I really ought to eat more fish.
I tell myself things like this on a regular basis. Fish is delicious – tender, light yet filling and full of delicate flavour – and it’s good for you, too; packed full of vitamins, protein and omega 3s, fish is rightfully known as brain food. It’s the heart-healthy meat that can be farmed sustainably and your body will love you for it.
But just between you and me, I may be a wee bit – scared – of cooking fish. I mean, it has this reputation, doesn’t it? It’s fiddly, it falls apart not just on your fork but also in the pan, or sticks with a stubbornness that only a determined spatula can overcome. It cooks unevenly. It can turn dry and tough. When you cook fish you’re taking the chance that it all may come to a ruinous, nightmarish mess resulting in pasta and sauce for dinner.
Worry not, friends. The dense, tender flesh of salmon stands up to flavours well, is significantly less likely to fall apart and is much more forgiving than your average fish when it comes to cooking times. Its high fatty acid content means it’s unlikely to dry out, and most importantly it makes for wonderful eating. If you’re at all wary about cooking fish, salmon’s where you start.
Honey and soy, two things I always have in the cupboard, make an excellent marinade for the salmon, highlighting its natural sweetness. To balance this, I’ve added ginger and garlic to the kale – yet another so-good-for-you-it’s-hard-to-believe ingredient. Kale is nutrient-rich, high in calcium, fibre and iron, not to mention vitamins C and K.
And please, let us not have me begin waxing lyrical about sweet potato again. Suffice it to say that a good bed of buttery sweet potato mash completes this delicious and nutritious feelgood trinity.
Make the most of the last rays of the summer sun – or indeed, welcome spring as they are back in Oz. Enjoy!
Honey soy salmon with ginger kale and sweet potato mash
For the salmon:
2 salmon fillets
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp light soy sauce
For the kale:
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, grated OR garlic oil
For the sweet potato mash:
500g sweet potatoes
Mix the honey and soy together and pour over the salmon fillets. You can do this the night before and store them in a ziplock bag, or marinate 30 minutes before you start.
Peel and wash the sweet potatoes, then cut into large chunks and boil in a pot until soft (this takes around 20 minutes depending on the size of your chunks). Drain and add the butter before mashing, then cover and set aside.
Heat oil in a pan and add the grated ginger and garlic. For low-FODMAPpers, leave out the garlic and use garlic oil.
Add the kale and fry gently until the leaves go glossy and dark green – this should only take about 2-3 minutes.
Heat oil in a pan (the same one, if you like!) and then add the salmon, skin-side down. Fry for 4 minutes, taking care the honey isn’t burning the skin. Flip and cook for another 3 minutes.