-4 minutes on each side until lightly browned.
- Serve the fishcakes with a squeeze of fresh lime and some sweet chilli sauce for dipping.
Grandads Cookbook may reference or include sections of text and images reproduced courtesy of:
- BBC Food
- Toodle66 @ worldseafishing.com
Please observe minimum size limits when fishing.
Use a measure like this one from Tronixpro.