skip to main content


How to Eat Fish Sustainably to Help Our Planet, with Prawn on the Lawn

by Wolf & Badger

Rick Toogood was born on the Channel Islands surrounded by fish. His mother trained at Cordon Bleu and her enthusiasm for food, particularly fish, was passed on to Rick. With a passion for food ingrained his blood, Rick went on to manage various sites for Fishworks before realising his and his wife, Katie's, joint dream of owning their own restaurant.

Despite having had no formal food training, Rick and Katie discovered their dish inspiration from all avenues: travelling, visiting other restaurants, and spending days working for free at various fishmongers before opening their first Prawn on the Lawn in Islington in 2013. Katie and Rick have since opened two further restaurants in Padstow, another Prawn on the Lawn in 2015, followed by Barnaby’s in 2018. Katie shares her top tips on how to eat seafood sustainably, and their salt-baked sea bream recipe.

The key thing to eating fish seasonally and sustainably is information.

It’s really important to find out where and how the fish you’re buying/eating is caught/farmed to ensure it’s responsibly sourced and doesn’t negatively impact the ecosystem or contribute to the depletion of fish stocks. All good fishmongers, and restaurants for that matter, should know the details of this and typically fish from a day boat will be the most sustainable option, however, there are some exceptions to that rule. Hake, for example, is particularly ethical as the fisherman are able to target that species very well, with minimal by catch. 

Looking at a fishmongers display will also enable you to get more clued up on what species are around throughout the year. When a fish is not in season, the price tends to increase and your local fishmonger is less likely to buy it.

When it comes to shellfish, such as clams, mussels, cockles,  these are typically more sustainable options. Mussels particularly are fantastic as they tend to be rope grown, with very little impact on the ecosystem and grow very fast. 

With crustaceans, it’s best to follow the same principle as with fish, as there can be some huge factory size boats which can fish in any weather condition, with thousands of pots in the ocean, which obviously can have hugely damaging effects on the stocks of crab and lobster. A day boat has a significantly lower amount of pots in the sea, and has a restricted number of days at sea due to the inability to fish in bad weather. 

Ultimately, don’t be afraid to ask questions to understand the seasonality and sustainability of your seafood. 

Salt-baked Sea Bream

Salt baking fish is the ultimate recipe for a bit of dining theatre, as well as a great way of keeping the fish moist. You can experiment with different dry herbs to mix in with the salt to adjust the flavour.


2 kg/4 lb 8 oz coarse sea salt

4 free-range eggs

4 tsp fennel seeds

1 x 1.25 kg/2 lb 12 oz or 2 x 600 g/ 1 lb 5 oz sea bream (wild if available, scales on but gutted)

2 lemons cut into wedges

1 large bunch of rosemary

1 large bunch of thyme


Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/ 200°C/400°F/ gas mark 6.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the salt, eggs and fennel seeds together to form a paste.

On a roasting pan, spread out half the salt mixture across the tray. Lay the fish on top, then stuff the cavity of the fish with half or the lemon wedges and all of the rosemary and thyme. 

Cover the fish with the remaining salt, ensuring the whole fish is completely covered, and pat it down smoothly. 

Cook in the hot oven for 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and leave the fish to rest for 5-10 minutes - this will allow the fish to continue cooking gently. After this time, give the salt crust a good bash with a rolling pin or the back of a knife. Use a large spoon to remove the chunks of salt, then carefully peel off the skin of the fish, trying not to let the salt touch the flesh. You may want to serve the fish straight from the roasting pan, as it looks quite dramatic. Alternatively you can carefully transfer to a serving dish. Be sure to remove the skin, as it will be covered in salt. Serve with the remaining lemon wedges and a green salad.

Prawn on the Lawn cookbook by Rick and Katie Toogood, published by Pavilion Books.