Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


Steam power.

The less you mess about with fish the better. Proof: (a) the Japanese eat it raw, and (b) turning salmon into mousse and stuffing it into a salmon mould is not as popular as it was in the 1980s. I have to point out that the dishes was so common it was frequently served at open-air luncheons with the temperature in the high 20s and the table in the sun ...

If you don't fancy raw fish, steaming might be the the next best thing. Despite the fondness I occasionally display for the food I ate as a child, the fish I was served was quite often cooked Cajun-style, but without the exotic spices: blackened. It might have been my fault. I always came in late for dinner.

The other night I steamed some firm white flesh fillets in foil in the oven using a few Asian flavour enhancements.

Oven-steamed fish.

Take your fish fillets, lay them in some double-folded foil, and add some finely grated ginger, a splash of soy sauce, a splash of mirin or rice wine, and a couple of finely chopped spring onions (or shallots if you live in another State). (Having said that, Victorian shallots would work just as well.) Close the foil, folding carefully to prevent fluid loss in transit to oven. Bake long enough to just cook the fish, time depending on size and thickness of fish.

Serve on rice or noodles with Asian broccoli or other greens steamed and tossed in a little oyster sauce.


ANGELA: Honestly, darling, I'm so embarrassed. It really is embarrassing. I mean,...

HOWARD: I suppose... [mumbling]

ANGELA: serve salmon with botulism at a dinner party is social death for me.

- The Meaning of Life, 1980

1 comment:

Dr. Alice said...

Ah, salmon mousse. Back when I was working for my university's catering service (and yes, it was in the 1980s) we once served it at a luncheon which I think was part of a fundraiser for the Arts. It was not outside but rather in a cavernous theater auditorium. Unmolding each little pan was quite a job. I don't recall that we ever served it again.

What I really loved in my childhood was salmon croquettes. My mother used to make them, but considering the work that went into them they were a special treat.