Tag Archives: fish

Fish flavoured millet croquettes

This is another brilliant recipe from the Czech cookbook from Dagmar Lužná.  I made some small adjustments only. It´s pretty much a usual deep-fried millet croquette, yet the subtle fish flavour coming from the bonito flakes gives it a special exotic touch. I didn´t see bonito flakes (dried flakes of a fish from the tuna family) anywhere here in CZ, I am still using my old ones from Amsterdam. But perhaps they sell them in some Asian specialty shops, who knows…

First you need to cook millet (about 3/4 cup for two people is more than enough) for about half an hour in a 1: 2,5 ratio of grain to water, with a small pinch of salt. I always presoak my grain and then rinse it, but it is not necessary. Meanwhile you can finely grate one large or two smaller carrots, finely mince one smaller onion and one (or two) garlic cloves. When the cooked millet cools down, mix in the grated carrot and minced onion and garlic. Add 2  tablespoons of dried bonito flakes, 1/2 tsp of ground nutmeg and 1/2 tsp of salt. If the mixture is too thin, you could add some oat flakes to thicken it. Otherwise just make small round balls with your hands and roll them in breadcrumbs (I used glutenfree corn crumbs) and deep-fry your millet croquettes until golden and crispy. Spray them with some shoyu or tamari soy sauce immediately after taking them out of the oil ( I do that with a slotted spoon or special tempura strainer). Keeping soy sauce in a spray bottle is very very handy 😀

I served the millet balls with some pickles and raw green daikon.

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Filed under Grain dishes, Recipes, Seafood

Fish tempura with onions and raisins

I think that I found my favourite fish dish!  It takes some time to prepare and is very rich, but worth the time and effort.
I had a fillet of black pollock which I cut into bite-sized pieces and dipped them in a glutenfree tempura batter: white rice flour (you could use brown rice flour, but this makes for a much lighter batter), some arrowroot starch, salt, water and a pinch of aluminum-free baking powder. I used about half half of the starch and flour and added enough water to make a batter that is not too thick but also doesn´t slide easily from the fish chunks – you really have to experiment with this one to get the right consistency. I deep-fried the coated chunks until light golden and let them drip excess oil on a paper towel.

Then I sauteed a large onion cut into big rings on some olive oil with a pinch of salt until soft and shiny. At that point I added a handful of raisins and some water and covered the pan with a lid to allow the raisins to absorb some water. When the raisins soaked up the liquid, I added a good splash of mirin and continued to cook for a while under the lid, on a low flame. The mirin makes anything cook really fast!

I arranged the fried fish chunks in a baking dish and covered each with a slice of organic lemon, peel included. Then I spooned on top the onion/raisin mixture and baked the dish in an oven on about 170°C, some 10-15 minutes, just until the lemons shrink and the onion starts to caramelize. The raisins should not get burnt!

The meal was served with a dip of tamari soy sauce, water, lemon juice and wasabi powder, with some blanched greens and with steamed rice sprouts.

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Baked fish with almond and dried tomato sauce

You can use any fish for this recipe, my local fish shop had plaice, so that was what I used.

For the sauce you will need to soak almonds overnight and the next day peel off the skins. Soak a few (one or two per person) dried tomatoes for at least half an hour in water. Place both in a blender with a pinch of salt and half a teaspoon of dried garlic powder. Add enough water to enable blending into a smooth paste (or chunky, if you like that better). Adjust salt.

Place plaice (pun!) in a greased baking dish, spread sauce on top and bake about 20 minutes on 200°C, the crust should get a bit browned. Serve with a grain or (for easier digestion) with steamed vegetables, preferably leafy greens.  I had curly cabbage, string beans and cauliflower leaves. Raw daikon with a drop of tamari soy sauce and some finely chopped spring onion will help to digest the fish and oils as well.

 

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Filed under Complete meals, Recipes, Seafood

Fish miso soup with sauteed greens

On Saturday we go to the local fish market in the centre and buy ourselves a fresh fish fillet for dinner – can´t get much more fresh than that, unless you live just at the seaside and not in the mainland as we do. We are sampling different kinds of fish, sometimes freshwater, sometimes sea fish. This time we went for Croatian seabass. It was pleasant, though a tad too oily for my current strict regimen 😀

I decided this time to turn the fish into a soup! First I steamed the fish very shortly, just so that I could take off the skin and bones, and set it aside. I brought water to a boil and added chopped parsley root, leek, daikon and sweet potato, all in small pieces. Towards the end I mixed in diluted shiro miso (you don´t want to use a strong yang miso with the fish, but be aware that shiro miso is very mild, so you might need more of it) and the pieces of fish and let simmer for a while, and then garnished the soup with chopped chives.

On a pan I sauteed wild chicory leaves, broccoli, kohlrabi, zucchini rounds and shredded pointed cabbage, just with water, mirin and ginger juice. We also had some raw spring greens – rucola, kohlrabi and corn salad (a type of lettuce). Served with long grain rice/wild rice mixture.

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Filed under Complete meals, Recipes, Seafood, Soups

6.1. Lunch, dinner and dessert :)

For lunch I could re-cycle the black bean dish from yesterday (see previous post), it was very nice mixed into water-sauteed vegetables (paksoi, leek, pointed cabbage and two types of green beans – flat and pointed ones), seasoned with a tablespoon of tamari. As a side I had sweet millet cooked together with chunks of hokkaido pumpkin (my favourite sidedish just after brown rice!) and fresh rucola (arugula) and olives to compliment the meal.

For dinner I decided to bake a fish in tin foil (since we have a wonderful big oven now :-D). I seasoned the slices of codfish (I buy only MSC certified fish) with a bit of salt and an organic herb mix which is sold specifically for seasoning fish. On top I sprinkled a generous amount of thin sliced onion and fennel, wrapped all inside the foil and baked for 30 minutes covered and then 15 more minutes uncovered so the fish and veggies could get a bit of a “tan”.  I served the fish with blanched greens (paksoi, pointed cabbage and mixed in raw rucola) and quinoa mixed with fresh parsley leaves (they add a nice colour contrast). It was really yummy!

I even made a decadent dessert…very quick and easy rice crispie dessert! In a saucepan over a low flame I liquified 2 parts of tahini with 1 part of maple syrup and 1 part of rice malt, stirred in a handful of cashew nuts and a cup of brown rice crispies (puffed rice). I spooned the sticky creation onto a wooden cutting board covered with baking paper and evened it out a bit, something like this…

It´s best to let this dessert cool in a fridge before attempting to cut neat squares with a sharp knife. But to be honest the dessert didn´t become as solid as I would have wished, making it hard to cut slices which don´t fall apart. There is lots of room for improvement but the taste was great! 😀

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Filed under Bean dishes, Complete meals, Desserts, Recipes, Seafood, Vegetable dishes

11.10.

Yesterday night I remembered to soak my grain, as it induces a germination process, and the result is even more nutrients in your grain! Plus reduced cooking time, yay! So I soaked a mix of the dutch brown “zilvervliesrijst” with red thai cargo rice, beautiful colours when you put those together…

We had the grain with a smoked mackerel with a black pepper coating (courtesy of the Albert Heijn supermarket! :-D), it was quite tasty and MSC quality (sustainable fishery), but next time I´d prefer non-smoked fish, I like the fresh version of fish better…

I also made nishime from daikon, carrot and onion (see one of my previous posts for how to make nishime), seasoned with tamari. I quickly blanched the rapini and mizuna – so far the best way how to prepare them, better than steaming or eating them raw as I did before. You just bring a little pot of water with a grain of salt (or two, or three…)to boil, place the greens inside, turn off immediately, let sit for a minute and take the greens out, simple! And I made a few chunks of lightly fermented cucumber – just sprinkle some salt over the chunks, let sit for a while and then rinse the salt off. It does wonders to the taste of the cucumber and it makes it more digestable! Overall, a great dish today, I think.

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Filed under Complete meals, Recipes, Seafood

B12 and me – the vegetarian nightmare

So I recently found out (according to many resources) that I really, really need to get my regular doses of vitamin B12. Some time ago I decided to follow this macrobiotic route, but at the same time I didn´t want to give up being a vegetarian. That combination actually meant that I decided to become (after a couple of years of thinking about veganism) a full-time vegan (as we know, in macrobiotics, eggs and dairy products are not commonly used). I was already eating maybe 90% vegan for several months (if not years) by the time I discovered that B12 deficiency can be very dangerous and even life-threatening. Irreversible neural damage, risk of stroke and other heart diseases, fatigue, memory loss, anemia, depression, aching limbs…all those are just a few symptoms. I never realized it could be so fatal. I also lived under the impression that you can get your B12 from fermented foods (as some older macrobiotic literature suggests) and later I learnt that seaweed was thought to be a source of the vitamin. There were many theories about how you can get your B12 without any animal product use. Anyhow, that is (as far as we know) not true, and these plant foods offer only what is called a B12 analogue, something merely similar to the actual vitamin.

Since that moment of truth my head started spinning with a lot of inner dilemmas – should I take only B12 supplements and in that way stay 100% vegan (and most of all, vegetarian) which on the other hand is not really a macrobiotic approach (in macrobiotics the use of synthetic supplements is generally discouraged as you should be able to get all your nutrients from your diet), or should I start using dairy products/eggs (which are pretty low in B12, not at all macrobiotic and making me feel unwell, but they are at least vegetarian) OR should I just start eating some meat (I never thought that would cross my mind after 7 years of vegetarianism, but here it is…btw, in macrobiotics the meat consumed on a regular basis is basically only fish and seafood). In my current (and long-term) state of mind there is no way I would eat mammals, animals close to humans on the evolutionary scale, but there is also no need for that – fish and seafood have the highest amounts of vitamin B12.

Well, well, this storm is STILL spinning in my mind. My conclusion for now is: using high-quality (and actually vegan) B12 supplements (2000 mcg a day for two weeks, later 2000 mcg once a week) to get my levels back to normal (without supplements getting the levels back would take very long and would require large amounts of animal protein :-p), and gradually relying on B12 obtained through a macrobiotic diet of occasional fish and seafood consumption, using supplements when I can´t find a good quality source of these foods/when I feel I need to eat less yang food etc. It´s not ideal and my vegetarian heart is still not happy, but on the other hand, if my body needs something (and trust me, I searched for a lot of information on this topic), I need to give it that something. While fish and seafood are meat (to me, anyway), they are still the furthest from mammals I can possibly go. Especially seafood is really primitive organisms which I have less trouble eating.

So far I experimented with: canned dolphin-safe tuna (my first bite of meat after 7 years, that was really surreal and unpleasant), fried mussels from the local fish stand (really tasty actually), sushi rolls with raw salmon and crabsticks (surprisingly, the salmon was flavourless, and the surimi crabsticks – that just brought up childhood memories :-D) AND – believe it or not – Hollandse nieuwe, which is a typical Dutch meal, raw pickled herring! That, okay, was a bit to challenge myself and see if I like this Dutch “delicacy” or not…answer is…nope. Very very strong fishy smell (which I dislike in general) and slimy structure 😦 But – I ate it. As you can see in the picture, I ate the herring with steamed curly cabbage and daikon (to balance the acid-forming yang fish). Interesting experiment, but I think I will stick to mussels (or clams – that is my other plan still), maybe some other seafood, and a rare fish every now and then…

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Filed under Macrotalk, Recipes, Seafood