Fish and Seafood are healthy choices, and it is low-fat, high in protein and rich in omega-3 fatty acids. “The good omega-3 fatty acids have shown to reduce triglycerides, blood pressure and inflammation, read more in Seafood and fish healthy benefits.
Preparing a seafood salad, buy fresh from the market or use frozen seafood mix, I often stock a bag in the freezer. Add the quantity into a colander hold it under the water tap to remove the layer of ice.
Put a pan on the stove bring water to near boil and flash through the frozen seafood. Remove seafood quickly with a sieve and transfer to a bowl filled with ice cubes. If you bought fresh fillets and choice of seafood shells, poach the fish and shellfish for more flavour. Bonus, the remaining liquid has turned into rich aromatic fish taste broth.
How to poach fish and seafood in an aromatic broth called court-bouillon, a traditional way to enhance flavour. The Seafood Salad recipe and dressing variations are right here below.
- The poaching liquid is easy to make within 30 minutes. Using ingredients; sea salt, onion, carrot, bay leaf, parsley with lemon or vinegar. (The use of acidity is to help to retain the colour of salmon and turns shellfish in a bright red colour (lobster, crab). Milk helps with white fish fillets.
- Add some spices peppercorns, cloves or give it an Asian twist use ginger, galangal, Lemon Grass, etc.
- Bring liquid with aromatics to a boil let it steep after 30 minutes remove all the aromatics.
- Bring the liquid back to near boil, watch bubbles break through the surface. Add pieces of fish and shellfish carefully into the water.
- Cook for the right moment;
- small shrimps only need 15 sec,
- squid just 1-minute
- for all shellfish approx. 3-5 minutes (or shell opens)
- Fish fillets between 3 – 10 minutes, this depends on thickness and type of fish. Watch the fish fillets change colour and start to get flaky.
- Note: for whiter and creamier flavour use milk to poach in the fish fillets with aromatics.
- Pour milk in a pan, just to cover the pieces of fish fillets barely.
- Remove quickly with a sieve, to cool transfer immediately in an ice-water bath to stop cooking process and cool down immediately.
For Instant Pot users: cooking time table for fish and seafood.
- If you are preparing a cold fish dish, remove the pan from the burner leave it to cool down in the poaching liquid for more flavour.
- This step slows the cooking pace down. Watch the time and the target temperature carefully.
- At the end of poaching all fish and seafood ingredients, you will have an excellent intensified liquid leftover. Keep the broth by straining through a sieve in containers or freeze in cubes.
- Store the poaching liquid in the fridge use it within 24 hours for best flavour. Store in the freezer, it will keep for 2-3 months.
- Or use a high-pressure canner to store poaching liquid as broth in glass jars. I use a 24-quart Presto canner.
Various dressing style
Seafood Salad fresh ingredients, I love various dressings to fit my mood and appetite or to go along with my menu theme.
Italian/Mediterranean Insalata Frutti di Mare simple dressing is one of my favourites. Add parsley with two tbs of lemon juice with 80 ml (1/3 cup) of light olive oil, 1-2 cloves of garlic finely minced, pepper and salt. Taste for acidity level and add if needed a little bit of vinegar. Garnish with parsley leaves or chopped onion on top. Optional: add 1 Tsp of dijon mustard for vinaigrette dressing
Thai-style dressing, in Thailand this dressing is often combined with grilled squid and fish. Start with 4 tbsp lime juice, 4 tbsp fish sauce. Add 4 tbs palm sugar or 1 tbsp liquid sweetener ( no stevia!). Followed by 2-4 cloves minced garlic, 2-3 tbsp finely chopped coriander. For moderate heat add 1 pod chilli deseeded, chopped or sliced finely. Like Thai-style hot add in finely 1-2 chopped bird’s eye chilli’s). Add 2 tbsp of filtered water and mix everything together. Taste and add a little more water if needed. Garnish with fresh mint and coriander leaves to finish. Optional: no fresh chilli at hand use 1 tsp sriracha sauce.
Japanese Wafu-style dressing, 2 tbsp light soy sauce, 4 tbsp Japanese rice vinegar, 6 tbsp oil (do not use olive oil), 1 tsp fine caster sugar (1-2 drops liquid sweetener). Optional: add finely grated onion with daikon. Garnish with roasted sesame seeds on top.
For other reads and recipes: Thai noodle soup | Red Curry Mussels | Chinese stock methods and variations[recipe]