This month we are celebrating one of the nation’s top 5 favourite fish - haddock. Part of the cod family, haddock is the preferred fish of the North for its mild yet sweet taste and white, flaky meat. A classic choice on the fish and chip takeaway menu, this fish is extremely versatile and an excellent addition to your diet.
Haddock tend to live close to the sea bed in sandy, pebbly areas and are found on both sides of the North Atlantic Ocean. They are a purple-grey colour and are recognisable by the black patch above the pectoral fin, which is known as the ‘devils thumbprint’. The majority landed in Britain are around 30cm -70cm in length but there is a record of a haddock being caught measuring 94cm and weighing a whopping 11kg.
Haddock usually eat a variety of small sea creatures that live in and around their natural habitat, although they can be picky with what they have for dinner. Instead of eating anything they can find, the haddock’s diet mainly consists of various molluscs, sea stars, sea urchins, worms and fish eggs.
Spawning occurs from January to June and females can produce hundreds of thousands of eggs per season, but it does depend on the size of the female. Haddock stay in deep water to spawn and eggs take around 13-15 days to hatch, depending on water temperature.
The benefits of eating Haddock
Like most seafood, there are multiple benefits to eating haddock. It is high in protein and contains a range of the B vitamin family, which helps with brain function, cell health and can help to prevent infections.
This particular fish also contains various minerals including selenium, calcium and copper. Although selenium isn’t needed in large amounts, it is essential to important processes in the body such as thyroid function. Calcium is vital to bone and teeth health and copper enables the body to form red blood cells and helps to maintain healthy bones.
Haddock also contains Vitamin D, is low in fat and contains Omega-3 fatty acids which have multiple health benefits, including helping to lower risk of strokes and heart attacks, lowering blood pressure and improving eye health.
There are boat-loads of seafood recipes online, and many are especially perfect for haddock. Fish is great in stews, pies and tarts and make a great addition to a healthy salad. We had a look at some of the best Haddock recipes on the web.
A super simple recipe for a delicious and healthy dinner. This dish takes only five minutes to prepare, then you can sit back and relax until the timer pings. This particular recipe serves four and is a great hearty and healthy option for a family dinner.
This is a quick and easy recipe that is a great source of Omega-3. With only two simple steps, this dish would be perfect for a dinner party, so you can wow your guests without breaking a sweat. This recipe requires few ingredients and only 10 minutes preparation time, it serves four and would be great to service as a starter or appetiser.
How delicious does this sound? A tasty breakfast treat of creamy haddock omelettes that pair perfectly with a side salad and toast. This recipe takes slightly longer to prep so might be one for the weekend but it’s incredibly easy and serves up to eight people.
All these recipes are available from BBC Good Food.
For more information on buying haddock from the fish merchants based Plymouth Fisheries, visit our website or ask a member of staff the next time you visit us.