Living in Hamburg, I am getting used to eating good fish and on some occasions seafood. Little did I know for quite a long time that the fish shacks near Fischmarkt (on Grosse Elbstrasse) that do not look very inviting from the outside but make excellent fish rolls and traditional seafood dishes are an excellent escape for a quick and good lunch. If you get a chance to spend a day in Hamburg during the week go there for your lunch and you will get to feel a piece of Hamburgeois life.
This year I tried Stinte fish for the first time – Stint is a fish that lives in the ocean and comes to the river Elbe for breeding. When the baby fish are born end of February/March you will find them on the menus of traditional restaurants across Hamburg. Stint fish are served fried with potatoes (boiled potatoes or potato salad) on the side.
Matjes and hering are also traditional fish here and should you not find the time for a restaurant visit you can go to any supermarket (e.g. Rewe or Edeka) and get your dose of fish to go. Matjes and hering are eaten cold with bread and usually come in a cream sauce.
In my corner, we do not have any fish store nearby. I sometimes store seafood in the freezer so that I have something at hand if I feel like eating seafood and this is what I came up with the other day as I was craving a simple seafood dish on a Sunday night:
Seafood bolognese with sepia pasta
Ingredients (serves 2 people):
200-250g of sepia colored pasta
1 bunch arugula salad
A handful of cocktail tomatoes
2-3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup seafood (I used frozen seafood – e.g. mussels, squid/calamari, shrimps)
2 garlic cloves
Juice of half a lemon
Large capers for decoration
1/2 teaspoon shrimp or fish sauce
Salt and pepper
For the salad dressing: cranberry vinegar, olive oil, dill mustard
1) Defrost the seafood. For quick defrosting: Pour hot water over the seafood and let stand for a few minutes. Drain the water and drizzle the seafood with lemon juice.
2) Chop the garlic and slice the cocktail tomatoes in half.
3) In a pan, fry the garlic in a little oil, then add the tomatoes and tomato paste. Season with salt, pepper and a little shrimp or fish sauce. Stir in the seafood. Keep warm.
4) Wash and drain the arugula salad.
5) Prepare the salad dressing by mixing 1 part of cranberry vinegar, 1 part of oil and 1 part of dill mustard together. Season with salt and pepper.
6) Boil the pasta as indicated on the package.
7) On a plate, arrange the pasta in the middle, then add the seafood tomato sauce and finally arrange the arugula salad on the side.