Displaying items by tag: fish and seafood


Smoked fish and potatoes are a big part of the Russian diet. This is a Niçoise-style salad using potatoes and smoked trout. The egg is a nod to the fertility rites of the spring pagan celebration of May Day. Served with the cheese bread, it makes a simple dinner or lavish lunch.


Prep time: 30 minutes

Ready in: 40 minutes

Serves: 4 to 6



3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon or 1 tsp dried tarragon

1/2 cup olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 red-leaf lettuce, torn into pieces

250 grams (8 ounces) smoked trout, skinned

250 grams (8 ounces) mini red-skinned potatoes, boiled

6 asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces, blanched

1/2 cup finely sliced red onion

2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered

1 cup pitted black olives, halved

1 teaspoon cracked black pepper



Stir vinegar with Dijon and tarragon. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve. Toss lettuce with 1/4 cup dressing in a large bowl. Line a platter with dressed lettuce.

Break trout into large flakes. Arrange trout, potatoes, asparagus, onion, eggs and olives in rows over the lettuce. Drizzle with remaining vinaigrette (there may be a little extra). Season with black pepper.

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This simple dish is full of flavour and makes a good match for Spicy Rice or Korean sweet potato noodles. Kimchi is available in Asian stores.

Prep time: 10 minutes 
Ready in: 55 minutes, including marinating 
Serves: 4
4 fillets of salmon (6 ounces/170 grams each)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely chopped kimchi
1 tablespoon Korean chili paste (gochujang)
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
Preheat oven to 450 F.
Place salmon pieces skin side down in a baking dish. Season with salt and pepper. Combine mayonnaise, kimchi, gochujang, soy sauce and olive oil and brush over salmon. Marinate for 30 minutes.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on thickness of salmon, or until still slightly pink in centre.
Garnish each portion of salmon with cilantro and green onions.
To honour regional custom, you might serve this dish with soju, the grain-based spirit sometimes referred to as Asian vodka. It comes with relatively tame alcohol, at about 20 per cent, but enough to stand strong against salty soy sauce and the spices in Lucy’s recipe. There’s beer, too, but I’d sooner recommend off-dry riesling, with its sweet-tart verve, or chilled, crisp red Beaujolais. - Beppi Crosariol
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Snapper, striped bass or any flavourful not too thick fish with its skin works well. Brown butter has a nutty flavour that enhances fish. Be careful to adjust the heat so that the butter doesn’t burn.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Ready in: 15 minutes

Serves: 4



¼ cup butter

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 fillets Mediterranean sea bass
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon chopped capers
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
Heat butter and vegetable oil over medium heat in a large skillet. When butter foams, add fillets and cook skin-side down until golden, about 3 minutes. Turn over and cook second side for 2 minutes.
Place fillets, flesh-side up on plate. The remaining butter in the pan should be a nut brown colour and smell nutty. Lower the heat and whisk in water and mixture should emulsify. Whisk in capers, lemon rind, lemon juice and parsley. Pour over fish before serving.
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Andy Ricker’s dish is a traditional take on steamed fish, an important part of Chinese New Year. You will need a large bamboo steamer basket. I used striped bass as I could not get fresh black bass.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Ready in: 25 minutes

Serves: 2 to 3



4 large garlic cloves, crushed

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro stems plus cilantro leaves for garnish

2 teaspoons chopped Thai chilies or more to taste

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

Pinch of freshly ground white or black pepper

750 grams-1 kilogram (1½-2 pounds) whole head-on black bass scored on both sides in 1-inch intervals

2 tablespoons chicken broth

Lime juice, optional

1 lime, cut into thin rounds



Pound garlic, cilantro stems and chilies lightly with a wooden pestle in a clay mortar until a coarse paste forms. Add 2 tbsp lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and ground pepper. Mix with a spoon to combine. (Alternatively, pulse in a mini-processor until a loose paste forms.)

Place fish on a plate that will fit inside the bamboo steamer basket with some wiggle room; pour paste over fish. In a wok or wide pot, add water to a depth of 1 inch. Bring to a boil. Transfer fish on plate to basket. Set basket over pot and pour chicken broth over fish. Cover; steam fish until cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes.

Transfer fish to a serving platter using two large spatulas. Spoon juices from plate in steamer over fish. Drizzle fish with lime juice, if desired. Garnish with lime slices and cilantro leaves. Serve with rice.



Delicate fish and aromatic infusions – the first course calls for a yin-yang of punchy fruit with lively acidity. Austrian gruner veltliner, an under-appreciated white, gets my vote. If I could have a second vote, it would be good-quality South African chenin blancBeppi Crosariol

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The San Francisco dining scene, ever dynamic, has a new raft of restaurants to savour. One of the edgiest, State Bird Provisions, has become a darling of both foodies and critics. In addition to a palate-challenging menu bursting with fresh, focused flavours, it has taken to sending interesting small dishes around the restaurant on dim sum trolleys. The concept has proven so popular that it is hard to get reservations, although the restaurant does not book the counter seats, which can be had on a first-come, first-served basis.

This sensual dish of rare tuna mixed with avocado and a scented dressing topped with nori chips is a highlight of State Bird’s menu. The chips are better than any potato chips you will ever have. Black garlic is fermented garlic that can be found in Asian grocery stores, particularly Korean ones. (Roasted garlic is the best substitute.) The tuna is cooked slowly in oil as if making a confit.

Prep time: 1 hour

Ready in: 3 hours, including cooling time

Serves: 4




500 grams (1 pound) albacore tuna loin

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons sweet Spanish paprika

Enough olive oil to cover tuna while poaching (about 2 cups)


Black garlic aioli:

1 egg yolk

1/2 cup grape-seed or olive oil

1 clove black or roasted garlic

1 teaspoon togarashi or chili flakes

1 small clove garlic, grated on a microplane

2 tablespoons tamari or light soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest

Juice of 1 lime


Nori chips:

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 cup water

1 nori sheet, cut into triangles

Olive oil left over from poaching tuna

Salt to taste


Avocado salad:

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 tablespoon white or light soy sauce

1 teaspoon fish sauce

1 avocado, peeled and cut in chunks



To prepare the tuna:

Salt it on both sides, then rub with paprika. Heat oil in a small skillet on low heat. The oil is ready when a cube of bread tossed in bubbles very gently. Immerse tuna and cook 4 to 5 minutes or until tuna is cooked on the outside but still rare in the centre. Remove to a strainer, then to a plate. Let cool completely.

For the aioli:

Whisk egg yolk and slowly add oil to emulsify. Add remaining ingredients and stir until blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.

For the nori chips:

Heat oil in a pot or high-sided skillet big enough to hold the tuna in one layer to 350 F (180 C) or until a cube of bread turns golden in 15 seconds. Meanwhile, dissolve cornstarch in water. Dip a nori triangle into mixture. Immediately fry in oil until crisp (about 30 seconds). Drain on metal rack and season with salt immediately. Cool.

For the salad:

Whisk together lime juice, soy and fish sauce. Toss with avocado chunks in a bowl.


Cut tuna into chunks, then toss with avocado and drizzle with aioli. Transfer to four plates, top each serving with chips and garnish with a pinch of sweet paprika.

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Everywhere in Paris, soup garnishes are arranged on the soup plate and the liquid is poured over at the table. It’s an easy, elegant way to serve this soup, inspired by the hearty food at Semilla, another modern bistro.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Ready in: 45 minutes

Serves: 4



2 tablespoons butter

1 cup chopped onion

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

500 grams (1 pound) Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (about 3 cups)

2 1/2 cups chicken stock

1/3 cup whipping cream

Salt and freshly ground pepper (preferably white pepper)

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 jumbo scallops



Heat butter in a pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes or until softened. Add Jerusalem artichokes and sauté for 1 minute. Pour in stock and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until artichokes are very tender.

Purée soup using a hand-held blender or food processor until smooth. Return soup to pot, add cream and season with salt and pepper.

Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet over high heat. Add scallops and sear 3 minutes or until deep brown. Turn over and then slide skillet off the heat, leaving scallops in the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Scallops need another 2 minutes to finish cooking but will also hold for another 5 minutes, if soup is not yet ready. Pour soup over plated scallops.



A white Burgundy would make a fine Paris match. Slightly creamy and often with an earthy mineral tang, France’s finest chardonnays possess the texture and flavours to dance a pas de deux here. A simple and affordable Macon would be nice, though a higher-end Puligny-Montrachet or Meursault would give these dishes the regal touch. Non-French alternatives: Oregon or British Columbia pinot gris. If you prefer red, try an earthy red Burgundy (a.k.a. pinot noir), with its resonant root-vegetable beet note. - Beppi Crosariol

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Whether you’re dealing with post-holiday guests or post-holiday blues, a steaming bowl of spicy soup satisfies a need for comfort.

An Asian brand of comfort food, curry laksa has its roots in Malaysia, where the cuisine features a fascinating mixture of flavours, from Thai to Indian. The recipe below is a simple version of that soup/stew. I used frozen, partly shelled green mussels from New Zealand, as they look attractive in the soup, although regular mussels are good, too. You can also add vegetables such as snow peas or baby bok choy leaves. And if available, spices such as galangal and flavourings like shrimp paste lend even more authenticity.

Prep time: 15 minutes 

Ready in: 30 minutes

Serves: 4



4 bird’s-eye red chilies

250 grams (7 ounces) thin rice noodles

2 stalks lemongrass

2-inch section of ginger, peeled and chopped

4 shallots, peeled and quartered

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon ground coriander

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons Indian curry paste, as hot as you like it

1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk

5 cups chicken or fish stock

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 tablespoon grated lime zest

1 tablespoon lime juice

12 peeled shrimp

20 mussels, preferably New Zealand green

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

2 tablespoons chopped coriander

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion

Several handfuls bean sprouts



Split chilies in half lengthwise, leaving stems intact. Soak in cold water. Set aside for garnish.

Soak rice noodles in hot water for 20 minutes or until softened. Cut off the bottom section of lemongrass, discarding the top. Remove tough outer leaves and coarsely chop. Put into food processor with ginger, shallots, sugar and coriander. Process until nearly smooth.

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add shallot mixture and sauté until fragrant (about 2 minutes). Stir in curry paste and sauté about 30 seconds longer.

Add coconut milk, stock, fish sauce and lime zest and bring to boil. Simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add seafood and simmer for 5 minutes or until shrimp are pink and slightly curled and mussels are cooked.

Stir in lime juice. Taste for seasoning, adding more lime, sugar or fish sauce to taste.

Bring a large pot of water to boil and add noodles. Blanch for 1 minute, then drain. Place in 4 large bowls.

Ladle soup and seafood over noodles. Garnish with coriander, green onion, bean sprouts and chilies.

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To prepare an oyster platter, get them shucked at the fishmonger the day of the party, put them on ice and serve them on a cold tray. Garnish with lemons and grated horseradish or mignonette sauce. This traditional French sauce for oysters gives them a piquant flavour.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Ready in: 3 hours including chilling time



36 oysters

1/4 cup red wine

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped shallots

2 teaspoons cracked peppercorns

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind 



Combine red wine, red wine vinegar, shallots, peppercorns and lemon rind and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Let sit for 2 hours to concentrate the flavours. Chill before serving with oysters. Makes about 1/2 cup.



A sake martini is a fine theme cocktail for this appetizer (two parts gin or vodka to one part good sake, stirred not shaken). Sparkling wine is versatile and festive – I’d suggest Spanish cava or trendy prosecco from Italy. Grassy Chilean sauvignon blanc is a flexible and affordable white-wine option, while zippy, slightly chilled Beaujolais, the French red, won’t be a total disaster with oysters. Beer-wise, I’d opt for a slightly bitter, refreshing Czech-style pilsner. - Beppi Crosariol

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Shrimp and grits has become popular on menus at high-end restaurants of late, but it’s a dish that has been around for hundreds of years. Grits are so closely associated with the southern United States that the region is often called the Grits Belt. Made of ground dried corn, grits are similar to polenta, but coarser. A staple of workers’ diets in the past, they are now a trendy accompaniment. This recipe features traditional red-eye gravy, which is also good with ham steaks and pork chops. It’s made with coffee (use instant if you don’t have fresh). Warning to those who are sensitive to caffeine: Consider using decaf unless you want to find out firsthand how the gravy got its name.

Prep time: 30 minutes 

Ready time: 75 minutes

Serves 4



Cheddar grits: 

2 cups water

1 1/2 cups half and half cream or milk

3/4 cup stone-ground grits

1/3 cup butter

 Salt to taste

1 cup sharp cheddar, grated


Red-eye gravy:

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped smoked ham or turkey

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup coffee

1 1/2 cups chicken stock


Shrimp mixture:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 smoked chorizo sausages, diced

1 cup chopped red onion

1/2 cup chopped red pepper

1/2 cup chopped yellow pepper

16 large shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 green onions, finely chopped

Freshly ground pepper



To make the grits:

Bring water and cream to simmer in a pot over medium heat. Slowly whisk in grits. Cook, stirring frequently, until liquid is absorbed and grits are thick (about 20 minutes). Add butter and season liberally with salt. Remove from heat and fold in cheese. Reheat when needed.


To make the gravy:

Heat butter in a pot over medium heat. Add onion and ham and sauté for 3 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook until golden (about 2 minutes).

Combine coffee and stock and whisk in gradually to prevent lumps. Continue whisking until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes or until sauce coats the back of a spoon. Reserve.


To make the shrimp mixture:

Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over mediumhigh heat. Add chorizo and sauté until browned (about 2 minutes). Add onion and peppers and cook until onions are translucent (about 2 minutes longer). Add shrimp and sauté another 2 to 3 minutes.

Add gravy and simmer until shrimp is pink and curled (about 1 to 2 minutes longer). Stir in parsley and green onions. Adjust seasoning as needed. Serve over warm cheddar grits.

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The original recipe calls for sierra mackerel, but halibut is more readily available. Chilies and other Mexican ingredients are available at Latin American stores and online. Tomatillos look like green tomatoes with a papery skin that is removed before using. Leave the seeds in the jalapeno for a hotter taste.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Ready in: 3 hours



250 grams (8 ounces) boned and skinned halibut or mackerel

1/3 cup lime juice

Sea salt to taste

150 grams (about 5 ounces) tomatillos, finely chopped

1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped

1/2 cup finely chopped pitted green olives

1 tablespoon finely chopped white onion

1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 avocados, peeled and cut into small cubes



Cut fish into 1/2-inch pieces and place in bowl. Stir in lime juice and salt and mix well. Refrigerate for about 2 hours.

Stir in remaining ingredients except for avocado, adjust salt and marinate for about 30 minutes. Spoon into glasses (martini work well) and top with avocado.



You’d be better off with a citrusy, lean white, such as Rias Baixas or dry Sherry, both from Spain. Or try a frosty gin or vodka martini with lemon zest. - Beppi Crosariol

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