Crunchy Bottoms

Striking the caloric balance. Barely.

WWF Sustainable Seafood Festival 2014 – Pick The Right Catch Cooking Class

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All the cooking I’ve done recently has consisted of either slapping some steak onto a pan or tossing together fridge food to be microwaved – which is to say not much cooking at all. Things have changed, among which newly developed food intolerances, but that’s a story for another day.

It was hence a pleasure being invited down to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) “Pick The Right Catch” Cooking Workshop at TOTT to get my elbows dirty in cooking grease again. This week, from 8 – 15 June, the WWF is celebrating Singapore’s first sustainable seafood festival by encouraging responsible seafood consumption.

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Considering how Singaporeans eat over 140 million kilogrammes of seafood a year, simply choosing Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified seafood will certainly have a massive impact on the world’s oceans. To make shopping decisions for home cooks easier, the WWF has even created a free and printable Singapore Seafood Guide in English and Mandarin. Just purchase seafood on the green list and we’ll all be doing our part in supporting sustainable seafood.

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We had Executive Chef Lucas Glanville from Grand Hyatt Singapore bring us through three recipes he’d created that features sustainably-farmed seafood. I’d been paired up with Victoria from HungryGoWhere and were secretly high-fiving each other when we saw that all the ingredients had already been prepped in neat plastic containers. And washing up? What washing up?

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Navigating the induction stove was a hilarious affair, as all attempts at new technology usually are (“Where’s the fire? Oh you need to slide to unlock?”). Apart from taking turns bashing up cloves of garlic and hacking away at fennel bulbs, when all three dishes magically found their way onto our plates it was a cause for celebration. Please see Victoria’s astonishment at our Salmon Pastrami dish.

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Of course, if the recipes below still seem a little daunting, you could easily “Pick The Right Catch” at participating businesses for the sustainable seafood festival such as Absinthe Restaurant, Gattopardo, the Indochine Group of restaurants, and the Pelican Seafood Bar & Grill this week, just to name a few. Cold Storage supermarkets have also expanded its existing range of MSC certified seafood products. The full list of participating businesses can be found here.

For more information on sustainable seafood in Singapore, visit picktherightcatch.com !

Recipe: Tom Yam Pla (Spicy Fish Soup with Lemongrass)

Serves 4

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Ingredients

  • 200g basa fish (a.k.a pangasius or catfish)
  • 12 straw mushrooms
  • 2 sticks of lemongrass
  • 20g galangal
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 25ml fish sauce
  • 25ml lime juice
  • 20g sugar
  • 2 tbs thai chilli paste
  • 4 chillis (red and green)
  • 4g coriander with root
  • 100g thai cherry tomatoes

Method

  1. In a pot, add chicken stock, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, coriander root, thai cherry tomatoes, and straw mushrooms. Gently simmer for 1 hour.
  2. Season with fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, chilli paste to taste. Bring to the boil.
  3. Add fish and cook for 2 minutes on low heat.
  4. Remove from heat and serve in a bowl. Garnish with red and green chilli and coriander leaves.

 

Recipe: Baked Garlic and Parsley Mussels

Serves 4

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Ingredients

  • 24 ½ shell green lip mussels
  • 1 large peeled garlic clove
  • 1 large peeled red shallot
  • Handful of Italian parsley leaves
  • Zest of a ¼ lemon
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 75g white breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Sauce Tarator

  • 100g peeled red peppers
  • 2 slices white bread without crust
  • 80ml milk
  • 40g crushed walnuts
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of chilli flakes
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. To make the sauce tarator, combine all ingredients into a food processor and blend into a fine paste. Season with salt and pepper and a few drops of lemon juice. Refrigerate before serving.
  2. To prepare the mussels, combine garlic, shallots, lemon zest and parsley into a food processor and blend into a fine paste.
  3. Add the softened butter and pulse. Once all the ingredients are combined, add the breadcrumbs and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Coat each mussel with some of the garlic and parsley butter.
  5. Lay them on a baking tray and bake in an oven at 180°C until golden brown.
  6. Serve immediately with lemon and sauce tarator on the side.

Recipe: Salmon Pastrami and Shaved Fennel Salad with Radish, Lemon and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Serves 4

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Ingredients

  • 4 x 200g salmon portions

Spice Rub

  • 25g salt
  • 25g brown sugar
  • 25g coarse black peppercorns
  • 15g coriander seeds
  • 10g juniper berries
  • 5g chilli flakes

Shaved Fennel Salad

  • 2 fennel bulb
  • 4 whole red radish
  • Picked dill leaves
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Combine all ingredients from the spice rub.
  2. Dust the spice rub over the salmon and keep aside.
  3. Shave the fennel bulb and radish with the mandolin (or thinly slice them) into a bowl. Add dill leaves, extra virgin olive oil and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
  4. Heat a non-stick frying pan, add a little oil and gently sear the salmon for a minute on each side, depending on the thickness of the fish. Remove and place on a plate.
  5. Arrange the fennel salad next to the salmon pastrami and drizzle a little olive oil over the salmon.

 

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