“The scallop man…”

L-R Joel Harris & James Harris

Due to my love of scallops the guys at the fish stall in Portadown Market now affectionately refer to me as “the scallop man”!  You will find them there from earlier than most people are prepared to get up until about noon each Friday morning!  

There are few things that excite me more that seeing a fresh fish counter.  A number of supermarkets which currently have a ‘fresh fish counter’.  Some are fresher than others in my opinion.

Caroline and I love oily fish like mackerel and sardines (Poppy & Heidi love prawns & mussels) so a while ago I took myself by the hand and ventured to one of the aforementioned ‘fresh fish counters’ to source some sardines.  Not getting a chance to handle, see or smell them up close and personal until I got home, it was only then I realised that they were limp with sunken eyes and smelt of fish!  All the tell tale signs of a ‘not so fresh fish’.

Why am I telling you this you may ask?  Don’t get me wrong, I have since returned on a number of occasions and had some lovely pieces of fish.  However, nothing beats the  excitement of an early Friday morning market visit to get some treats from the sea that have been caught locally within the last 24 hours.

So, last Friday I called down with James & Joel (father and son) to get stocked up and have a chat.  Here’s how I got on:

Q. Where are yous based?

Portavogie

Q. Do you catch the fish yourselves?

No, we buy the fish direct from the harbour.  Can’t get any fresher than that, unless you get them coming straight out of the water.

Q. Do you enjoy eating fish?

We probably eat fish once a week, but maybe not as much as you would expect a fishmonger to eat.

Q. What is your most popular fish?

Salmon & unsmoked cod.

Q. Where and when is the fish caught?

Apart from the salmon, bass & bream (which is farmed), the majority of our fish is caught in the Irish Sea.

Q. Any tips for getting the most out of fish?

Keep it in the fridge. Simples.

Q. Do you think trends in fish buying have changed over the past 5-10 years?

Yes, absolutely.  People are becoming more experimental with things like salmon, sea bass (which used to be used to bate lobster pots – NOOOOOOOO).

Q. What’s your thoughts on sustainability?

Well, parts of the Irish Sea are closed to cod fishing as scientists tell us that stocks are low. However the general work on the street/harbour is that there is loads of cod available.

Q.  Are you currently supplying any restaurants?

Yes, at present we supply the following restaurants but this is very much the start of our portfolio:

The Tannery – Moira
The Pheasant – Annahilt
The Plough – Hillsborough

Q.  Do you sell at any other markets?

Yes, we do the following markets:

Lisburn – Tuesday
Rathfriland & Hiltown – Wednesday
Moira – Thursday
Portadown – Friday

These guys stock a fantastic range of fresh fish, crustaceans (prawns, crabs, lobster etc) as well as a variety of mollusks (mussels, clams, squid etc).  Here’s some of what you can expect to find each week (stock may vary week to week based on the catch):

  • Cod (inc. smoked)
  • Mackerel
  • Lemon sole
  • Plaice
  • Sea bass
  • Sea bream
  • Trout
  • Hake
  • Monkfish
  • Turbot
  • Mussels
  • Crab (whole and claws)
  • Prawns
  • Langoustines
  • Scallops

 Fish Market - James Harris Fish

So, if you’re not convinced to get up when the birds are singing on a Friday or Saturday morning, then this may help:

5 Reasons to Eat Seafood

  1. Omega 3 Fatty acids found in fish is excellent brain food
  2. Fish contains protein, vitamins, including A and D, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium and iodine, which are vital for our bodies to be healthy
  3. Fish may even help you lose weight, because it may reduce levels of the fat hormone leptin (I LOVE this one!)
  4. Eating fish can improve your circulation and reduce the risk of thrombosis
  5. A number of studies have indicated that fish and shellfish may help to protect our lungs. Not only can seafood relieve the symptoms of asthma in children, but it has shown signs of preventing it
  6. And one for luck!!  BECAUSE IT’S DELICIOUS!

Fish Market - James Harris Fish

Check out my recipe for Moules Marinière!

Contact Details: L&R Harris Fish Wholesalers, M: 078 3432 1973, T: 028 4277 1993, E: ruthharris1e@hotmail.co.uk

  • Mark Anderson

    Ah… Now I know they are in Lisburn Market I shall be paying them a visit!

    • hungrywaffler

      You can get stocked up now without having to come to Portadown on Friday mornings!!