Category Archives: Seafood

Spicy Salmon Patties

Salmon patties? Salmon croquettes? Salmon cakes? I’d go with patties. I think these have southern roots, or at least that’s what I infer from a recipe search. This was my first attempt at salmon patties. I pretty much made up the recipe as I went along, and it turned out really good. These don’t have a southern flair, or an Asian flair.

I tried to be diplomatic.

I skinned a salmon fillet and pan-fried it separately. I love crispy salmon skin. Then I chopped the fish meat fairly roughly and mixed it with a bunch of other good things. I’m writing this recipe for the benefit of anyone who wants to try these babies. Of course, you could omit the chilli, but then they’d just be, erm, salmon patties. Doesn’t sound so exciting, does it?

Spicy Salmon Patties

serves 1

1 salmon fillet (about 150g), raw, skinned and chopped

1 scallion (a.k.a. green/spring onion), chopped

1 egg

1 fresh red bird’s eye chilli, chopped

½ cup breadcrumbs

½-1 tsp salt

pepper, to taste

Heat a frypan/skillet to medium-high heat.

In a large bowl, combine chopped salmon, scallion, egg, chilli, salt and pepper.

Add breadcrumbs.

The salmon mixture should be quite wet so that the patties will stay moist after they’ve cooked.

The pan should be hot now. Drizzle in oil.

Using your hands, scoop out half the mixture into the hot pan, pressing it down slightly (think drop-cookies). Repeat with other half.

Fry for 1 minute. Do not move them around so they develop a nice crust.

Flip over and fry for another minute. Be careful not to overcook them or they will be dry. Serve with a wedge of lemon.

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Moroccan-Spiced Salmon

I think most people find it hard to do much after a long day of work. I must admit, a lot of times I just want to go home and slump on the couch and not do anything but watch tv for the rest of the night.

Today wasn’t one of those days. Grocery shopping is one thing I love doing, no matter how exhausted I am. Once I step into a market, I feel a rush, and the only hurry I’m in is to run home and cook what I’ve just bought. It’s silly, but I honestly get excited about food a lot.

I saw some really fresh salmon fillets, and instantly knew what how I was going to cook them: Morrocan-spiced salmon.

It really sounds more exotic than it is. I cheated and used one of those seasoning salts. It’s really good stuff! Hey, I’m human. I needed something quick. So shoot me.

I honestly don’t know how or why some people buy salmon with the skin removed. Why, oh, why??? The crispy skin is the best part of the salmon!

I had some king oyster mushrooms so I panned them with the salmon. I like tasting mushroom without it being masked by heavier flavours so I kept it simple. The entire meal took less than 5 minutes from chopping board to pan to plate.

Really, really good. Thank you, bottled-seasoning-salts.

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Cold Shrimp Noodles

Hot food is hard to photograph. It’s even harder when the photographer is impatient and hungry. For me, it’s not imperative that my food be steaming hot but that’s the great thing about cold food – you don’t have to rush to take a good photograph. It happily waits for you to be done with your silly business.

Food photography screams for natural lighting though, so I took these pictures as the sun was escaping.

These cold noodles required little stove use. I poached the shrimp in the same pot I used to cook the noodles. I used mi fen (rice stick noodles) for this but you could easily extend this recipe to other kinds of noodles. In similar recipes I’ve seen, pasta is used. I wouldn’t recommend that because it wouldn’t taste quite right, sort of like using wonton wrappers for ravioli.

The sauce for the noodles is a Chinese one. I use the term “Chinese” loosely because I used Chinese ingredients like Chinese soy sauce, not Japanese shoyu. The vegetables, however, are easily interchangeable, as is the protein. Swap the shrimp with chicken or tofu if it so pleases you. The amount of noodles and vegetables is up to you. I don’t measure. I’m going to attempt to write a recipe now. I welcome feedback with open arms.

Cold Shrimp Noodles

Serves 1

Sauce:

1 tsp chilli-garlic paste, or any other chilli sauce, such as Sriracha

1 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp sesame oil

Noodles:

Handful of mi fen (rice stick noodles or other), soaked in cold water to soften

4-5 large shrimp, unpeeled

1 stalk spring onion (green onion/scallion)

cucumber slices

red chilli, thinly sliced (optional)

sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

  1. Combine ingredients for sauce. Set aside.
  2. Cook softened noodles in boiling water till al dente, 2-3 minutes. Remove noodles and place in serving bowl.
  3. In the same water used to cook noodles, cook shrimp, 2-3 minutes. Drain and peel.
  4. Place all ingredients in serving bowl and toss with sauce. Garnish with sesame seeds and dish up.

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Thai Shrimp and Cucumber Salad

When the weather is warm, I love having salads. Okay, I take that back. I love salads in winter too. Thai salads are my weakness. When I visit Thailand every year, I have som tum (papaya salad) or yum ta krai (lemongrass salad) or yum pla dook fu (catfish salad) every day that I’m there. The spicier, the better, because it all gets washed down with a cloyingly sweet Thai milk tea.

Today was especially warm in Melbourne. It’s days like these that I love having salads for lunch and ice cream for dinner.

When I make Thai salads, the dressing is always the same. Sometimes when I crave a Thai salad, I work backwards – I make the dressing first (fresh lime juice, sugar, fresh hot chilies, and fish sauce), then look around for whatever ingredients to throw in – woon sen (glass noodles), cucumbers, fresh beans, minced pork, grilled beef… This dressing base is really quite versatile.

I threw this dish together after remembering seeing this on Chez Pim. Quite honestly, as long as your ingredients are good, there’s no way this will end up not tasting great. When winter comes, I’ll do what Pim suggests and add an egg to the salad to bulk it up.

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Grilled Swordfish with Lemon-Thyme Mayo

I gotta say, today was uneventful. Saturdays usually mean one thing – cartoons. Am I the only 24 year old who still watches cartoons? In my defense, it happened to be on tv. Erm, it also happened to be tv last Saturday, and that Saturday before, and that Saturday before. This is going nowhere. It was also a day of an Iron Chef America marathon, but that’s another story for another day.

I had some swordfish left from last night so I wanted to try a different recipe. Serious Eats featured a fish recipe that I thought I’d give a whirl.

Basically, you mix mayonnaise, lemon juice, lemon zest, thyme, shallots and anchovies together, and you smear the mixture on the fish. Then it’s broiled for a couple of minutes.

I don’t have a broiler, so I used my George Foreman. You really can’t go wrong with mayo. It didn’t develop the crust that it was supposed to have though. Maybe I should’ve panned it.

Not overcooking it helped a lot – the fish wasn’t powdery or rubbery. I never cook fish till it’s 100% done for fear of overcooking something so delicate. Besides, I don’t mind if my fish is 90-95% cooked anyway.

This wasn’t anything Iron Chef-esque, but it was tasty and supremely easy. A keeper.

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Scrumptious Crumbed Fish

Food photography is tough man. I know a good camera helps. I don’t want to be a bad workman who always blames his tools. The voice in my head is saying, practice, practice and more practice. That, I will.

Anyway, dinner tonight was crumbed fish. I mixed some wholegrain breadcrumbs with lemon rind (freshly grated with my Microplane), salt and pepper. Don’t worry, I’m not going to wax about my love for my Microplane box grater. I mean, I only bought it for $14.95 from Sur la Table when the original retail price was $49.95. Bargain, baby. I won’t go on about how it stands magnificently, has a fine-grate side and a coarse-grate side, and even came with a slider attachment to avoid my fingers getting grated. I won’t wax.

Right, so I lightly beat an egg with some cornflour in one bowl. I dunked the fish fillets in the egg and then the crumbs, and pan-fried them with some olive oil till golden. Scrumptious – not scrummy (sickening word), just scrumptious.

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