The River Cottage Fish Book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Nick Fisher

The River Cottage Fish Book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Nick Fisher

Emma Christensen
Feb 6, 2013

If seafood is your thing — or if you want it to be your thing — this is the guide to have on your shelf. At a whopping 600 pages, The River Cottage Fish Book is a veritable encyclopedia of fishy knowledge. Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall is one of our favorites here on The Kitchn, and I can safely say that the River Cottage crew has done it again with this incredible collection of fish cooking techniques and recipes.

Quick Facts

Who wrote it: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Nick Fisher

Who published it: Ten Speed Press

Number of recipes: 135 straight-up recipes along with many tutorials on things like filleting fish, smoking fish, and preparing squid.

Recipes for right now: Mackerel on Potatoes and Bay, Crab Tart, Fish and Chorizo Soup, Cockle Chowder, Tuna, White Bean, and Red Onion Salad, Smoked Herring Carbonara, Puy Lentil and Mackerel Salad, Fish Bubble and Squeak

Other highlights: The book is broken into three sections: Understanding the Fish, Fish Cookery, and a Guide to Fish and Shellfish. You'll find yourself using each section at different times, I think. The first section, Understanding Fish, covers environmental issues and sourcing fish in great detail, as well as basic skills like cleaning fresh-caught fish, storing fish and seafood, and cooking techniques. I found myself reading this section like a book.

The Fish Cookery section is where you'll find all the recipes, some for quick weeknight meals and others for impressing a table of hungry friends. You'll also find more detailed explanations on the various preparations, like smoking, making fish stock, using the bones, and so on.

I am tempted to tear out the final section, the Guide to Fish and Shellfish, and carry it in my bag whenever I go shopping for fish. It contains detailed information on every fish you might conceivably come across: their habits, their texture when cooked, when to avoid buying them.

So much information! I'm glad to have this book on my shelf to reference whenever I get the urge for something from the sea.

Who would enjoy this book? Anyone who loves seafood and wants to cook more of it at home.

Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: The River Cottage Fish Book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Nick Fisher

Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.

(Images: Emma Christensen)

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