We live in an information age, where knowing exactly what is in our food has become as important as how it tastes. There is a huge volume of knowledge out there now – the internet has changed all of our lives for good. The information highway has become the information SUPER highway. Once, long ago in the ‘olden days’ we had to wade through an encyclopaedia, clumsy and huge, to find a word or a fact. Not so now.
Nutritional knowledge has also entered the race to know all. We do our best to eat our Five a Day, but before we do this we have to know what our Five a Day is. This may well lead to an internet search which would give us a suitable overload of information. Prior to this, we were encouraged to eat ‘roughage’, an apple a day, carrots to help you see in the dark, or spinach to make you strong like Popeye. I for one never believed a word of it, and couldn’t see what was wrong with condensed milk on a doorstep of fresh white bread.
What I’m leading up to is – can we just eat for the simple old joy of it? That’s what I want to talk about in this article – happy eating, not informative good for us eating (even if it is). I want to talk about salmon.
Salmon is such a glorious fish, upheld now because of our superior knowledge of essential fatty acids, but in fact is worth eating just because it’s so delicious.
The pink flesh is firm and because it is indeed an oily fish, it lends itself fantastically to being paired with strong flavours that cut through and provide zing. If you get hold of a good 3 pounder, cleaned of course, it’s perfect to chuck on the barbie in our gorgeous British summer. Try this truly scrumptious and easy recipe for yourself over the next blistering Bank Holiday weekend (we do have them).
THAI INSPIRED BBQ WHOLE SALMON
1.5 kilograms whole salmon, cleaned, descaled
6 tablespoons soy sauce
3 chillies, chopped fine, deseeded
2 tablespoons fresh chopped ginger
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 tablespoon palm sugar
1 bunch fresh coriander, chopped
Zest & juice of 2 limes
6 lemon grass stalks, bashed
Baking foil – 2 large sheets
Prepare your BBQ – get the heat up high
In a bowl mix together the soy sauce, chilli, ginger, garlic, lime juice & zest, and palm sugar.
Cut off the salmon’s tail, head and fins. Make 3 shallow slashes diagonally across the fish, on either side.
Rub the salmon with the mixture, using gloves preferably, and save the juices
Lay the baking foil in a baking tray big enough to hold the salmon, and make sure the foil is big enough to fold and enclose the fish from underneath and on top.
Lay 3 of the crushed lemon grass stalks on the foil
Lay the fish on top of the foil & lemon grass stalks
Lay the remaining lemon grass on top of the salmon and pour over any remaining juices.
Lay another layer of baking foil over the salmon and crimp the edges together to completely seal in the salmon
Bake on the BBQ for approximately 25 minutes
Open carefully to let steam escape
Serve with fresh coriander sprinkled liberally on top
Serve the juices separately
This would be fabulous on a summer’s day with a crisp glass of Sauvignon Blanc, or if you’re feeling very frivolous, a lovely light beer in a bottle with a sliver of lime squeezed in and pushed into its neck.
The Benefits of Oily Fish: Salmon Facts
If we were to talk about the benefits of eating salmon in this article, we could be here for a very long time indeed. Eating salmon, and other oily fish, provides us with the essential fatty acids (EFA’s) which we cannot make in our own bodies, but cannot survive without either. Barbecuing or grilling are a great ways to keep salmon recipes low in fat and usually require no additional oil, making them ideal for weight loss management programmes.
The essential fatty acids derived from eating oily fish (or indeed taking high potency supplements of oily fish or Omega 3), can help lower the risk of many of our serious modern diseases. This list is by no means complete: heart disease, high cholesterol, strokes, mental disorders (such as depression, bi-polar disorder, anxiety & schizophrenia), asthma, arthritis, obesity and cancer.
You will have to go to that BBQ after all, even if it’s at the in-laws.
PS You would have thought, thanks to the information SUPER highway, that we as custodians of our planet would be SUPER clever as well. However, we aren’t. So when it comes to salmon, like a lot of our food sources now, you have to be very careful about where it comes from. Check out all sensible websites to get the latest information on what salmon is best, and from which seas. It’s not the fish’s fault – it’s still good, so please don’t stop eating salmon!