A peak behind the scenes with Jelle

Jelle has been working as a production worker at Hokkai Suisan for 8 years. He takes you through his working day, tells you why he loves working with seafood and shares his favourite recipe with turbot (Hirame).

What does your working day usually look like?

After a short cycle ride, as I live just around the corner, I arrive at Hokkai just before 07:00. I quickly change clothes, put on my hairnet, wear a mouth mask, clock in and go into the hall. Together with two colleagues, I first take the carts of fish out of the freezer that the cutting team has prepared the day before. It is our job to pack the fish and to provide it with a product sticker. We have been working together for years so we know how to work together: we can pack a cart full of dried horse mackerel in half an hour.

After lunch it is time to run the orders. We do this for each city, so that all the orders are ready for the drivers at once. For example, we put all orders for Berlin in our scanners and collect the products: find the fish, scan it and add it to the box. When an order is complete, we tape the box shut and put it in the main freezer. On the day of dispatch, we load all the orders into our special refrigerated transport wagons and then the chauffeur hits te road.

Orders that are delivered by FedEx are prepared in Styrofoam boxes with dry ice. Dry ice ensures that the fish products remain frozen during transport. Which is important, because, the courier does not have freezer trucks. We prepare these orders on the day of dispatch, which are always busy days.

What do you like most about your job?

Working with fish products. Ever since I was a child, I have been interested in everything that lives in the sea. I am a fanatical sport fisherman and I mainly fish for predatory fish. Through my work at Hokkai, I have learned a lot about the different types of fish and their flavours. This knowledge comes in handy in the kitchen; I eat fish at least four times a week.

Which fresh frozen fish product do you prefer to cook with?

I find that a difficult question, because I really like all fish. But if I have to choose, I go for the turbot. I put the fish with a knob of butter, a teaspoon of fish spices, three spring onions, a good handful of tomatoes and grated cheese in the oven at 180 degrees for 15 minutes. Add a simple salad and some jacket potatoes and you are ready to eat!

Have you become enthusiastic about working at Hokkai Suisan? Send an e-mail to info@hokkai.com.