Archive for the ‘fish/sea food’ Category

It doesn’t happen often when I invent a bright new recipe … but this time I have to say I was quite proud of myself.

This is a new take on grilled salmon … hope you like it …

Grilled Salmon on a bed of tagliatelle and spinach

grilled salmon by Asia Jo

grilled salmon by Asia Jo

Serves 2

You will need:

For the salmon:

2 salmon filets (no skin)

salt & pepper

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp soy sauce

brown rice vinegar

raspberry vinegar

a quick squeeze of fresh lemon

For the tagliatelle:

200 g dry tagliatlle

olive oil

sea salt & freshly ground pepper

For the spinach:

1 bag of spinach

1 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 small handful of roasted pine nuts

1 small handful of raisins

sea salt & freshly ground pepper


Mix the soy sauce, olive oil, a bit of lemon juice, a few drops of rice vinegar and a few drops of raspberry vinegar; season it all with salt and pepper. Marinade the fish in this mixture for approx. 1 hour or longer.

Get your grill pan hot and grill the salmon for 3 minutes on each side or longer but you want the fish slightly pink inside.

In the mean time cook your pasta in plenty of salted boiling water and according to the packaging instructions, usually it takes up to 5 minutes. Drain the pasta, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and season generously with freshly ground pepper.

While the pasta is cooking, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil and gently fry the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add the spinach gradually and cook it for a few minutes but make sure the leaves are still tender and not overcooked. Towards the end add the raisins and mix into the spinach. Turn off the heat and finally add the pine nuts.

Warm up your plates in the oven or in the microwave. Divide the tagliatelle between the two plates, put a portion of spinach over the pasta and finish with the fish on top. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice all over the dish and garnish with herbs (flat parsley, celery greens, thyme).

Enjoy it!

grilled salmon by Asia Jo

grilled salmon by Asia Jo

grilled salmon by Asia Jo

grilled salmon by Asia Jo

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It has been absolutely amazing to have my friends from all over the world. I can not imagine my life without these international, multicultural and diverse mates. Knowing them and spending time with them, not only broadens my horizons enormously, but also gives me a delightful lesson of life. Even my coooking has been influenced by cuisines from my friends’ mother lands.

Yesterday, my lovely friend Marce, invited me for the very first cooking class. She showed me how to prepare CEVICHE, a traditional Peruvian fish meal that cooks itself in the acids from lime. The session was absolutely brilliant. It was an incredible experience to learn about all little steps that make this dish taste like heaven. Every step is important: the way you cut the fish, squeeze the limes and slice the onion.

First of all, when you make ceviche, it is crucial to set an appropriate atmosphere in your kitchen. Yes, the answer is – Peruvian music!!! I highly recommend a band called Novalima. Their music fantastically blends the Afro-Peruvian, Latin American and contemporary electronic sounds.

There are several kinds of ceviche based on different types of fish or “frutti di mari” but the basic ingredient, lime juice, is irreplaceable. With all due respect for Jamie Oliver’s cooking knowledge and culinary innovations, according to my friend, he just didn’t get that right when he substituted lime juice with lemon juice in his ceviche dish ( Jamie’s American Road Trip ). You MUST use LIME juice and only lime juice to make an authentic ceviche. Having said that, I think we are ready for Marce’s ceviche cooking instructions.


by Asia(Jo)


Serves 2 (large portions)

You will need very fresh ingredients:

3 tilapia filets – you may want to remove the red parts for esthetic reasons

9 limes (juice only) – don’t squeeze the limes to the very end to avoid the bitterness of the white part of the lime skin!

1/4 fresh red chili

a pinch of Aji amarillo (Peruvian chili paste) (if missing add more fresh chili)

a dash of garlic powder

a pinch of pepper


1 red onion, finely sliced in a “rainbow” style (semicircles)

1 celery stick, finely diced (optional)

2 coriander springs, chopped; to garnish

To serve:

1 small canned sweet corn

1 cooked sweet potato

2 large lettuce leaves

2 handfuls of Peruvian popcorn

ceviche instructions

by Asia(Jo)


1. Rub the fish fillets with a bit of salt and rinse it under cold water

2. Cut the fish along the centre, then cut each half sidewise

3. Peel the onion, halve it and slice it in a rainbow style (semicircles); sprinkle with salt, rub it using your hands, rince the onion under cold water and let it rest

4. Rub the metal bowl with the piece of chili, then finely chop the chili

5. In a metal bowl mix together the chili and 1 teaspoon of salt; shake it and smash it gently with a spoon

6. Add a pinch of garlic powder and black pepper to the salt & chili mixture

7. Add the lime juice; stir everything gently checking if the sauce is salty enough. Make sure it’s not too salty

8. Add the fish, check the seasoning, stir it gently and finally add the onion. Sprinkle the dish with fresh chopped coriander; leave it for a minute or two

9. The fish will nicely cook itself in this amazing lime & salt sauce!

10. Serve your ceviche with a few slices of cooked sweet potato and a handful of sweet corn on the “lettuce bed” – decorate the whole dish with some Peruvian popcorn


Ps: It is very difficult to tell how much salt this dish needs. It all depends on your personal preferences and on the type of salt you use (use fine table salt rather than sea salt). It is something that needs to be tested and eventually mastered.

I can’t wait for a ceviche plate prepared 100% by me!


by Asia(Jo)

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I’m not a big fan of sardines but this recipe is really nice and easy to follow. I made it last Friday and absolutely enjoyed the softness of fresh sardines and the delicious stuffing of anchovies, capers and spinach. The dish works well as a starter or as a main course, served with homemade potato chips and peppers slowly cooked with tomatoes. It is also a very good recipe for a dinner party; prepare it in advance and impress your guests with a plate full of fabulous flavours and colours.

The only thing you have to make sure, is to ask your fishmonger to take out the main fishbone from each sardine you are getting, unless you don’t mind doing it yourself but then be careful not to tear off too much flesh.

Remember, sardines are rich in heart healthy omega 3, very inexpensive and they are perfect for frying, grilling and roasting.

Enjoy this richly flavoured meal!

Stuffed Sardines

Serves 4                                                                                                                          

You will need:

12 sardines, washed, emptied and boned from the centre

1 egg

100 g spinach, cut into stripes

2 teaspoons capers

4 anchovy fillets in oil

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

50 g breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon onion, chooped

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt & pepper

fish mix (dry herbs)

wooded toothpicks (optional)


Chop together the anchovies and the capers. Stir in the breadcrumbs and a little salt and pepper. Mix the spinach with the egg, onion and parsley; add to the above mixture. Stir well to mix all the ingredients throughly. Season lightly the fish with salt and pepper and fish mix (dry herbs). Fill each of the sardines with the stuffing, secure with toothpicks and place them in an ovenproof dish. Pour over the oilve oil and cook for aprox. 15 – 20 minutes. Serve hot with a glass of fresh, fruity, light withe wine.

(Recipe source: The Taste of Italy by Lebain & Paireault, 1989)

by Asia(Jo)

by Asia(Jo)

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This delectable salad is So So So good – you will fall in love with it as soon as you take the very first bite.

I am sure this lovely combination of mango, avocado, prawns and fresh slightly sweet dressing will win the hearts of all salad lovers.

Perfect as weekend lunch. Tastes good with toasted pita brad.

Prawn, mango & avocado salad

Serves 4

You will need:

1 mango, peeled and stoned

1 ripe avocado, peeled and sliced

2 large cos lettuces, separated or 4 handfuls of mixed baby leaves

16 large cooked prawns

1 tbsp of olive oil

1 large garlic clove, finely chopped

salt & pepper

For the dressing: juice of 2 limes, 1 tsp, palm sugar, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 chili, deseeded and finally chopped (mixed all together)


Cut the mango into small cubes. Wash the leaves and arrange on a large plate. Heat the olive oil, add garlic and  prawns and fry briefly for 1-2 minutes.Place the mango and avocado on top of the leaves. Add prawns and the dressing to the salad. Toss carefully. Season with s+p. Serve immediately with a piece of a toasted pita bread.

Enjoy this impressive salad with amazing ingredients, flavours and textures.


by Asia(Jo)

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Yesterday I decided to prepare something special for lunch; something light; something spicy; something damn good. I browsed through my cook books and picked up a recipe by Jamie Olivier. I will be honest with  you – the preparation and cooking time takes a bit over an hour but you wouldn’t regret it! The highly unique flavour of this dish compensates everything! You will be enjoying an incredible taste of crispy lamb lettuce, sweet lychees and tender squid all coated in chili jam. Go for it!

Thai Spicy Squid Salad   IMG_2788

Serves 4

You will need:

4 medium-sized squid, cleaned

zest and juice of 2 lime

extra virgin olive oil

sea salt + freshly ground black pepper

4 big handfuls of lamb’s lettuce

455 g lychees, peeled, deseeded

2 fresh chilly, finally chopped

For the sweet chili jam:

4 fresh red chillies

1 red onion, peeled and halved

10 cloves of garlic, peeled

100 g fresh ginger, peeled

2 handfuls of fresh coriander

2 sticks of lemon grass, peeled and roughly chopped

1 tablespoon dried shrimps

150 ml sunflower oil

40 g palm sugar

Fish sauce, to taste

1) Make your chili jam: blitz up all the jam ingredients roughly in the food processor or blender, apart fro

2) Put the mixture in a wok or a pan and cook gently, stirring regularly, for aprox. 20 minutes on a slow simmer. Put back into a food processor and blitz again until very smooth. Return  the mixture to the pan, add the sugar an simmer slowly again for half an hour, stirring regularly. Season with fish sauce. Cool.  m the sugar and the fish sauce

3) Clean the squid and give it a good rinse. Cut the squid lengthwise. Lightly score the inside part in a criss-cross fashion. Grate finely your lime zest.

4) Get a wok or a pan really hot and add a lug of olive oil. Season the squid with salt and pepper and lay it in the wok, sprinkling with the lime zest on top. It normally needs 2 minutes to cook and should curl up at the edges.

5) Remove the squid from the heat, slice the squid up.

6) Add the sliced squid back to the pan with the chili jam and stir around until it coats the squid completely.  Add lime juice and 4 tablespoons of olive oil.

7) Scatter your squid over the leaves. Sprinkle everything with lychees and chilli. Spoon over a little of the juice from the wok.

Absolutely fantastic!


by Asia(Jo)

by Asia(Jo)

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It was a fish night in my kitchen:) Today I went to my local fishmonger and picked a fish, which is often underestimated – Mackerel!

Mackerel is an oily fish, high in Omega-3 with full meaty flavour. Besides, it is super cheep and super tasty. Just buy it and boost your health with the amazing benefits of Omega-3.


by Asia(Jo)


by Asia(Jo)

Blue-Scale Mackerel baked in foil

Serves 2

You will need:

2 whole small mackerels

2 limes, sliced

4 rosemary springs

2 garlic cloves, sliced

1 red onion, thinly sliced

1/2 fennel bulb, sliced

2 celery sticks, sliced into thin stripes

4 tbsp of balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp of chopped parsley, to serve

olive oil

salt and pepper

tin foil


Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Get two pieces of tin foil, each 50 cm long. Pour a couple of lugs of olive oil on each foil square; divide fennel and celery between them. Squeeze a bit of lime juice on top of the vegetables. Rub olive oil all over the fish. Season the fish outside and inside with salt and pepper. Tuck the rosemary, two lime slices and garlic inside each fish cavity. Sprinkle the onion and pour 2 tbsp of balsamic over each fish, alternatively you can use red wine vinegar or apple juice. Wrap the foil loosely around each fish. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Served with baked or boiled potatoes and sprinkled with parsley.

Ps: Omega-3: prevents from heart disease, helps with skin problems and lowers the bad cholesterol.

Enjoy your extra doze of Omega-3!


by Asia(Jo)


by Asia(Jo)

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100% pleasure:
good fish and good wine!

Sea Bass:
good source of magnesium


by Asia(Jo)


by Asia(Jo)

Sea Bass with baby potatoes, baby courgettes and tomato sauce
Serves 2

You will need:
1 sea bass, cleaned (ask your fish monger to choose a fish weighting enough for two)
1 lemon
olive oil
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 fennel, green tops picked
1/2 of a small tarragon bunch
1 small flat parsley bunch (1/2 for fish and 1/2 for courgettes)
1 teaspoon of dry fish herbs
salt and pepper
2-3 small courgettes (or 6 baby courgettes)
1 small handful of black olives, chopped
8-10 baby potatoes, pealed
3 tomatoes
1 handful of basil leaves
1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
kitchen foil

Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Get 1/2 m piece of kitchen foil. Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil on the foil. Sprinkle with fennel seeds, salt and pepper and a couple of squeezes of lemon juice. Rinse your fish under cold water, pat it dry with paper kitchen towel and arrange on top of the   herb & oil mixture. Season the fish inside, add dry fish herbs, insert two lemon slices, tarragon and half of flat parsley inside the fish cavity. Drizzle the fish with a bit of olive oil and some lemon juice; close the foil creating a kind of a parcel. Pop the fish into the oven for about 30-35 minutes, depending on the size of your fish and quality of your oven.

In the meantime, peal potatoes and cook them in salted water for aprox. 15-20 minutes. For the tomato sauce: score the tomatoes and place them in a bowl, pour over boiling water, leave for 30-45 seconds, drain, rinse with cold water and take off the skin. Chop the tomatoes. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add tomatoes, basil, coriander seeds and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Cook for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. If needed, reheat before serving.

Cut the courgettes into stripes. Heat 1-2 tablespoon of olive oil, add courgettes and fry slowly, whites side down, turning from time to time for aprox. 10 minutes. Add olives and flat parsley. Mix everything throughly for a minute and then season with salt and pepper.Take the fish out of the oven. Divide fish, courgettes, potatoes and tomato sauce between plates. Drizzle with a bit of lemon juice.

Bon Appetit!


by Asia(Jo)

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