Norwegian Skrei is swimming back to our shores this winter, providing the catering industry with an opportunity to offer their customers a truly unique and exceptional dish.
Skrei is a seasonal Norwegian cod only available between January and April. Each year, this migratory cod swims from the Barents Sea to its spawning ground in the cold, clear waters of the Lofoten Islands, located on Norway’s north coast. From undertaking this epic journey, it means the Skrei arrive in prime condition, yielding an amazing taste and texture.
Only the very best of the Norwegian cod catch is labelled with the SKREI® branding, having to meet stringent quality standards. The majority of this delicious fish are caught with long-lines from small 10-15m vessels and packed within 12 hours to ensure optimum quality and freshness. What’s more, Skrei is MSC certified and therefore 100% sustainable, with a unique and heart-warming provenance story.
WHAT MAKES SKREI® SPECIAL?
The Norwegians pride themselves on the quality of their produce and the annual Skrei migration is no exception. Fishing is a way of life for Norwegians and each year, this annual phenomenon is met with great excitement and celebration. Skrei is such a revered product it has its own special grading standard. Hundreds of millions of Norwegian cod migrate each year back to its spawning ground of Lofoten, yet only a small percentage of all landed cod will be branded with the special SKREI® tag, which acts almost like a seal of approval or quality assurance, on its dorsal fin.
To be classified as SKREI® the fish needs to be:
• Caught fully grown - as a large mature cod before it has spawned (approx. five years old)
• The skin needs to be immaculate, with no scratches, bruising or injuries
• Packaged within 12 hours of being caught
• Stored on ice at a temperature between 0° and 4° Celsius
• Whole, fresh SKREI® is required to have the SKREI® brand fastened to the forward dorsal fin and put in a branded SKREI® box.
Ordering Skrei for your menu will certainly delight diners, and what’s more, you will be guaranteed optimum quality and freshness.
Skrei loins are perfectly firm, with obvious fat lines defining the large white flakes, which melt away during cooking. The fish can be prepared in a variety of ways and can be enjoyed both raw and cooked.
It is delicious in a ceviche; firm textured and sweet, or try just lightly curing it and thinly slicing to serve with olive oil, lemon, dill and sea salt – a mouth-watering starter. For a main course, why not try brining some of the loin, then roasting and serving with a little braised fennel and anchovy. With such a delicate, yet full flavour to the meat, the fish can be served simply, with nothing more. After just a short time in the oven, the muscle and fat between the flakes will melt away and you can push each one off with your fork. For a more traditional approach, serve Skrei simply with minimal accompaniments and let all the flavours of the fish do the talking.
Michel Roux Jr. trialled the fish at his two Michelin star London restaurant Le Gavroche and commented: "I was very impressed," he recalls, "In fact I'm sorry we found out about it so late in the 2011 season as it's fantastic; glistening, beautiful cod that's the freshest I've seen for a long time. It breaks into beautiful translucent flakes which is always a sign of quality. I'll indicate that it's Skrei on the menu this year, as I think awareness is growing. If the quality is there the name always sticks."
Mitch Tonks experienced the annual Skrei celebration for himself during a trip to Lofoten (where the Skrei spawn) in 2012 and said: “In my search for the finest ingredients for my restaurants I have discovered this mighty cod, one that I know I can serve with an absolute guarantee of sustainability. I have experienced it first hand and Skrei is one of the finest ingredients I've come across in years! I won’t be surprised if Norwegian Skrei is the next big thing this season.”
If you would like to put delicious Norwegian Skrei on your menu this winter, speak to one of the following suppliers:
• Direct Seafoods London on 020 7358 1617
• James Knight of Mayfair Ltd on 020 7587 3070
• M&J Seafood on 01296 610 600
For further information about Norwegian Seafood and the FISK.FØREVER campaign please contact:
Lauren Nicklinson / 0117 973 1173 / Bray Leino Fisk PR