Tag Archive | fish

smokin’ salmon struggles

You probably know I’m fond of salmon.  I know a certain yogini that’s very fond of the stuff too.  As well as being ridiculously delicious, eating salmon has done wonders for my skin (Skin Series #2 coming up).  Salmon has a special place in my heart;  it was the first meal that Viper cooked for me, as he tried to woo my affections.  He definitely has talent when it comes to preparing and cooking fish.  Wooing?  Not so much, but the salmon did help his cause.  We love to play around with toppings/flavours to pair with salmon  … honey, sweet chilli, soy, miso, brown sugar – so many great combinations.  Keeping things sugar free this week, and the results spoke for themselves.

One of our favourite meals that we eat without fail each week is the same one he prepared for me, many moons ago.  Sometimes the simple things are best – grilled salmon (on the rarer side of cooked) a fresh seasonal salad, and boiled potatoes with a home made dill tartare.  I know I tease Viper about his fisherman-skills, but he totally knows his fish and how to wrangle them in the kitchen.

Smokin’ Salmon technique

Piece of salmon (250g ish) with skin ON.  (I don’t eat the skin, it creeps me out, but it is essential for the cooking method).

  • 1t soy
  • 1/4t tamarind paste
  • 1 medjool date, chopped up as finely as you can
  • 1cm piece root ginger, grated
  • 1T boiling water

Mix tamarind, soy, ginger and date.  Pour over the hot water, which just loosens everything up a little.  Loosey goosey.

Top fish with mixture.  Sprinkle over a pinch of salt.

Now I can’t take credit for the method – this was Viper’s stroke of genius.  I’ll be honest with you; I can’t cook fish.  Well, I just don’t – Viper is a ninja at it, he always presents the most perfectly cooked, succulent fish – so why would I try and risk botching it?  Oh, and I’m lazy.  So while I was having a shower, Viper did this:

  • Place the fish on a baking sheet, lined with aluminium foil.  Crank up your grill (around 200 degreesC) get the fish under it (maybe the second rung down, not too far away) for a fast and furious scalding.  Basically, you want to get the outside of the fish crisping and the skin even slightly burning at this point.  This seals in the moisture and gets the smokey flavour happening.
  • After 4-5 minutes under the grill, pull fish out, and wrap it up in the aluminium foil you have it sitting on.  CAREFUL.  Use tongs.
  • Place your fish parcel in a hot dry fry pan, and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Remember, it’s always better to pull it off the heat earlier rather than later – overcooked fish is such a shame!  If it is too rare for your liking, you can always return it to the heat.  We removed the skin before eating, as it burns with the cooking process.
Wow, this was crazy good.  The tamarind-date sauce combined with the new cooking method produced a sweet, smoky, deeply flavoured piece of fish.  I’m still getting over it now.  I don’t have an after-shot of it, too busy eating.  Sorry guys (I’m not really).
Dill Tartare
(inspired by my Mum’s home made dill mayo I sampled the last time I was in NZ)
  • 1/2C mayonaise (I usually make my own, here is the general idea, but pre prepared is totally fine)
  • 1 gherkin (5cm in length, approx) grated or chopped very finely
  • 1/2T capers, chopped finely
  • 1/2t wholegrain mustard
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Squeeze of lemon juice to taste
  • 1T fresh dill, chopped finely
Combine all ingredients.  Taste and adjust seasoning.
Adding different seasoning and herbs to plain mayonnaise creates a whole new element to a meal.  Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of mayonnaise – I find the flavour and texture a little off putting.  This tartare, however really goes amazingly with seafood.  I think I like it because the acidity from the capers, gherkins and lemon cut through the creaminess of the mayo which usually I find way too rich.  Viper is a freak for mayo – we seriously go through so much of the stuff it’s a little concerning.  I never could understand the dipping chips (French fries) in mayonnaise thing.  Ketchup all the way.  What do you reckon?
This meal was amazing.  Amazing.  I am struggling with eating fish though – I love it so much, and nutritionally, it is stellar. The issue is that it’s proving quite difficult to get wild salmon where I am – most of it is farmed in Tasmania these days.  My conscience is getting the better of me… what to do, what to do?
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