Salmon, the Fishy Fish

November 4, 2010

I haven’t always liked Salmon. When I was younger, I found it incredibly ‘fishy’ – a simply genius description here, I am aware – and would always request a separate piece of flake (the least ‘fishy’ fish, rather, Shark) if my family were having Salmon. I wasn’t usually a fussy eater, but I wouldn’t budge on Salmon. Or Sardines. Or olives. Thankfully, my tastes have matured and I now love all these foods. Especially Sardines. Baked with pinenuts, and a light breadcrumb coating, maybe some raisins and of course, lemon. It takes me back to Sicily…

Back to the dish at hand. I have been trying to increase my consumption of Oily Fish. Perhaps it is the habit I got into when I was a poor student, but I tend to gravitate away from the more expensive cuts of meat/fish, in favour of legumes or eggs. Brown rice with peas and soy sauce was a favourite cheap, not so nutritionally sound, meal that I used to love during second year Uni. Not only do I need to remind myself that I actually now do earn money, but I tend to forget how much I love a nice piece of fishy fish these days.

Last weekend, post Pho, Ben and I visited Springvale market and picked up some Salmon. We also bought some ridiculously cheap choy sum, chives, gai lan and spinach – all super fresh, I love my greens. I must remember to shop at Springvale market more. I tend to rely on Oakleigh market, as it is closer to home, but Springvale wins hands down for seafood and Asian veg. Plus, they have banana and pandan leaves! Inspiration strikes…

My desire to increase the amount of Oily Fish I eat is not just for the delicious taste. Naturally, there is a health motivation as well. Oily Fish, which includes Salmon, Tuna steaks (tinned tuna contains less Omega 3s), Trout, Mackerel, Herring, Sardines and Anchovies, is a great source of Omgea 3 fatty acids. Why are Omega 3 fats so good? They have a long list of proposed health benefits, including having an anti-inflammatory action and being great for heart health. Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend 2-3 serves of oily fish per week. Fish is also a great source of protein, so bring on the fishy fish, I say.

If you dislike eating Oily Fish, you can take fish oil supplements (many don’t have a fishy aftertaste these days). Vegetarians and vegans can get a hit of Omega 3s from foods such as flax seeds, chia seeds and walnuts. However the type of Omega 3 fats differ from those found in Oily Fish, and the body processes these differently. The specifics can get a little complicated, but just try to eat the above foods as well as a healthy, varied diet and you are on the right track.

Now, back to the eats…

Salmon and Broccolini Pasta

Ben and I decided to have the Salmon with some pasta – I love pasta, and we eat it at least twice a week. We cooked the Salmon steaks (120g each) by pan-frying them in a little olive oil (~4 mins each side on medium-high heat to get a nice crispy skin). I had some broccolini to use up (one bunch), which I diced and then sautéed in a bucket load of garlic (3-4 cloves). We then flaked the Salmon with a fork, producing nice chunks of fish, and then topped the wholemeal linguini with our Salmon chunks and garlicky broccolini. I then drizzled some good quality extra virgin olive oil over the dish, as well as some salt and pepper.

It was delicious. Simple, fresh, clean, healthy. Perfect with a glass of Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc. Next on my Omega 3 list is a Sardines. I want to make them just like we had them in Sicily. This may take some practice 🙂 At least I will continue to get a good dose of Omega 3s in my search for perfection.

Heidi xo
  • Mrs Fatty Pants November 4, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    This looks super yummy!!:)

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) November 4, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    oh what a beautiful dish! I I bet the ol' Oyster Bay paired wonderfully!

  • Leah November 4, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    This looks like such a lovely dish! Im a big fan of trout myself 😉

  • Hannah November 4, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Looks lovely! I think my favourite fish at the mometn is smoked rainbow trout – I got a bit bored by salmon because used to have it every Sunday when I lived at home. Am seriously into canned sardines at the moment, which I'm only admitting because I feel like you won't be someone to say that's gross! 😀 So good with some vinegar and pepper on hot buttered toast 🙂

  • Heidi November 4, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Thanks Mrs Fatty Pants 🙂 It was!

    Lisa – I just love that wine. I'm not such a wine connoisseur, but I think it paired nicely.

    Leah – I need to get into trout. Ben is anti trout for some reason (taste wise). I may just cook it and see if he notices.

    Hannah – No judgement, only praise 🙂 it sounds delicious! I used to think my dad was nuts, but now I totally understand his sardine love. Dad makes a lovely tapenade too, which I think will pair nicely with sardines on toast. yum!

    Heidi xo

  • Leah November 4, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    Oh Heidi, fresh trout is so much tastier than salmon! I usually bake it in a lovely lemon, vino, butter sauce and it is delicious!

  • Heidi November 4, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    Thanks for the tip, Leah! I will buy some next market trip. Sounds absolutely delicious.
    Heidi xo

  • Chanel11 November 4, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    It's funny, back as a kid when I ate meat, the only fish I would eat was also flake, for the same reason that it was 'less fishy' – when I got older however, salmon became my favourite fish and I loved it alone or in pasta dishes like yours above.

  • The InTolerant Chef November 4, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    I love salmon too. Have you tried the fatty deliciousness of salmon belly? Yumm…

  • Heidi November 4, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    Chanel11 – yes, flakes is a great kid-friendly introduction to fish 🙂 especially when battered as fish and chips, hehe.

    InTolerant Chef – I have never!! A massive Omega hit there!

    Heidi xo

  • laurak November 4, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    This looks very tasty, as your photography always does! I am a big fan of broccollini, I much prefer it to broccoli, as strange as that sounds!
    I'm currently on a veggie burger making roll, I'd love to make one adding salmon steaks, but unfortunately since I am still a poor student it might have to be tinned.. I wish Sirena made salmon as well as tuna!

  • Heidi November 4, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    Thanks, laurak! Veggie burgers sound delicious. Omg that would be amazing if Sirena made tinned salmon!
    Heidi xo

  • laurak November 4, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    It certainly would be, in fact I just went to their website hoping that (miraculously!) they did in fact make tinned salmon as well.. but they don't, sigh!

  • Carly Findlay November 4, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    I love salmon, but raw by far!
    When I went to Tassie I ate so much salmon and cheese, and my skin was so good! I felt proof of the good effects of omega 3.

  • hbobier November 5, 2010 at 7:58 am

    The linguini and broccolini is looking good! I don't eat fish, and really should start trying to find a vegetarian form of Omega 3's. Until then, I'm just Omega-less!

  • April @ My Food Trail November 5, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Salmon is one of my favourite foods ever, though I was much like you and didn't like it as a kid! I prefer raw/partially cooked salmon though!

  • Kath November 5, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Your dish looks so great – like a work of art! I really wished I liked oily fish, and I've tried it many times, but I never enjoyed it. I take fish oil capsules instead.

    What's the difference between animal and plant omega 3? That sounds very interesting.

  • Heidi November 5, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Carly – I feel my skin glowing when I eat it too 🙂

    Heidi – Omega-less sounds so sad! There are actually algal supplements (which are vegetarian) you can get, as that is where the fish get their omega 3s from.

    April – I'm still only just getting into raw fish – it is the texture that freaks me out, I think. I'm getting there though 🙂

    Kath – Thank you! Plant sources lack the long chain Omega 3s (EPA & DHA) that are found in fish oils. They contain the short chain ALA, which the body must then convert to EPA & DLA, but this conversion isn't always very efficient and can be inhibited by Omega 6 fats. In a nut shell that is it. Essentially fish oil is the easiest source for the body.

    Heidi xo

  • Heidi November 5, 2010 at 10:36 am

    ^ Oops I wrote DLA but meant DHA.

  • littleaspects November 5, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Ooh, how will you cook your sardines? I have always wanted to get them and bake them with tomatoes and then serve with crusty bread and a green salad but I'm always worried that I won't be able to gut them properly!

  • Heidi November 5, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Hi littleaspects! I think I will look to these for inspiration: 1) http://www.sbs.com.au/food/foodsafarirecipe/index/id/9112/n/Stuffed_sardines_(sardine_alla_beccafico)
    2) http://lacucinaitalianamagazine.com/recipe/sarde_a_beccaficu
    I think I'll get the fishmonger to butterfly them initially – they do that, right?
    yum! xo

  • Indie.Tea November 5, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    I always thought of salmon as being relatively 'fishy' (and I think that shrimp is really fishy)…
    The salmon pasta looks delicious!

  • Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear November 6, 2010 at 2:35 am

    Yay for salmon and pasta, it's exactly what I planned for dinner tonight 🙂

  • Kath November 6, 2010 at 6:10 am

    Thank you for explaining, Heidi! I didn't know that! I also didn't know that omega 6 can get in the way of omega 3 assimilation / building of long-chained omega 3! Very interesting!

  • Hannah November 6, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Yum!! that looks delicious.
    Always look forward to your posts 🙂

  • Anna Johnston November 8, 2010 at 7:49 am

    Don't know what's happened to me and salmon, think I've OD'd on it, having a bit of a hiatus from salmon but I used to eat it a couple of times a week. This looks lovely… maybe I should have a try again.

  • My Restaurants Melbourne November 8, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    I love salmon, one of my favourite seafoods. Im not so much into the smoked salmon slices you can buy, but the fresh stuff I'll have any day.