Nutritionally Balanced Fish Recipes
November 22, 2013 9:58 PM   Subscribe

Recommendations for fish recipes that include a carbohydrate and a substantial vegetable component? Alternatively, what are your favourite vegetable side dishes/pairings for fish?

I am limited to fish that are commonly available in Canada, such as salmon, halibut, snapper, bass, tilapia, cod etc. Shell-fish are outside my interest. I am open to most vegetable pairings, although potato pairings - while welcomed - are not preferred.

For cooking, I possess a stove/oven, but no steamer.

I am open to cook-book recommendations, and certainly welcome online-recipes.

Previously Previously Previously Finally
posted by kiki_s to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
With cast iron pan-seared ginger salmon (you could use Ramsay's crispy salmon receipe with diced ginger in the seams), I like sauteed bok choi, steamed asparagus, boiled, roasted or steamed carrots, steamed broccoli and steamed broccolini with rice.

A steamer tray for steaming veggies is cheap and worth the investment — it usually fits into a 3-4 qt saucepan. I find two servings of fish take about 15-20 minutes, so I boil a bit of water on the side (enough not to boil away completely and not to make the steamer tray into a wading pool) and I throw in the veggies with about 5 minutes left on the fish.

That way, I get stuff done at around the same time (some time is left to pull out the fish and let it sit for a minute or two) and the veggies are still given a bit of room to be al dente. Soggy veggies are not good eats, but maybe that's a matter of personal taste.

Salmon has a lot of flavor, but if you have a cheaper piece of salmon, here is a go-to that works well with it and enhances veggies:

- 1/3 cup low-sodium tamari
- 2/3 cup mirin rice vinegar
- 1 fresh red chile or 3-4 fresh red Thai peppers, sliced at a bias
- 1 Tbsp diced ginger

This can be a bit spicy, so adjust the pepper amount to taste or remove entirely if you don't like spicy.

Reserve for the end:

- 1 Tbsp corn starch, slurry

Mix it all together (except for the corn starch) and simmer gently until reduced by a third. Add the slurry and stir violently until you get a nice glaze. Take it off the stove.

Drizzle over the fish, rice and veggies. It can be a bit salty even with the low-sodium tamari. The peppers add a bit of kick, too. I prefer the warm burn of the red chile over the sharp, short Thai pepper. A little goes a long way as salmon is a strong fish. Adjust to taste. Keep the rest for sandwiches or other dishes.

White fish is mostly a blank canvas and can do well with a poor-man's tartar. Take a 1/3 cup of mayo and dice up some sandwich dill pickles (whole or slices, whatever you have in the fridge). Mix it up and serve on the side with some slices of lemon and crispy oven fries.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:22 PM on November 22, 2013 [5 favorites]

Roasted asparagus is so much better than steamed. Oven at 325ish. Break off the tough bottoms, lay on a cookie sheet, spray with oil, sprinkle with salt. Cook 10 to13 minutes. Eat. Seriously, I never steam it anymore...great cold as well. Lovely with salmon.
posted by BoscosMom at 11:28 PM on November 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'm going to invite you to google British Kedgeree recipes from the olden colonial empire days, because it is freaking DELICIOUS, but I'll also give you my personal spin on it.

Kedgeree is basically cooked white Basmati Rice stirred into Onions softened in Butter with a kiss of Curry Powder, flaked Fish, topped with Parsley, Chopped Hard Boiled Egg, and a lot of Squeezed Lemon.

I recommend Small Dice of Boiled Potatoes to be added to the Onion... But for your purposes....

Add Chopped Kale, or Tomato, and/or Swiss Chard, Spinach, Watercress would be DIVINE, Chopped Green Beans, Peas, or Cauliflower - LITERALLY WHATEVER YOU HAVE ON HAND VEG-WISE WILL BE GREAT!

Artichoke hearts, mushrooms, peppers.


That 's your jam. Do the proportions as per your diet. You can not go wrong!!
posted by jbenben at 11:40 PM on November 22, 2013 [8 favorites]

I'm British but can't eat fish and chips (our national dish) because I'm intolerant to white fish, so I invented this:


- Salmon fillet: fry in butter/olive oil, drizzling over a sauce made from honey, lemon juice, soy sauce and white wine (adjust quantities to taste)
- Sweet potato chips/wedges: roast in the oven drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled liberally with salt
- Steamed greens of your choice: this is to replace the mushy peas so, strictly speaking, fresh peas are best, but I also like kale, brussel sprouts, broccoli. Steam them, plain and simple - you'll be adding flavour in a minute.

Get your chips roasting first, then set your greens to steam, then fry the fish. Make enough sauce that at first you're just drizzling it over, but can add at least a tablespoon right at the end. This heats it up nicely for serving. Put the veg all on your plate, and the salmon, then drizzle the sauce from the salmon pan over the salmon and greens.

I love this meal. I make it for guests all the time. You are welcome to make it, however please remember to state before every meal that this dish is copyright greenish or my legal team will be in touch.
posted by greenish at 1:56 AM on November 23, 2013 [3 favorites]

I'm going to take a more general tack and suggest cuisine.

Japanese, Thai and southern Mediterranean cuisine seem to result in long lives and are all near the sea.

As to vegetables - I like crispy as an accompanyment to fish. Snow peas, bok choi, fennel, and leeks are great and now I'm hungry.

Paella can include anything you want.
posted by vapidave at 2:15 AM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

I really like the combination of mild white fish and cauliflower, so I think cauliflower fish cakes are awesome. Here's a recipe to give you the basic idea. I would probably flesh it out with some cracker or bread crumbs if I wanted to add more carbs.
posted by mosessis at 6:15 AM on November 23, 2013

This is one of my favorites, and it's super easy. I usually do salmon this way, but it works with white fish as well.

First, prepare large sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil that are about 4-5x as wide as your fish fillet. Bring your fillets to room temp. Preheat your oven to 400F.

Then, sauté sliced onions and bell peppers in butter until they are softer but still crisp and season them a bit with salt and pepper.

Place a small bed of the veggies in the middle of each foil sheet. Place the fish, skin side down, atop the veggies. Salt and pepper the fish liberally, and add a little paprika. Place a few thin lemon slices on top, and a dollop of creme fraiche if you are truly in it to win it. A very slight drizzle of honey is also good. Then, take the sides of the foil up top, and create a little tent around the food inside. It is crucially important here that there is both space for air flow within the tent, and that no air can escape.

Place the packets on a baking sheet and place that in the oven. Cook for between 10-20 minutes, depending on how rare you like your salmon.

Then, you open them up (warning: they're hot!) and have a nice little meal in a packet. This is very nice with a side salad. If you want carbs, have some rice alongside to sop up the juice at the bottom of the packet.
posted by gone2croatan at 6:35 AM on November 23, 2013 [3 favorites]

This recipe for Salmon & Couscous with a Cilantro Vinegarette is delicious and easy. I like to make it with quinoa instead of couscous, with sautéed spinach or roasted asparagus as a side.
posted by Kriesa at 6:53 AM on November 23, 2013

Came in to recommend the foil packets, but gone2croatan beat me to it.
For a reduced fat option use fresh veggies and skip the cream, as I do. I like to use carrots, parsnips, leek and parsley. The fish & veggies get steamed in the packet and make a really clean, fresh meal.
You can always pair it with your favorite carbs and add a light sauce, like lemon-honey-mustard-yoghurt for example.
posted by travelwithcats at 6:56 AM on November 23, 2013

Teriyaki Salmon:

Marinade the salmon for up to an hour in:

Equal parts water, brown sugar, soy sauce, and oil (I personally use olive oil)).

Broil the salmon for about 5 minutes. You can also pan fry it for 2-3 minutes/side, though do check for doneness before you eat it.

My personal favorite green beans:

Toss green beans in salt, olive oil, and black pepper. Broil for about 15-20 minutes. I personally prefer my green beans a bit overcooked, but if you don't, you can grab them from the oven earlier.

Rosemary potatoes:

Toss potatoes (cut in small chunks) in olive oil, salt, black pepper, and rosemary. Roast for up to an hour.

To streamline the entire procedure, do the potatoes while the salmon is marinading. Pop in salmon and green beans at the same time. Take out the salmon to rest a bit. Take out green beans. Eat.
posted by astapasta24 at 7:00 AM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

A simple white fish recipe I love is to sautee chunks of zucchini, tomato and roughly chopped mixed olives (plus garlic and onion) and serve on top of broiled fish. Serve the fish over rice and it fits all your requirements. It's super easy and delicious.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:32 AM on November 23, 2013

We serve pan fried salmon on top of stir fried vegetables + clear vermicelli noodles tossed in soy sauce and rice wine vinegar - simple and yummy. Stir fry with ginger and/or garlic as desired.
posted by crazycanuck at 9:31 AM on November 23, 2013

Response by poster: Hello all,

The recipes provided are precisely what I want - nearly all are "best answers". Thanks!
posted by kiki_s at 9:36 AM on November 23, 2013

The Moosewood cookbook actually has a bunch of "fish in a packet" recipes. I have made a couple and they are easy and delicious. They have veggies, rice, and fish.
posted by Slinga at 9:44 AM on November 23, 2013

Sea Asparagus is a bit pricey but fantastic with salmon. It's salty though, so best to just get a small portion and have carrots as well. Throw in a few peeled cloves of garlic into the pot with your potatoes for mashing.
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:58 AM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Retrieving ideas from my own food blog:

1) Salmon on a spinach bed

Start by pre-heating the oven to 390 degrees F (200 C). Retrieve from the freezer 3 cups of hacked, frozen spinach, or use the amount of fresh spinach that would cook down to three cups (carefully rinsed and coarsely chopped) while four tablespoons of good olive oil are heating up in a skillet. A large quartered or two small halved garlic cloves are very carfully browned until dark golden. The spinach is now added, together with a pinch of nutmeg, salt and freshly ground black pepper. It should bubble for the time it takes to slice fresh Salmon for two into half-inch thin bits.

Take an oven dish and cover its bottom with the spinach. Distribute the salmon evenly on top, sprinkle with salt and some lemon juice. Bake in the oven until the salmon is done.

2) Salmon on savoy cabbage

I had to get rid of 1 1/2 cups of quark, a traditional German and Austrian fresh cheese. Other interesting contents of the fridge were: the soft, light inside of a medium-sized head of savoy cabbage, around 200 grams of fresh salmon and an almost empty jar of goose fat from Christmas. The following recipe serves two.

(An aside about the goose fat: the Christmas goose, any Christmas goose, sheds between eight and ten dollars worth of fat while cooking, even if it is entirely stuffed with cubes of dried bread. It is a pity to discard this wealth. It keeps for up to two years in the freezer, and it is the only fat that goes really well together with white cabbage, savoy cabbage and almost everything else. One can, of course, also use chicken fat…)

I use half of what was left of the soft, delicious inside of the cabbage head, that is, about a third of the weight of a whole savoy head. I shred the cabbage, wash and drain it. I dice one shallot while two tablespoons of goose fat are warming up in a large pan. The shallot bits and then the cabbage are added to the fat and stirred around for a while. Appropriate spices are black pepper and thyme. Everything is salted and then I add a glass or two of dry white wine. I cover the combo and let bubble for 15 minutes until the cabbage starts to soften.

In the meantime I preheat the oven (225° C – 437° F), cut the salmon in thin slices and prepare the crowning glory of my dish: the quark sauce. For this I take the quark, one egg, a tablespoon of butter, some salt and nutmeg, and a dash of milk, and mix everything together in the blender. The consistency should be about like buttermilk. If you can’t get quark, use any fresh cheese that is not too creamy and not too sour; this was an experiment – yours will be an experiment, there’s nothing to lose.

Now I select an oven dish that will hold all the ingredients, use the cabbage for the first layer, cover it with the salmon slices and pour the creamy quark sauce on top. This is transferred to the oven and will be ready about half an hour later, or when a nice brown crust begins to form.

3) Lemony chickpea soup with salmon

The last scoop-in-the-pan of home-cooked chickpeas is usually too watery for hummus. But it is a perfect starting point for chickpea soup.

The following recipe is slightly too much for two. No, maybe it isn’t.

I sauté a cup or so of finely cubed carrot and half a cubed onion in olive oil. If you have really fresh really red peppers, you could add some of these as well. A little later, I add a chopped clove of garlic and cook everything a little longer. Now the chickpeas enter with their cooking water – the amount is a little up to taste but I guess that I’d use two or three cups of chickpeas-as-if-drained and as much water as there is. I add fresh water until there is enough soup and bring the whole to the boil. I mash some of the chickpeas with a fork against the side of the pan, but not too many.

In the meantime I have been in the garden for some fresh mint. Ideally, I would also have thoroughly washed a few fists full of fresh spinach and hacked it roughly – but frozen spinach nuggets work pretty well too. The spinach and the chopped mint enter the simmering soup.

I cut a 200-gram bit of boneless salmon into one-inch-cubes and set aside. I squeeze at least half a lemon. The lemon juice is the first to enter the soup, then I taste and adjust salt. Remember that the salmon cubes are still waiting: the soup should be pretty sour and not too bland. Now I stepwise fine-tune the spices: some freshly ground black pepper, some spicy paprika and a little cumin, testing all the time.

Test a few of the carrot cubes: if they have softened, add the salmon and cook only until it is done, not a second longer. Check once more for salt and lemony-ness and serve. Something for a summer meal on the balcony with a glass of dry white wine.

4) Krauty fishy childhood flashback

One of the hardiest prejudices about sauerkraut is that you only can use it with sausage or other heavy duty pork – nothing could be more wrong than this. This is a recipe from an old cookbook my mom uses, with my own adjustments:

For three, you need around six medium-sized potatoes, a few cups of sauerkraut, 1/2 onion, at least 4 tablespoons of butter, a cup of grated Gouda-type mild cheese (or half a cup of grated parmiggiano), some milk, olive oil, a few nice fillets of any kind of lean, flaky-textured fish, a bay leaf, two crushed juniper berries and a few sage leaves.

Heat some olive oil in a pan that is big enough to hold the kraut later. Chop half an onion and sauté the onion bits in the oil until translucent but not brown. Meanwhile, rinse the sauerkraut with cold water and drain. Add to the pan, stir, add a cup of water, the bay leaf and juniper and cover. Cook slowly for about an hour.

Meanwhile peel and boil the potatoes in water with some salt. Make a mash using the butter, some of the cooking water and some milk, check for salt. Mix in the grated cheese and set aside.

Check the fish fillets for bones.

Pre-heat the oven on 210C/410F. Check the sauerkraut for salt – most likely it is fine as it is. Take a wide oven dish and cover the bottom with sauerkraut. A layer of a third of an inch is the minimum. Distribute the fish evenly on top of the kraut. Sprinkle with some salt, oil and some dried sage. Cover all this evenly with the potato-cheese goo. Take a fork and ruffle the surface. Sprinkle quite liberally with olive oil.

Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes or until the crust gets golden brown.
posted by Namlit at 11:30 AM on November 23, 2013 [2 favorites]

i love to make ginger & garlic salmon or tilapia in a saute with sesame oil and lime juice, and serve it with cubes of sweet potato fried in coconut or sesame oil and sprinkled with cumin, salt and pepper.

also sometimes will do the foil envelope method and put any firm fleshed fish with thinly sliced citrus, onions, bell peppers, garlic slivers, and butter in the foil envelope, then bake it. easier to clean up. goes nicely with rice or couscous.
posted by zdravo at 12:19 PM on November 23, 2013

My favorite is Dominican Fish.

Sauce ingredients:

4 oz Pineapple Juice
1 Can Coconut Milk (Goya if you can get it, Thai if you can't)
Chopped Tomatoes (fresh is best, canned Italian is pretty good, Hunts diced...will do)
4 minced cloves of garlic
1/2 yellow onion, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 Stalk Celery Cubed
Bay Leaf

Fish Marinade:

Lime Juice
Salt and Pepper

Marinate firm fleshed white fish (Grouper or Snapper is typical, Tilapia or Cod will do.) At least 2 hours, or over-night in the fridge.

Make the sauce by sauteing the onions, celery and garlic in olive oil over medium heat. When mostly done, add the tomatoes. Then add the pineapple juice, then the tomato paste. Add the coconut milk gently and stir until it's incorporated. Heat until bubbling, then add the bay leaf and turn down the heat, letting it simmer for about 20 or so minutes. You can use it right away, or save in the fridge. Great for making ahead on weekends.

Pat the fish dry and saute in olive oil over medium-high heat. It won't take long for most fillets to cook through, Just brown the outer edges. Add the sauce and let it simmer for a few minutes. When the fish is done, it's done.

Serve over buttery rice. I like Brown, white is fine too.

All but the fish can be made ahead.

Serve with a salad, but the sauce has a lot of veggies and fruit in it. Husbunny doesn't eat veggies, so he thinks. This is one of his favorites.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:48 PM on November 23, 2013 [2 favorites]

Croatia has a long coast, and Dalmatian cuisine is based on fish, The usual side dish is called "blitva" and is basically steamed swiss chard or kale mixed with coarsely mashed potatoes and olive oil. It is wonderful.
posted by zaelic at 12:24 AM on November 24, 2013

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