Food & Drink

Folkestone Trawlers – Fresh Fish Every Day

Folkestone Trawlers sits just at the top of the harbour slipway.  For hundreds of years, fishermen have left on the high tide, and returned 12 hours later with their daily catch.  The Stade is the site of the old fish market, which, only 50 years ago, would have been bustling with fishmongers selling all sorts of fresh fish.  Today, Folkestone Trawlers serves the local public, local restaurants and also does a home delivery for orders over £25 for those not able to get out.  Folkelife went along for our daily dose of fish.

locally caught fish

There’s a huge variety of fish on offer.  Some is brought in as is not native to our waters – such as salmon.  Locally caught fish included skate, crab, huss and cod.  For inspiration on what to do with some of the local fish, you can always ask!  For example, dabs go down really well when dipped in a bit of seasoned flour, and pan fried, then put in a freshly baked bun.  Scallops are always best fresh and lightly sauteed in butter with some chopped garlic and freshly squeezed lemon juice.    Depending on the daily catch you can also get local turbot, brill and Dover Sole.

The most important thing is you can guarantee the fish bought here is fresher than anything you would find in a supermarket.  The flavour seconds that.  Whether you’re making your own fish and chips, or getting it from The Smokehouse next door, the cod from Folkestone Trawlers has so much more flavour to it because of its freshness.

nothing is too much trouble

Jackie and Jane run the mobile fish shop Streetz 2 Streetz and they always get their fish from Folkestone Trawlers.  “We buy our fish from the Trawlers so that our customers, many of whom are elderly & can’t get out anymore, can still enjoy the local taste of the sea. They are all great in there & nothing is ever too much trouble for them. We would recommend them every time.”

Fish and crabs

Mark Sargeant's Crab and Salmon Sausage Roll
Crab boxes
Folkestone Trawlers and Harbour Arm

Rocksalt’s favourite fish shop

The Rocksalt resturant has a beautiful location looking out over the Harbour, and the team use fish from the Folkestone Trawlers in all their restaurants.  They own The Smokehouse opposite, The Radnor Arms in the West of Folkestone and series of pubs out of town.  Here’s one of their favourite recipes using the best ingredients inspired by the local produce on offer: Crab and Salmon sausage roll with pickled cucumber and brown crab ketchup.

Crab and Salmon Sausage Roll

This recipe yields 4 pints and you will need 120g white crab meat (picked), 250g salmon (pinned and skinned), 20g coriander chopped, 20g basil chopped, 20g parsley chopped, ¼ zest of lime, ¼ zest of lemon, 25 ml double cream, Salt and some Puff pastry.

For the salmon mousse: Blend the salmon with a pinch of sea salt and when smooth add the double cream.

Fold the crab into the mousse, add the herbs and citrus fruits. Weigh into 100 g and mould into sausage shapes. Cut the puff pastry into a rectangle 17cm x 15cm.  Place the sausages on the pastry laying length ways and wash with egg.  Fold over the pastry and crimp around the 3 sealing edges with a fork.  Trim the edges neatly with a knife and egg wash twice to get a real shine on your cooked sausage.

Store in the fridge like this until needed (can be made the day before cooking).

To cook, place on a greaseproof paper lined tray in a pre-heated oven at 200c for 11 minutes.

Pickled Cucumber and brown crab ketchup

You will need 2 cucumbers, 300 ml cider vinegar, 1 tblsp black mustard seeds, 150g icing sugar, salt and freshly ground white pepper, 10 g finely chopped dill or fennel tops.  Slice the cucumber into fine disks on a mandolin and liberally salt them allowing them to drain in a colander for 20 minutes.  Bring the vinegar, mustard seas and icing sugar to the boil and then remove from the heat.  Taste the pickling liquor and make sure you have a good sweet to sour balance.  Rince your cucumber under cold running water to remove the salt.  Drain and add to the pickle along with the dill.  Season and allow to marinate for 6-8 hours before use.

For the Brown Crab Ketchup: take 250g brown crab meat, Juice of 1 lemon, 1.75 leaves gelatine, 15 ml Worcestershire sauce, ½  tbls English mustard, ½  tbls anchovy essence, 1 tbls tomato ketchup, 30g egg yolks, 60g white sandwich bread with crusts removed, 250ml vegetable oil, 150 ml rapeseed oil and salt and freshly ground black pepper.  

Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water to soften for a few minutes. Squeeze out the water then dissolve over a LOW heat in the lemon juice. Put the brown crab, dissolved lemon juice and gelatine, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, anchovy essence, ketchup and egg yolks in a blender and process until smooth.  Add the bread broken into small pieces and continue to blend until smooth again.  Mix the oils and trickle into the blender whilst still running on a low speed, stop the machine and scrape the sides every so often.  Season to taste and then pass through a chinoise.  Store in the fridge for 3-4 hours to set.

Assemble and then enjoy the fruits of our sea and your labour!

Discover more about Folkestone below

Baoboba – Bao and Boba Tea On Folkestone Harbour
Shesells Seashells – Fine Dining On The Harbour Arm
Folkestone Fishing Museum – Generations Of Stories
Bitten Written’s Fantasy Food Tour of Folkestone

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