Paleo

Seafood Salad Recipe with 4 dressings

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.

 

 

Seafood Salad

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Add some spices peppercorns, cloves or give it an Asian twist use ginger, galangal, Lemon Grass, etc.
  3. Bring liquid with aromatics to a boil let it steep after 30 minutes remove all the aromatics.
  4. Bring the liquid back to near boil, watch bubbles break through the surface. Add pieces of fish and shellfish carefully into the water.

Seafood Salad Recipe Asianfoodtrail

Cooking time

  1. Cook for the right moment;
    1. small shrimps only need 15 sec,
    2. squid just 1-minute
    3. for all shellfish approx. 3-5 minutes (or shell opens)
    4. 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.
  2. Note: for whiter and creamier flavour use milk to poach in the fish fillets with aromatics.
    1. Pour milk in a pan, just to cover the pieces of fish fillets barely.
  3. 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.

Poaching liquid

  1. 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.
    1. This step slows the cooking pace down. Watch the time and the target temperature carefully.
  2. 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.
  3.  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.
  4. 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

Seafood and fish benefits a healthy diet

Welcomed by a blazing sun on Sunday it ignited planning a trip to the beach. We never passed beyond that first thought. Absentmindedly sweeping up our backyard and trimming by pulling and snipping into the wiry Ivy. We ended up stripping down almost twenty years of Ivy growth against the garden wall.

After hours of manual labour, pulling and cutting the Ivy stalks we managed to get rid the Bush. Simple trimming turned out to be a heck of a job.

 

 

Going to the seaside was not an option anymore nearing the end of the day. Instead, we had a seafood salad mix as part of a healthy Keto (Paleo or LCHF) diet. Eating fish and seafood happens to be perfect with weight loss plan too.

Seafood and Fish

We like to eat and prepare the fish whole from head to tail, fish types e.g. red snapper, mackerel, sardine, red mullet, sea bream, and more. Or sample fresh seafood like cuttlefish, clams, mussels, prawns, scallops and oysters.

You might have guessed, Fruits du Mer or Seafood platter is one of my favourite dishes. The presentation combined with flavour, texture it will take more time in advance for preparation.

Instead, it is easier to have a salad with fresh, canned and frozen items for a quick formed meal. Eating more seafood and fish in our weekly meal plan are healthy choices, in fact, 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. I have been reading on the benefits for a healthy diet due to reversing diabetes Type 2 while following Keto diet with very good results.

Here a short overview why having more fish and seafood benefits a healthy diet in our body and brain. The recipe description for Seafood Salad Mix with extra dressings and cooking notes are here with other recipe suggestions right after the resource listings here down below.

Seafood and fish benefits a healthy diet

  • Lower blood triglycerides (cholesterol)
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease
  • Can lower blood pressure
  • May improve symptoms of inflammation, arthritis and psoriasis

Seafood nutritional value

Seafood and fish nutritional value

  • Many varieties of seafood are low cholesterol and sodium
  • Rich source of protein, minerals and vitamins
  • Low-calorie source of essential nutrients
  • Polyunsaturated fats lower LDL, triglycerides, boost cholesterol profile
Resources and facts

Seafood nutritional value

What’s not to love with healthy and tasty seafood dishes. Any style goes throughout the year. For dinner tonight a seafood salad mix is just perfect.

For other Salads, click on Thai beef salad | Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad  | Seafood Salad Mix Recipe

Calendar events:

Seafood and fish benefits a healthy diet. Mention and share a fish event near you with us. We will add it to the list or perhaps even drop by :-).

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Sticky BBQ chicken wings recipe for Instant Pot

My cooking notes:

  • 1/4 cup=4 tablespoons, 0.25 ml or 56.5 grammes
  • Multi cooker model here is Instant Pot DUO 7-1.
  • The Instant Pot cooks a quarter, half or full pot with the whole wings, drumsticks, turkey drumsticks. The cooking time will be the same.
  • Use to make homemade marinades and seasoning rubs, but these are my favourite ready-made spices; McCormick Smokehouse Maple and Montreal steak seasoning.
  • BBQ charcoal smokiness comes straight from the BBQ grill or smoker. I use liquid smoke to recreate this by adding it to the cooking liquid in the pot.
  • Sweetness is added by using palm sugar or substitute with brown sugar or a combination of sugar and honey (2+2 tbs).
  • 2 lbs chicken wings (frozen or thawed) I used a combination of 1 kg chicken wings (wingtips with drumettes attached) plus 1 kg chopped Chicken legs (in 3 pieces).
  • For a little bit of heat, I added a blend of 1 teaspoon crushed cayenne pepper and 1 tsp crushed chilli peppers.

Change the flavours by alternating between Thai Siracha sauce, (Indonesian Sambal paste), Sambal Badjak. A bit closer to home opt for Portuguese/African Piri Piri spice blend 1-2 tbs. My dinner guests will ultimately inspire the level of heat and spiciness.

 

Sticky BBQ chicken wings recipe for Instant Pot

Tips for Keto, LCHF, Paleo and T2D (type 2 diabetes)
  • Make your own sugar-free bbq sauce or order online a good brand as in the recommendation ads here below.
  • For my smoothies and baked goods, I use erythritol, inulin, stevia and Chinese Lo Han Guo as sweeteners.
  • Favourite sugar-free option I recommend Lakanto monk fruit sugar it has 0 calories. Great sweet taste no off flavours as with stevia. You also can use Lakanto sugar-free maple syrup instead of honey.
  • For sticky BBQ chicken wings use this sugar-free option to substitute for using high-calorie sugars.
  • Luo Han Guo is a low-caloric, low-glycemic food used as a sweetener in beverages and cooked food.

Using this sweetener in Chinese herbal teas and cooking I am familiar with the level of sweetness. It never occurred to me how beneficial the health benefits are having a hidden agent as a health aid.

Luo Han Guo, monk fruit is native to southern China. In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) it is been used as a traditional medicine to treat obesity and diabetes.

Luo Han Guo is a low-caloric, low-glycemic food used as a sweetener in beverages and cooked food extremely sweet (about 300 times as sweet as sugar). You can purchase this online or purchase Lo Han Guo tea and powder at Asian and Chinese supermarkets and Chinese herbal shops.

 

Lakanto monk fruit

FAQ Lakanto sugar-free 0 calories 100% sweet taste from Lo Han Guo aka monk fruit

1# BBQ wings Instant Pot dinner tonight

2# BBQ saus kippenvleugels recept Instant Pot

 


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Chinese braised oxtail in Instant Pot

Chinese braised oxtail dish, prepared in the Instant Pot a fantastic new tool in my kitchen. This appliance really has cut down the cooking time impressively compared to a Dutch oven on the stovetop and/or oven technique. Only slow-braising in the slow cooker could be an equal in flavour but definitely not a time-saver. The actual Instant Pot meat/stew program was ready in thirty minutes! More information on the Instant Pot and Instant Pot FAQ links.

In all fairness, the total cooking time all together was around one and half hours;

  1. Sauteing oxtail bones 10-15 minutes
  2. Meat/Stew program 30 minutes
  3. Push the cancel button (if not the pressure will not lower directly, it will also extend the waiting time)
  4. NPR – natural pressure release 30 minutes and final
  5. QPR – quick pressure release 5-10 minutes (keep a towel at hand to cover, just in case the steam bursts with a fountain of depressurized liquid)
  6. Finished oxtail bones only – 1½ hours.
  7. Optional: added vegetables and used the manual slow cook program with adjusted time.
  8. Or use the Warm keep function additionally, set the time preference.

Stovetop and slow cooker actual time would definitely between 4-6 hours or more depending on the cut size and weight including the preparation time before until the end of cooking time. If I had doubled or tripled the quantity in the Instant Pot, the cooking meat/stew program still be consistent ready in 30 minutes.

 

Shared my Instant Pot awe-struck moment of braised oxtail with meat falling off the bone while retaining the shape of vegetables. The Instant Pot microprocessor controlled programs work like magic. I posted a photo of my finished Chinese style braised oxtail bones on FB Instant Pot® Community group and received responses on how to make with a full recipe to share. Here’s a quick image overview.

Chinese style braised oxtail bones – recipe

1. Pushed the Sauté button, added vegetable oil as soon as it heated up I added all the oxtail bones into the pot for 5-7 minutes. When it’s browned well the meat releases easily from the bottom.

Instant Pot Sauté preset

Instant Pot Sauté function on with oxtail bones

2. Stir meat around browning all sides, While turning everything around add the spices; cinnamon and star anise. As soon as they release aroma, add the ginger first than garlic. Keep stirring the pot to mix and pan-fry at the same time. With all the brown bits sticking pour in the Chinese wine and scrape the bottom loose. Followed by all other ingredients and close the lid. Cancel the sauté program and push the Meat/Stew button to start braising the oxtail bones.

Instant Pot Sauté preset

Instant Pot Sauté preset

3. After 30 minutes the beep sounded waited for the pressure to come down, the released pressured air carried a hint of the wonderful aroma. When I opened the lid this is what I saw, tender, moist oxtail meat, and vegetables in a flavoursome gravy with an intense fragrance floating upwards from the pan. Pleased as punch with my dish and my new kitchen gadget.

Instant Pot Meat/Stew program

Instant Pot Meat/Stew program

4. Transferred my braised oxtail dish into a normal pan, time to dish up the plates. Life is good.

Chinese braised oxtail bones

Chinese style braised Oxtail bones

Serve in a bowl with rice or noodles on the side or as a topping making it a one-dish meal. Not shown in the image (too fast gobbling it up), for a beautiful presentation you may choose to garnish it with sprigs of coriander, thinly sliced onion rings, diagonally slices of chilli pepper or a mix of altogether scattered on top.

Click here for the Chinese style braised Oxtail bones recipe.

Please read my disclaimer and disclosure on affiliated links and copyright notice for links and information in this post.

Chinese style braised oxtail bones – recipe

Chinese style braised oxtail bones are served as a topping on rice or served separately in a wide bowl. Vegetables as carrots and cassava are added making this dish a hearty and flavoursome nutritious dish. Paleo fans will enjoy its warming earthiness as much without any gluten ingredients. Interchanging between a variety of bean sauces (Chinese fermented soybean sauces), chilli paste and spices will allow you to play with an aroma to your own liking. Or be adventurous and choose to cook from other south-east Asian cuisines enjoying the different flavour, texture with salivating fragrances.

Serve in a bowl by itself with rice or noodles on the side, or topped above as a one-dish meal for lunch or dinner. As a main dish, if preparing a menu for more persons, I would suggest adding a vegetable- and doufu dish with a light soup to complement each other. The Chinese style braised oxtail bones will be the focus for your guests at the table. For the recipe scroll here below, click here for Chinese braised oxtail in Instant Pot information and photo images.

Difference between braise, stews and soup – Update 21 December 2015

I received engaging comments with the questions, how much liquid to add. Followed by the difference between braising and stews. In answer to my readers,  I am updating the post with the replied information on the method of cooking techniques used for tougher cuts of meat.

To start with the liquid in any recipe, it focuses on the right volume to add, water, stock or broth. Next, the cut size of the meat (small cubes) and cutting against the grain means cutting crosswise through the long muscle fibres in the meat. Breaking them up makes meat more tender.

Often used cuts are the less tender and gelatinous parts of meat for slow cooking as well as the use of accompanying vegetables in the dish. In order to fuse all the ingredients together to melt into a tender and flavoursome dish, is by breaking down the connective tissue as tendons (collagen) just simmering it slowly using the right low temperature.

Braising and stewing cooking technique are combination cooking methods using the hob and/or oven.

  • Braising is cooking meat on a bed of vegetables in a small amount of liquid, utilising steam and stewing in its cooking process. At the end of the cooking process, the meat often falls off the bone and the concentrated gravy is clinging to the pieces of meat.
  • Stewing is a slow cook method, where the food is cut into smaller pieces and covered in liquid using gentle heat for a long time. Here the meat is fork tender and the liquid is reduced covering the meat pieces in an aromatic thick sauce.

Cooking with high pressure is perfect it doesn’t require a whole lot of liquid, making it perfect for braised dishes in my Instant Pot DUO 7-1 I use or Lux 6-1 (version without yoghurt option). In comparison with my stove high-pressure cooker, where you have to manually set the timer and keep an eye on it still. The IP has automated meat/stew 30 minutes program you just press and walk away, at the end of time cancel the keep warm function so the natural pressure release can come down a bit faster (approx. 30-45 min.).

For a braised result, I submerge the meat by adding water or stock just barely covering it exposing some of the bones and meat. If you would opt for only (e.g. 50%) using half of water or stock to add, be aware that the gravy will reduce significantly as well. Tip: Keep in mind if this dish is completely cooled the gravy of the bones will be very gelatinous (jiggly as jelly). Meat jelly is another Chinese delicacy served eating it cold as homecooked food and can be creatively used in appetisers or bun fillings for example.

If I like to make a stew instead, I will submerge the ingredients covering it to ½-1 inch (1 ½ – 3 cm) above with liquid or more if it calls for a soupy consistency.

 

Drink suggestions:

  • Tea leaves: Green tea or Jasmine tea is very common, but Pu Erh tea has an earthy smokiness which is very pleasant with an added bonus it really cuts the fat down in your body.
  • For the beer fans: You will enjoy this dish with a light beer, a darker beer, even more, tasteful. In The Netherlands seasonal draft beer or bottled bock beer would be nice to pair along, it has richer, sweeter lager with warm toasty undertones and minimal bitterness. More information on Beleef bockbier 2015, with an overview of 125 different bock beers in The Netherlands. Besides Guinness Stout beer or a Kilkenny, share yours.
  • As for wine lovers: A red Bordeaux is an easy choice, but for the adventurous wine sleuth, an Australian Shiraz-Viognier Barossa 2006 is a discovery I can recommend. My all time favourite would be the Chilean Tarapacca Carmenere, rich in berry fruits and spices to pair with my bowl of Chinese style braised oxtail bones. You will not believe it, but I made my acquaintance and fell in love with Tarapacca in Taipei. Of course, there are far more than one grape or bottle, the more reason to cook and pair more meals.

If you have made the braised Oxtail bones, share your dinner send me a photo.

Enjoy!

 

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Chicken Broccoli easy stir-fry recipe

A request from TinYee for “What’s for dinner?”, how about a quick stir-fry tender chicken with broccoli florets flashing out of the wok onto a plate. Let’s not forget to write down the Chicken Broccoli easy stir-fry recipe and post it please :-).

If you’re cooking for a family or friends this is a healthy and tasty dish to serve on the table. Chinese stir-frying and Asian cooking is all about setting up for flash cooking.

Chicken Broccoli stir-fry recipe is an easy budget-friendly dish and a crowd pleaser. All the ingredients can be easily substituted with other meat cuts and greens in season. Pork, lamb, beef (even fish, see note) with vegetables like cauliflower, green beans, Pak Soi or Chinese cabbage. Versatile and ideal to mix vegetables of what is left in the refrigerator and needs to be finished

 

Quick, easy and economic no leftovers of ingredients, whether you cook Chicken Broccoli easy stir-fry for 4 persons or make 4 meals ahead for your weekly meal plan. Start with the preparation, cutting up the ingredients in bite-size pieces. Season the thinly sliced meat quickly set aside. blanch the vegetables and quickly into an ice-bath. Have all other seasoning bottles and jars ready to grab and heat up the wok.

Cut up broccoli florets or other vegetables in equal bite-size pieces. Blanch the vegetables, short and quickly into an ice-bath. This will stop the cooking process. Have all other seasoning bottles and jars ready to grab and heat up the wok.

Chicken broccoli easy stir-fry recipe

Tip:

Check the fridge if other ingrediënts can be chopped into the dish too. This help clearing and finishing into a colourful and healthy cooked meal. When stir-frying always add the hardest/toughest ingredients first and soft ingredients last into the wok.

Another Chinese stir-fry recipe is Flat beans with ground pork and bean sauce or try seafood suggestion Thai Red Curry Mussels Recipe.

Cooking notes:

  • This recipe is suitable to adapt for Keto, Paleo and diabetes diet.
  • For soy sauce gluten free options:
    • soy sauce choose tamari sauce (wheat free) as the closest substitution
    • Bragg liquid amino (purist would say nay because it’s not made with a natural fermentation but chemical process instead)
    • Coconut amino (a healthy soy substitute, made from coconut sap. It has a salty, slightly sweet flavour and is rich and dark in colour)
    • fish sauce (made from fermented fish/seafood although it is different it tastes as good). If there are none dietary restriction I often use both in cooking.
    • home-cook experiment, make your own instead. Will follow up soon with a discovery post.
  • Cooking oil
    • Olive oil use light, extra virgin is too heavy and will carry an after taste.
    • Sesame oil is only used for flavouring at the end, not intended for stir-frying, it burns too quickly and becomes bitter.
    • Coconut oil is mostly used in Keto and Paleo cooking.
  • Chicken seasoning powder in principle should be gluten free or use a vegetable powder as substitute
  • For vegan diet:
    • use fresh tofu
    • dried compressed soy flavour tofu
    • Tempeh (fermented soybeans)
    • Okara, when I make fresh soy milk the leftover soybean pulp is called Okara. Very nutritious and versatile to make pancakes or burgers.
    • Quorn
    • You can also buy a large variety mock soy meat packages at Chinese supermarkets.
  • Instead of meat, you can also substitute with fish fillets too. Coat the pieces in corn flour and fry them first, take out, continue with the recipe and add when almost done.
  • Cornstarch is what I standard use, next tapioca starch and tapioca flour or arrowroot.
  • Mushroom sauce (vegetarian) and oyster sauce are both used as extra flavour seasonings or omit.