In this In Season, I’ve decided to change it up a bit and talk about buying fresh fish – in particular Salmon. Salmon is at it’s peak at the moment, so finding great quality salmon should be easy. However, I hate buying fresh fish. Fruit and Veg is fine, I can pick it up, I can smell it, carefully check it and take as long as I want. Fish is the worst, there’s always a huge queue, and you can usually barely see until you get near the front, and then there’s this extra pressure of making sure you buy the right quantity. I know following the tips below make it a little easier for me, and I hope they do for you as well.
Choose it: You want moist looking salmon with a rich colour. In a nutshell that’s it. If the salmon is starting to brown, curl or has any bruising, unusual coloured spots, just generally looks weird etc. give it a miss. Salmon that is beginning to dry out will also start to gape (so you’ll see little holes where those “seams” run down the middle of the fish). I know there’s a lot more advice out there, but it’s unlikely you’ll have time or opportunity to smell or handle the salmon so I’m not going to go into detail with this.
Finally, don’t feel pressurised to buy fresh fish, or a particular cut of Salmon from a certain region because you have been convinced it’s better. Good quality frozen, or thawed salmon will taste better than the most perfect cut of fresh salmon that’s past its peak. Moist + pink = tasty. That’s about all you need to know. (Oh, and about 150-200g per person should be fine).
Use it: Continuing with my love of Caribbean food, I made this beautiful Caribbean Salmon. I served it with sweet potato discs and corn on the cob:
- Mix together 1 clove garlic, crushed or grated, lime zest of 1/2 a lime, 1 tbsp jerk seasoning, 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (or 1/4 tbsp dried), 1-2cm ginger, grated and 1 -2 tbsp oil. Smear over 2 fillets of salmon and leave to marinate for 30 mins.
- If you are making with my accompaniments, cut 1 large sweet potato into discs (discarding the ends). Brush with oil and season with salt, pepper and a little chilli powder. Place on a baking tray and cook for 15 mins at 180C before turning, and adjusting oven temperature for salmon (in total you will roast the sweet potato for 25 minutes).
- Place the fish on a lined baking tray and cook for approximately 10 mins at 200C. Alternatively, grill or barbeque for about 5 mins or until cooked to your liking.
- Meanwhile, place the corn on the cob in a large pan of boiling water, add a squirt of lime juice and cook for 8-10 mins.
- Add a pinch of jerk seasoning, a squirt of lime and a little butter to the corn once plated (if desired), and serve the salmon with a lime wedge to give that extra little kick of flavour.
Use it up: While I doubt you’ll have much salmon left over after than yummy recipe, here’s a great salad to try if you do have any left over.
- Preheat oven to 200C. Mix the 2 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp mustard, 1 tbsp lemon juice and zest to form a paste, then brush over the salmon fillets. (Feel free to buy a pre-made dressing if you can’t be bothered – or make extra with the dressing above and use that).
- Put the fish fillets in the oven for about 10 mins or until cooked through and golden on top. Using a fork, gently flake the roasted salmon into chunks, then combine with the a bag of mixed garden leaves (spinach, watercress, rocket are all good choices), avocado, chopped cucumber and mango in a salad bowl.
- Dress with a little lemon juice (or lime juice is perfect if you have it left over from above) and oil and season to taste.
If you have left over ginger from the recipe above, one option is to freeze it (fresh ginger will keep for a couple of months if frozen). It’s also a nice addition to stir-fries, or my blog post on pineapple suggests a simple marinade. Alternatively use your ginger and lime to make a yummy cocktail. They would work well with a dark rum, soda water and a little sugar and ice, or vodka, pineapple juice and a light sparkling wine white. For a non-alcoholic option, try pineapple juice, mint and sparkling water.