At Lusso we know that beauty is more than fin deep and are dedicated to bringing sustainable delicacies to the plates of anyone willing to give an ugly fish a chance. So we created Ugly Fish Friday. The initiative began in the staff restaurants at which we cater, with the pretty but predictable stars of our Friday Fish and Chip dinners moving aside to let their homely cousins take the spotlight. The unholy trinity of cod, tuna and salmon was nowhere to be seen and diners were delighted! Such was the success of this piscatorial culinary experiment that we felt it was only fair that we share our Ugly Fish secret with a wider audience.
Cook up an Ugly treat
Our Mackerel & Spider Crab Burgers and
Fish Gumbo had customers queuing down
the street at our Ugly Fish Pop Up, why not try
making them yourself at home?
Join the Fight
Hugh’s Fish Fight was a huge inspiration to us
and the website is a great first stop for
Ugly Fish Friday is our stand against the environmental issues caused by the North Sea fishing quota. Under this system half of all fish landed are thrown back into the sea, dead. Luckily there’s plenty of ways to help - please explore our site and check out the video for more information.
In July, we staged our first Ugly Fish Friday Pop Up stall at Whitecross Street Market. It was the perfect opportunity to showcase just how charming Ugly Fish can be, and raise some funds for charity. The range of beautifully cooked dishes, made from freshly Cornish fish, proved a huge hit with customers, selling out within three hours! The success of the day, along with our ongoing efforts to promote flavour over appearance, caught the attention of the Independent, earning us a spot in the national news!
Sadly, not all fish are created equal, in fact, some are downright ugly.
These unfortunate souls are shunned from dinner tables across the country, judged purely on their lack of celebrity despite how tasty they actually are. This fishy prejudice has created the current shocking situation which sees half of all the fish caught in the North Sea thrown straight back where they came from, dead. And while the ugly fishes' more glamourous aquatic acquaintances can feel secure in their charm and good looks, beauty comes with a high price and their popularity is a serious danger to their population. As good to eat as they are unlovely to look at, here are some of the stars of the Ugly Fish bowl:
WHITING Plain rather than preposterous, the whiting is the cod's titchy overlooked cousin. Mild in flavour with a soft but meaty texture, it's easy to taste that whiting is part of the cod family. This unassuming but very tasty dainty little dish makes an excellent alternative to the nation's favourite fish
TRY THIS IF YOU LIKE Cod
More mediocre than monstrous
MEGRIM With a name like Megrim, this one was never going to be a looker. Little wonder then that it can sometimes be found attempting to rebrand itself as Cornish Sole. It needn't worry though; an Ugly Fish by any other name will still taste as sweet and with its delicate, clean flavour, the megrim has been a huge hit with Ugly Fish Friday fans
TRY THIS IF YOU LIKE Plaice or dover sole
Off the hook! (It's nickname is "whiff", what more can we say?!)"
SMALL PLAICE More a victim of sizeism than superficiality, these tasty little chaps are discarded purely for being a little horizontally challenged. White and tender with a subtle flavour, these smaller plaice are every bit as delectable as their larger siblings and perfectly portion sized!
TRY THIS IF YOU LIKE Big plaice!
A plaice only a mother could love
DAB These guys might look a little malformed but when it comes to taste they are in fine figure. A versatile and meaty white fish rewards diners who dare to dabble. Related to plaice, flounder, and sole and one of the most abundant species of the North Sea, dab is an excellent sustainable alternative to more fashionable fish.
TRY THIS IF YOU LIKE Lemon sole
A pauper in looks, a prince in flavour!