Salmon, the Fishy Fish
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.