Three summer-fresh fish dishes in 15 minutes or less

Gráinne O’Keefe: Pan-fried plaice, mackerel ceviche with crème fraîche and mussels with blue cheese and dill crumb are perfect for hot, summer days

I’m always surprised at how little fish we eat in Ireland, even though we are surrounded by water. I suppose we are also surrounded by grassland and cows, so it makes sense that generations of people (especially from the farming community) ate more meat than fish in their main meals.

In the past it wouldn’t have been as easy to source fresh fish far away from the coastal towns. Times have changed, and procuring fresh fish is easier than ever. There’s a huge variety available at all times, and much of it is being fished from local waters.

I love eating fish when it’s sunny and warm outside. It reminds me of being on holiday. Fish is also quite light and delicate, making it a perfect choice for hot, summer days. Summer provides perfect accompaniments for fish in the way of juicy ripe tomatoes, courgettes, fresh peas and vibrant herbs.

These are three of my favourite fish dishes – and not just because they can be on the table in under 15 minutes. The plaice is very quick and easy to prepare (have a good non-stick pan to hand), and you can ask your local fishmonger to gut and scale the fish for you before bringing it home.


The ceviche is a classic, and perfect as a light lunch or a starter course. You can substitute the mackerel with any fish you like, and add a little bonito vinegar to the lime juice to bring an extra level of flavour.

The mussels are also very simple and quick, perfect for sharing with a glass of wine and some crusty bread on a sunny afternoon. I prefer using rope-grown mussels when cooking as they are cleaner and more uniform in size. It is also easier to debeard the mussels before cooking, so that you don’t get any grit in your sauce.

Mussels and blue cheese make an excellent combination, and the sauce or broth left at the end will leave you searching for something to mop it all up with.

Recipe: Pan-fried plaice with wild garlic, clams and courgette

Recipe: Mackerel ceviche with crème fraîche, wasabi, pickled cucumber, cherry tomatoes and coriander

Recipe: Mussels with blue cheese and dill crumb