SOY AND SESAME SALMON | omega-3 hero
Serves 2 adults + 2 kids | 20 mins go-to-wo
I love fresh fish as a week day meal for all of us. The hardest part for for most of us is accessing & affording it. I have found a few shortcuts that make it work. I shop every monday so we have lots of fresh, simple ingredients on hand to eat well, so like 'old times' monday is fish day. At my local 'high st' where I buy F&V there is one + some supermarkets (eg Coles) have a fresh fish section in store. This means I always go past a place where fish is sold. As for cost, I normally buy Ocean Trout, it is a few dollars per KG cheaper (somewhere from $28-35/kg) and has a more gentle, softer texture & flavour with a similar nutrient profile to salmon. I buy 3 'middle fillet' pieces. One for the kids to share & one each for hubby & I. Each piece is around 150-180g, so that means 500-600g or $18 - $22. With rice or potatoes or soba noodles + salad leaves that works out at approx $10 per meal for adults $5 each for kids.
The chief reason to eat Salmon is because it is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids which have an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin, in other words it works with the immune system to discourages the inflammation that can lead to red, puffy, wrinkle skin (not to mention a host of health related benefits) . Omega -3 is known as an essential fatty acid because that is what it is - essential to the body as the body is not able to make it. Most of us don't consume sufficient omega -3 in proportion to the omega-6 fatty acids we eat. Before we relied so heavily on processed foods, humans consumed omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in roughly equal amounts. Now they can be out of balance up 40:1, on average it is 10:1. Scientists believe this dietary imbalance may explain the rise of many disease and even obesity all of which are believed to stem from inflammation in the body.
3 pieces of Salmon or Ocean Trout with or without skin (make sure bones are removed for kids)
Slurp (say 3 tblspn) Tamari (natural soy sauce)
Dash (1 tspn) of Sesame seed oil
3cm knob Fresh ginger - grate finely or leave in slices to infuse if kids are fussy
garlic - 1 clove, slice into 3 or 4 bits
In a flat dish add tamari, sesame oil, ginger and garlic.
Place fish in.
Turn after after 5 mins.
Cook either way:
1) Fry pan
Add a little oil to a thick bottom fry pan. Turn heat on medium, place fish (no sauce) skin side down.
Cook for 4-5 mins until fish turns opaque around the edges. Turn over.
Pour in marinade, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup water. Place lid on. Gently steam (it will spit & sizzle) for a few minutes until fish is firm to touch but when you separate the flakes it is still a little translucent. Do not overcook - the heat in the pan will continue the cooking.
If you'd like a little more sauce as it has evaporated, add a little more water.
2) BBQ (no washing up or fishy pong in house)
On a moderate heat, place fish skin side down.
Cook for 5-8 mins until fish turns opaque around the edges. Turn over.
NOTE: the skin will not stick to the grill if you have cooked it for sufficient time.
Cook second side for 4-5 mins or until fish is firm to touch but when you separate the flakes it is still a little translucent. Remove, place in clean dish and cover loosley. Do not overcook - the heat in the fish will continue the cooking.
I love this dish with either Japanese soba noodles (at least 50% buckwheat) available from Supermarket or Harris Farm or a good F&V/deli store (take only a couple of minutes to cook in boiling water and tastes great whatever temperature they are or steamed jasmine rice (1 cup rice + 1&1/4 water cold water in rice cooker for 15mins).
Alternatively - we all love the crunch & taste of chips and I don't hesitate to make and serve them every few weeks. By cooking at home I can control what oil is used (eg use a healthy one - coconut or sunflower that has not been used over and over again) + how many are served & eaten. For my 3&5 year old, they get 8-10 chips. That's it. There are too many KJ's in chips to serve more, and as they are an empty energy food I prefer my little ones to be eating food that provides essential vitamins & minerals for growth and development....but I don't want them to miss out (when 66% school age children eat hot chips at least once a week!!!)
Serve a quick easy salad (eg baby spinach or butter lettuce or mixed asian leaves) + lots of fresh chopped herbs (eg coriander, &/or mint & chives), sliced seasonal fruit (eg mango or pear - whatever you have on hand). Finely grate over some lemon or lime rind, squeeze it's juice over ( or a white balsamic vinegar as it is mild / balanced), drizzle over a delicious healthy oil (eg ready made avocado with lime is fabulous) or EV olive oil. S&P. Finish with toasted seeds (eg sesame & sunflower toasted in soy from F&V shop).
Dish everything up on plates or onto platters for a shared meal but that means more washing up!