Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Machi Tawa Fry-Pan Fry Fish

Having awareness about what you eat from the ocean is as important as knowing how your food was grown on land. Now-a-days there is lot of emphasis on omega-3’s-Healthy Fatty Acids, and I believe everyone knows that seafood is the best source for it, though there are other sources also, like flax seed, walnut etc. But today I wanted to write something about fish. Choosing a fish was never easy when I first started to cook fish. Firstly the fish here in U.S.A are different then the one we were use to of eating in India. Secondly so much of info about mercury and all, it was tough. But slowly with the time, now, I’m comfortable with different kind of fish, knows which one is best & why, one thing I always followed from the beginning “Eat a variety of Fish” & “Buy in Season” and one thing I learned in the past years always ask your Fish Monger or person at the fish counter if you have any doubts, and never buy a fish if it smells like fish, if it’s fresh it should not smell. Decide the recipe for the dinner only after you get the fish, like yesterday I changed my plans from fish curry to pan-fry fish, because found very fresh Rainbow Trout.
Shopping for Fish always raise one question : Farmed or wild ? And if you are eco-conscious : How it was raised & caught ? Most of the fish now-a-days available in the market are farm raised though the wild fish is always your best bet but they are costly too and not available everywhere. While reading SUNSET(Issue-Sep’09) magazine I came across a very informative article about Buyer’s Guide to Fresh Fish, I want to share some information from the magazine about the Eco-Factor of different Fish, it’ll be good general knowledge & also it may help you when next time you go for fish shopping.
1)Pacific Sardines : Caught with little impact on its habitat. Rich in omega-3's, phosphorus and iron. No pollutants.
2)California Squid(Calamari) : Despite being heavily fished, squids are usually plentiful. Fishing methods don’t harm habitat.

3)Wild Pacific Salmon : Alaska wild salmon is the top choice*. All salmon are high in omega-3’s.

4) Farmed rainbow trout : Trout farms don’t pollute and are sustainable.

5)Pacific halibut : Healthy fishery, conscientious fisher-men even catch streamers to their fishing lines to scare off birds that might become entangled.

6)Sablefish(black cod) :
Plentiful, especially in Alaska, contains more omega-3 fatty acids than almost any other fish.

7)Pacific albacore tuna : Choose fish labeled “troll-caught” or “pole-caught”; these methods have no bycatch or habitat impact.
The Salmon dilemma : WILD or FARMED ?
Although much of the salmon we eat in the US is farmed – up to 90% by some estimates – The best choice is Wild Alaska Salmon. Farmed salmon may be cheaper($8 vs. $24 per lb. for Alaska Chinook), but can have troubling levels of PCB’s-the Environmental Defense Fund advises adult to limit their intake to one serving a month. Also, some salmon farming practices pollute the environment and endanger wild fish(when farmed fish escape, they may pass along diseases and parasites). Some salmon farms are improving their practices, but for now we think wild is the best choice.(source : Sunset magazine : issue sep'09)
As for me & my family, we try to eat different fish every week, I usually try to rotate between wild Alaskan salmon, rainbow trout, tilapia & pomfret(Indian fish). And occasionally other varieties also.Seafood is a good source of lean protein & good fatty acids like omega 3's. Most of the fish are safe for kids also but due to PCB's & mercury level always check with your doctor first which kind of fish is o.k for little kids. This site has some useful information regarding seafood selection.
Today I'm posting the recipe for Healthy pan fry Rainbow trout. Rainbow trout is high in Heart healthy omega-3s, low in environmental contaminants and is eco-friendly. It mainly lives in cold, flowing fresh waters. It's safe & healthy for kids also, taste wise its mild, sweet & very delicious and if you buy fillets they are boneless. But if serving to kids I suggest to run your fingers on the fillet as some time the large fillets hold some bones. The suggested servings for kids is:
  • Kids age 6-12 should eat no more than 3 meals per month
  • Kids up to age 6 should eat no more than 2 meals per month
Recipe is for 2 fillets which should be enough for 2 adults, change it according to your requirements. I usually serve this with big servings of sauteed vegetables and sweet potato fries. As this is no gravy dish so usually I make some sort of spicy chutney to go with it.

Ingredients :
  • 2 fillet of rainbow trout(it comes with skin on)

  • little oil (preferably evoo)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon/lime
  • 1 Tblsp. of home made spice rub *
* For spice rub :
Take equal portions of Cumin(jeera) powder, Coriander(dhania) powder, Red chilli powder, Garam masala, half portion of Turmeric(haldi), Carom seeds(ajwain), half portion of black pepper, Salt as per taste. Mix everything together & keep it in a dry jar, use it as needed.
Method :
  • Wash & pat dry the fillets.
  • Keep them skin side down, put 1 tsp. of oil & juice of lemon, rub it on the fillets. Now sprinkle spice rub & rub it all over the fish(don't put it on the skin ). You can adjust the quantity of spice rub as per your taste, I find 1/2 Tblsp. per average size fillet works for my family.
  • You can prepare up to this point in advance & keep it covered in the fridge. Take out 15 min. before cooking OR get the fish ready with spice rub & leave it on the counter top for around 10 min. & cook it.
  • Heat non-stick pan on med. heat, put few drops of oil. Put the skin side down(if pan is hot you will hear the sizzle, means good). It usually takes 3-4 minutes per side to cook for an average size fillet(to give u an idea of average size fillet : I normally get 3 fillets weighting around 1 pound).

  • Flip the side using a spatula, be little careful as fish start to cook it also start to become flaky, at this point it usually won't break, but still try to use the longest flat spatula u have.
  • Cook for another 4 min. or so, Usually fish fillets are thick from the centre, so using your spatula gently press the thick part, to get the even heat everywhere.
  • Once done gently slide it on the plate(it's a long fillet u don't want to break it by picking it up). If you want to check for the doneness, use a fork in the thickest part of the fillet if it's flaky it's done.
  • Serve it with your choice of veggies & chutney.
Note : This fish is usually available with the skin, when you eat it the meat(flesh) easily comes of the skin with the fork.
Because of it's all health benefits I make sure that this fish is served at least 2-3 times in a month in my house, everybody loves it & very easy to make. Dinner is usually ready, from start to finish with in less than 30 min. (that include cooking veggies & cleaning the pan etc.).

I'm sending this Heart Healthy & Kids favourite recipe to Radhika & Sudeshna's Food for 7 stages of life : Kids event. Also want to send this to Yasmeen's Health Nut Challenge 3 : Healing foods, if it's O.k with Yasmeen. I know Rainbow Trout is not in her list because Salmon has such a good reputation of being healthy fish that most of the time we forget about all other healthy fishes. Salmon is no doubt good but as I explained above which kind of salmon you eat makes the whole difference. As now fresh Wild Salmon is almost disappeared for the season from my grocery store, I'm gonna cook more with other healthy fishes, and once in a while bring home the frozen wild salmon. Post is little big today because of all the information I wanted to share but do try out the recipe it's really easy, healthy & tasty.


Malar Gandhi said...

Thats a real tempting fish fry, I ever seen...the whole fillet fried, please count me, he he.

SE(Denufood) said...

i love fish fry..i apply little soji and tawa fry it..

Siddhi Shirsat said...

hey i love fried fish...its very famous here...ur fish fry luks tempting

Soma said...

That is quite a bit of info. I hail from Bengal, so fish eaters, but fresh water fish. here we buy only the catfish and tilapia. scared to try anything else. Love the tawa way.. my kids prefer tandoori or made it this way..

Sushma Mallya said...

Wow looks so spicy and crispy, nice recipe..will do it next time

Yasmeen said...

Its perfectly alright with me,rainbow trout is also high in omega 3s.Love the spicy fry,thanks again for taking interest in the event :D

Babli said...

Machhi tawa looks tempting and delicious. You have presented very nicely with wonderful pictures.

Spice said...

Thanks everyone....

@SE, I mainly use sooji with tilapia.

@Soma, I know I've few friends who stick with these 2 fishes only, but I would really like you to give this fish atlest one try.

@Yasmeen, thanks for accepting it in your healing food event.

RV said...

Like Soma, even I am scared to try the fish here..All I have bought is Salmon, tilapia and King fish... having read your post.. now I am thinking of some fishy adventures...

sangeeta said...

nice fishy knowledge...great read it was...
the fry looks just yummy...

Sage said...

Great recipe ans such an interesting read. We spend the month of March in Victoria BC and eat fish most of the time. I will be rethinking my choices; great article.

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear spice
This is a great dish, and I am going to make it soon.
Have a nice weekend

tasteofbeirut said...

Thanks so much for the info on all the different kinds of fish! It is so much easier than looking it up online every time!