We are Angus and Charlotte from East London Canning Co and during lockdown the idea of Sea Sisters was born. Like most people, we experienced a shift in lifestyle during the pandemic. Things slowed down and we had time to consider the future of our young family. Every day we dreamed up ideas whilst playing with the girls outside in the garden and one afternoon Charlotte came outside and said 'babe, it's time to get this tinned fish company going. Let's do it!!"
That was the beginning of a lot of reading, watching videos and learning from whatever was available, which wasn't a lot. The original idea spawned years ago whilst travelling through Europe and eating a lot of the stuff whilst living out of a transit van. We felt there is so much to love about tinned fish. The deliciousness, versatility, convenience, the branding, the history, the fully recyclable packaging, the staggering array of species and quality. In many parts of Europe, canned fish is considered a delicacy and an art form. There are some phenomenal products out there by which we regularly gawp at on instagram.
We now find ourselves doing what these big canneries are doing but on a much smaller scale. It's exciting and terrifying all at once. We are already the UK’s most sustainable tinned fish brand. Our mission is to become an established seafood cannery that supports and promotes sustainable UK fishing practices whilst encouraging the British public to eat more of our own fish. We only look to use species that are in season with plentiful stocks and caught using ethical means and within British waters. We pair the fish with delicious, original marinades and infused olive oil to deliver a new, interesting take on canned fish.
We are constantly learning on the job through incredible companies such as Pesky. They have been an enormous support and have shone light on so many issues the UK fishing industry is faced with and they are positively tackling those issues in every aspect of their business. Please check them out and definitely use their online fish market - with a bit of forward planning you can swerve the supermarket rubbish and land yourself some super fresh, ethically sourced seafood to your door- it's amazing.
In a bid to reduce waste we have linked with an incredible artist, Blott Kerr-Wilson who uses shellfish shells as a focal point. We are now giving her all of our mussel shells that would otherwise end up in the bin. Due to Brexit she was unable to receive mussel shells from Spains paella factories and so her work ground to a halt. Through a mutual follower on instagram we found her and now she has access to 150kg of mussel shells most months.
A big drive for the launch of these products was the obvious bonus of its fully recyclable packaging. It's a solid eco choice for the buyer in an age of plastic pandemonium. An aluminium can has a lifecycle of 75 years and minimum 95% can be recovered. That means there is a potential 1500 years worth of life in one can!! Always choose the can. Choose a Sea Sisters can! Canned fish is having a revival and rightly so.
Here's a quick recipe for our mussels with Nduja:
Small portion for two or regular for one.
Sea Sisters Mussels with Nduja
1 clove garlic
(Optional Dried chilli)
Boil 50g orzo pasta (or any smallish pasta shape) in well salted water. Whilst that happens, put a small pan on the heat, add a glug of olive oil and grate a large clove of garlic into it. Stir with a wooden spoon to ensure garlic cooks evenly. When the garlic starts to stick to the spoon and begins to colour slightly, add a tablespoon of concentrated tomato puree. This will sizzle. Mix it in and reduce the heat. The paste will caramelize, slightly darkening and releasing natural oils. Once this happens, add the liquor from the tin and reduce slightly. Add a knob of butter, a pinch of dried oregano and a pinch of salt. Bring together. Add a small ladle of pasta water to the pan and take off the heat.
Strain the pasta, keep some pasta water separate and add the pasta to the mussel sauce. Work this with a spoon on a medium high heat, adding pasta water if needed until the sauce is just hugging the pasta. You don't want it sloshing about. Finally, add the mussels and gently fold them through to warm them up. Season to taste. Add dried chilli flakes if you like extra heat. Tuck in.