Friday, July 8, 2011

Foodie Fridays: Fish are food (and simple salmon)

After Junior J's fall, my mum advised me not to let the boy eat egg, chicken, beef and shellfish.  She said that the Chinese believe that the first three would affect in the healing of the wound, and the consumption of shellfish was supposed to increase the likelihood of scarring.  Normally, the logical side of me would scoff at her advice, and would ask for scientific evidence, but the guilty mummy side of me decided to follow her advice (in an attempt to make myself feel better!).  So for the past 10 days, we've been eating loads of tofu, fish and pork.  Its been a little challenging sticking to these restrictions, since eggs are a major component of Junior J's diet (and one of the easiest ways to feed him protein!), and most of the soups that I know how to cook have chicken stock as their base.  

However, we've more or less managed to avoid these 4 "taboo" items (except when they were hidden, like in mayonnaise, or in soups that we drank when we ate out), and as a result have been eating alot of fish.  When I was supposed to meet some mummy friends for lunch recently, I suggested that we dine at Mahattan Fish Market, since that meant I could order fish to share with the little boy.  To all our surprise, the waitress came back 5 minutes after we had placed our order, to let me know that the dish I had ordered (the fish was cod) had a "mercury warning" tagged to it.  All in all, we've always heard about how preggy ladies should avoid certain fish like swordfish and shark, but this was new.

Feeling rather anxious (since we do feed Junior J cod sometimes), I went home to read up about the mercury levels in fish, and found out that cod fell into lower mercury category, along with lobster, snapper and certain types of tuna, and pregnant women were advised not to eat more than 6 servings per month.  (Click here to read more about the levels of mercury in seafood.)  Safer types of fish with the lowest levels of mercury include salmon, plaice, catfish and tilapia.

Guess we'll be eating more salmon from now on!  While we do love dining on salmon, I do find it rather tough to cook it just right.  And we find that many places tend to overcook their salmon, such that it loses its lovely moistness and becomes rather tough and dry.  After many failed attempts to pan-fry salmon, this seems to be the only method that works for us:  

1. Pre-heat oven at 200 degrees Celsius.

2. Slice salmon fillet into smaller slices, about 2 inches wide, and rub the slices with olive oil, basil, salt and ground black pepper.

3. Place in pan, skin-side down, and bake for 9 minutes.  All done!

My mum likes to douse her salmon in black-pepper sauce, but I like my fish done simple, so that I can taste its sweetness.  Do you have a tried-and-tested salmon recipe?  Do share!


  1. oh yes! We love cooking our salmon like that too! Except we have a little ovenette/toaster thing and we use larger slices of salmon. So when we place it into the ovenette, there's a larger area of skin to get crispy, and that's my favourite part!

    Other things we rub onto the salmon include tumeric powder (said to be good for keeping alzheimer plaques at bay) and curry powder. Also, do you like your salmon raw?

  2. We love Salmon too. But Sydney prices of Alaskan and NZ Salmon are shocking...compared to the U.S. It's AU$25+/kg on the cheap side. How much in SG?

    Used to pan fry and did not get satisfactory results too. Have discovered wrapping the fish up with foil and baking in the oven first preserves its juice. Then sear skin side down on pan in butter for a nice crispy skin if u eat that. Have heard the skin has all the wonderful collagen. But preggo ladies better to avoid all fish skins and inards cos mercury lurks there.

    We like to do ours with fresh dill and lemon juice and zest. Can't have without them. And add chopped dill, squeeze of lemon to mayo, it's yummy tartare dip.

  3. i love... salmon sashimi! lol, ok that's not preggy-friendly. but i do love simple baked salmon with some sort of gravy on top, and served with baked potatoes!

  4. My boy doesn't like salmon coz of its strong taste so we seldom cook it. But it's nice picking up these tips on how best to cook salmon! I'd love to try them out soon, especially in adding lemon zest - I love that!

  5. huh? he eats salmon and peas?! jealous! mine doesn't eat anything with colour now! *headache!*

    looks decadent, btw! yummy!

  6. Yum! I did mine with ginger juice(to rid the fishiness, just in case), rosemary, parsley flakes and lemon juice. =) Awesome! Junior is a healthy eater.

  7. I find it challenging to cook salmon such that it does not turn out dry too! One way that works: I season it with a tad of oyster sauce and black pepper and place fish on a bed of sliced onions. I then wrap everything up in foil and pop it in an oven toaster. Onions turn out yummy too!

  8. Evergreen: Thanks for sharing your version! I love salmon sashimi, but I can't eat it now thanks to the pregnancy! Guess I'll eat my fill after I pop! ;)

    SY: Wrapping with foil, ok got it! :) Your version sounds really yummy!

    Bing: Haha, yes I love sashimi too, but I guess I'll have to wait a few more months! And agree, it goes nicely with potatoes, and you can bake all of it at the same time!

  9. Ruth: It actually took awhile before Junior J would eat it, previously he hated any forms of meat... guess your boy might take to it later when he's older?

    Just Me: Oh dear... so what does he eat now? The boy likes most of his veggies (on a good day), but we're still working on the meat part. Am thankful he's taking better to fish these few weeks! Hang in there!

  10. Yvonne: Oooh, I have yet to try rosemary, would try that next time! Thanks for sharing!

    Corsage: Onions! Ok, that sounds like something J would like, since he loves onions... will try that next time, thanks! :)

  11. Hmm...I like Corsage’s recipe with Onions...sure send my little tod passing lots of gas. LOL..but I love ONIONS too. Yum!! Yup..the rosemary was one of the herbs we have so I just “rojak” them.

  12. Yvonne: Hahaha... oh well, at least there's loads of fibre too! :p



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