There’s a reason fish and chips exists: the combination of fish and potatoes is quite a thing of marriage. In any case, like Haddock on Smash or Unbattered Pollock & Chips, this fish and potatoes recipe is very much asian – Battered spicy beancurd-marinated sutchi fillet on sesame mash of potatoes, carrots and white radish, with sweet gem lettuce and calamansi.
- Set peeled and sliced potatoes, carrot and radish away to boil. When done, drain and let it steam dry in the colander for about 5 minutes or so. Then, mash with a knob of butter, a splash of milk, salt, pepper and a few drops of sesame oil.
- Marinate the fish fillets with spicy beancurd and dust with self-raising flour. Be sure to pat dry the fillets before doing this. Deep fry till golden brown. Cool on a cooling rack laid with kitchen towel.
- Serve all together with fresh leaves of sweet gem lettuce and half a calamansi for squeezing. Golden brown fried sliced shallots with the mash is a HUGE bonus.
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Lemon salmon on oregano spaghetti with boiled carrots, blanched chicory and beansprouts, with beetroot and Brie.
- Set the pasta to boil and drain when done. Season with sea-salt. Then toss with a good lug of extra virgin olive oil and dried oregano leaves.
- Sear the fillet of salmon with a generous squeeze of lemon juice, till lovely and browned.
- Boil the carrots and blanch chicory and beansprouts briefly. (Note: chicory is bitter so a small quantity will suffice.)
- Serve with beetroot cubes and pinches of Brie.
- Garnish with carrot leaves.
Don’t those carrots look lovely?
Seared salmon with sauteed carrot and fennel, on linguine dressed with balsamic vinaigrette, served with a mint and garlic sauce.
- Set the linguine away to cook in a pot of boiling water. Drain once cooked, and toss in a balsamic vinaigrette.
- With a small knob of butter and a little splash of olive oil, saute the julienned carrot and fennel. Season with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt. Remove once vegetables are cooked.
- Prepare your salmon fillets, cutting them into small rectangular pieces. Salt the skin generously with seasalt and lay them skin side down on a piece of kitchen towel.
- Chop up a handful of mint leaves and mince it together with a small clove of garlic. Transfer to a mortar and pestle, add a little drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil and pound away till everything comes together as a sauce.
- As soon as the vegetables are out of the pan, sear the salmon fillets skin side down till golden. Flip the fillets after the skins are nicely browned, and remove once they are done. The pieces of salmon should be firm not hard, nor soft. Let them rest on a fresh piece of kitchen towel before plating up.
Seared fillet of salmon on pasta with Chinese leaf, mushrooms, chilli and dried sage.
- Set pasta away to cook in a pot of salty boiling water.
- In a pan with a little bit of oil, sear the fillet of fish skin side down till just done. Set aside to rest.
- In the same pan, toss in minced garlic and fry till fragrant.
- Add in shredded Chinese leaf and quartered mushrooms.
- Crush in dried sage leaves and season well with freshly ground sea salt and black pepper.
- Add sliced chilli when vegetables and mushrooms are almost cooked.
- Drain spaghetti and mix together with the Chinese leaf and mushrooms well. Add a generous lug of good extra virgin olive oil to loosen everything up nice and smooth.
- Plate up and serve, boasting the skin of the salmon in its crisp golden glory.
It’s absolute melt-in-your-mouth heaven to indulge in a large nugget of fatty salmon meat, pan-seared to perfection and luxuriously devoured whole.
Butter-roasted fillet of crisp-skin salmon, a fondant potato, on a bed of fennel and carrot salsa, with fresh arugula, seared cherry tomatoes and a slice of lemon.
- In a skillet, continuously baste the fillet of fish with foaming butter.
- When done, rest on kitchen towel.
- Peel off the skin of the salmon and dry-fry it.
- Sear the potato in a small pot of butter, till brown. Repeat on the other side.
- Add a bit of stock to boil it once the potato has been browned on both sides. Potato is done once it can be easily pierced through its side.
Fennel and Carrot Salsa
- With a teaspoon of vegetable oil in a skillet, fry minced shallots till transparent.
- Toss in chopped carrots and fennel.
- Add in a small bowl of tomato juice and reduce.
- Season accordingly.
Serve with fresh arugula, seared cherry tomatoes and a slice of lemon.
A couple of days ago, I managed to pull myself out of bed at 430am to make a trip down to Billingsgate Market, at Canary Wharf. It’s a wholesale wet market holding the likes of fresh fish, mussels, scallops, crabs, lobsters, and frozen seafood, all for really good prices. I’d think the produce available there is anytime fresher than the stuff back home and in the supermarkets here.
Well, so I got myself a whole salmon, a couple of sea-basses and a bag of live mussels. No chance to cook any of that for lunch; I hit the sack after an incredibly early morning out of bed.
Dinner, however, was salmon with couscous.
Butter-basted fillet of salmon, served on fennel, carrot and oregano couscous, garnished with arugula, chilli and a mini-slice of lemon.
- Melt a hunk of butter in a skillet and let it foam up a little. Crack a bit of black pepper in and squeeze in some lemon juice.
- Lay in the salmon fillet skin side down, and with a spoon, baste the fish continuously till it’s just right. Take care not to overcook it, else it’d get really dry.
- Be sure to let the fillet rest for a but after removing it from the pan.
- (At this stage, the skin of the salmon should peel off easily in a single piece. If you want, deep-fry it till crispy and then put it back on the fish.)
- Prepare a portion as you would as stated on the packaging instructions.
- While that’s happening, saute the minced fennel, carrot and shallots with some butter and a squeeze of lemon.
- When the carrot bits are tender, toss in the couscous and stir.
- Season accordingly with salt, pepper, oregano and a dash of chilli powder.
Damn, I should’ve deep-fried that skin.
Frozen fish is an sufficient alternative if you haven’t got fresh fish. However, cooking frozen fish can be a tricky task; when done wrongly, the fish can be real dry, and gross. A good way to do it I’d say, is to baste it continuously in the accompanying sauce.
In this case, I’ve done a mild tom yum sauce, with carrots, shallots, garlic, a slice of ginger and a squeeze of lemon. If you’re wondering, the tom yum base was from an instant paste in a bottle just like this one:
- Set the pasta away in a pot to boil together with a handful of frozen peas. Boiling the peas instead of sauteing them allows them a fresher flavour and sweeter crunch.
- I made the sauce by tossing the chopped condiments (mentioned above) together into a skillet, and adding a teaspoon of tom yum paste and an adequate amount of pasta-cooking water.
- Then, I cooked the fish, drenching it repeatedly in the sweet yet just sourish gravy. Nonstop, till the fish was just right.
- Drained the pasta and peas and served with a chilli garnish, for colour and added heat.
Kinda like an Asian bolognese, slightly spicy, and with fish. Lush.
Click here for the original Tom Yum Spaghetti recipe.
Alright, so maybe it’s not really cream. But it’s pretty close I reckon, and less heartstopping, I think.
- Get your quick-cook spaghetti boiling together with the chopped carrots in a pot on the hob.
- In a skillet on medium low heat, melt a hunk of butter, then add in a splash of wine, a squeeze of lemon, a small amount of garlic puree and a thin slice of ginger. Crack in some salt and pepper too. Make sure you’ve got enough liquid to baste the fish.
- Once everything has combined, remove the slice of ginger, it has done its job.
- Make sure the fillet of fish has been pat dry, gently place it in the pan and baste it away on medium heat.
- Remove as soon as the fish is cooked. Take care not overdo it.
- Drain your spaghetti if it’s done.
- With the remaining butter and fish liquid rendered, add equal volumes of milk and flour. TIP! Usually, I add the milk to determine the amount of sauce I want, then add a little more milk, before adding flour in small quantities till the desired consistency.
- Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Squeeze more lemon juice if necessary.
- Serve the sauce drizzled over the fish and spaghetti.
I got tired of having fish and potatoes every Friday, so I made a little asian fish stew last night. Mummy used to make it for dinner some Fridays, before we succumbed to the convenience of dining out on the night before the weekend. It’s pleasantly bold, yet ever-so-slightly sour. Braised slowly but surely, in a mildly sweet garlicky dark sauce, the fish sings beautifully with the shrimps. The tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach leaves tosses up a party of textures. Chowed down with extra hot finger chilli and freshly steamed basmati.
- 1 fillet haddock, defrosted completely, cut into large chunks
- 1 tomato, cut into wedges
- 1 brown mushroom, sliced
- 1 white mushroom, sliced
- 1 handful shrimps
- 2 slices ginger
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoon black vinegar
- 2 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 2 teaspoon dark soy sauce
- 1 pinch sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 mug water
- sea salt, to taste
- 1 handful baby spinach leaves
- Get the sauce done first. With a little oil in the pan, in goes the garlic and ginger.
- When fragrant, get the shrimps, tomatoes and mushrooms in.
- Then, the vinegar, soy sauces, sugar and sesame oil.
- Add water to add more volume to sauce. Adjust with sea salt accordingly.
- Finally, when the sauce has reduced slightly, turn the heat down to s simmer and sit the fish pieces gently inside. Baste it well, and flip carefully when it’s half cooked.
- Once the fish is done, turn off the heat.
- Serve atop the baby spinach leaves.
No points for presentation there, but all smiles for the flavour.
Fridays are always fish days. So here’s another one of them fish and potatoes recipes, to add to your ‘fish & chips alternatives’ list – Pan-seared Haddock on a Crispy Thyme Potato Smash
- This is a real cheat, if you want good crispy potatoes fast, without using the oven.
- In a pot of boiling water, toss in your potatoes, scrubbed with their skin on, and cut to inch-large pieces.
- Once they’re done, strain them with a colander and let them sit in there, steaming away for a bit.
- Then, get them all onto a hot skillet. With a small knob of butter and a sprinkle of salt, pepper and dried thyme leaves, smash and mix with a potato masher. You want to smash them erratically so you get a lovely assortment of large and smaller pieces, instead of bashing them to a pulp.
- Let them sit on the heat for a while, stirring them once here and once there, to stop them from burning.
- Sneak a small bite and once you’ve got a pan of fluffy and crispy smash, it’s done.
- Pat dry your fillet of the sea and season it with just a bit of salt and pepper.
- On a hot skillet, drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil and put the fish on.
- Watch it closely, as it cooks pretty quickly. When the fish has shrunk slightly and has gone from translucent to opaque, it’s done.
- Lay gently atop a portion of potato smash,
- A squeeze of a lemon, a pinch of dill leaves and thin slices of chilli, you’re ready to please and be pleased.