Food Blogs


  • Click to Join the Foodie Blogroll

Blog powered by TypePad
Bookmark and Share

Shellfish Recipes

02 September 2008

Orange Soy Glazed Scallops


I have never been a huge fan of scallops. When I've eaten them they've usually been undercooked or overcooked. My feelings have changed. Although I don't eat them often, I have a new-found appreciation for them.

The trick to cooking scallops is to have the fry-pan smoking hot. What I mean by this is that it should be giving off a tiny bit of smoke just before burning point. I usually use vegetable, canola or sunflower oil for these high temperatures. The pan should be lightly oiled and the oil itself should be swirling.

Scallops only require very little time in the pan. Medium-sized scallops such as the ones pictured were cooked for 80 seconds: 40 seconds on each side and - this is important - turned only once.

The high heat of the pan sears the outside of the scallop which helps to seal in the juices making the flesh firm yet tender.

The glaze is a combination of caramelized sugar, orange juice and zest and soy sauce. If you've never caramelized sugar before, then be warned, it requires a little patience and constant attention. The result is worth it though and it only takes about 15 minutes. This particular glaze is also excellent with chicken, oily fish such as salmon and halibut or pork.

Continue reading "Orange Soy Glazed Scallops" »

21 July 2008

Treat yourself to roasted garlic & prawn pasta


Sometimes it's nice to eat something special for no special reason. Whether it's when you want to impress or just because, this roasted garlic & prawn pasta is delicious in its simplicity.

The tomato sauce is a mixture of fresh, ripe roma tomatoes, sweet basil, onion, roasted garlic and chili flakes. The prawns are lightly sautéed in butter and white wine and then mixed in with the sauce just before serving.

The pasta is fresh angel hair that I buy from my local Italian grocer.

Continue reading "Treat yourself to roasted garlic & prawn pasta" »

06 May 2008

Thai Red Curry Mussels


I made these mussels a few nights ago with my homemade red curry paste.

The alchemy of the fragrant curry paste, coconut milk and the sweet, salty mussel liquor stimulated all of my senses.

This recipe was very simple to make. It was just a case of heating up the curry paste in a saucepan, adding coconut milk, bringing it to a simmer and then popping in the mussels, which took about five minutes to cook.

Even if you don't make your own curry paste, you can just substitute a commercial brand which will still be good. However, as I said in my last post, once you do make your own, you'll never look back!

Continue reading "Thai Red Curry Mussels" »

15 April 2008

Oysters Tempura: Oishi Indeed!


There is something about the Japanese aesthetic which calms. So I'd like to say that it was with some hesitation that I destroyed the little Japanese garden I had just made on my plate.

The truth is that there was no hesitation. These little tempura tempters were gobbled up within 7.5 seconds of my camera going "click".

Happily, I was able to reconcile my appetite with the aesthetic by invoking Wabi-sabi. Wabi-sabi, in terms of Japanese art and arrangements, is centered on the acceptance of transience. This view, rooted in Buddhist ideals, particularly values imperfection and incompleteness, and considers these qualities to be beautiful.

And it was beautiful. The oysters were delicious and, afterwards, looking at their empty shells, I saw the beauty of their transience - into my tummy!

Continue reading "Oysters Tempura: Oishi Indeed!" »

12 April 2008

Panko Prawns: Delicious and Healthy!


All right, all right! Perhaps not healthy... exactly.

These little guys certainly were delicious, though. So you'll forgive me for getting a little bit carried away.

Nic published a panko post last year and I wasn't planning on posting another one tonight - that is until I popped one of these panko'd pleasers into my mouth and it almost burst it was so juicy!

Recently, I have been tending to Asian White Shrimp which I've found to be sweeter than Black Tiger Prawns. Black Tiger Prawns are said to possess firmer flesh, but I can tell you that the White ones I had tonight were plump and bursting with flavour.

Oh, and as for the indubitable health benefits: I figure that the prawn shells are very high in calcium, so if you eat the tails, your bones will be sure to thank you.

If you want to have a look at this embarrassingly simple recipe, click on the link to the Nic's post.

18 January 2008

Moroccan Shrimp Salad


Over the past month we have had a house guest stay with us: Nic's sister Liz. And although a month is a long time to have another body in our small, one bedroom apartment, we are all still, happily, the best of friends.

Now cooking for three is hardly more challenging than cooking for two. However, Liz has developed some dietry sensitivities from a spending a year traveling throughout South America. Cooking for someone on a strict diet can certainly test your creativity.

Continue reading "Moroccan Shrimp Salad" »

13 November 2007

Thai in Ten: Hoi Lai Pad Prik


Hoi Pad Prik translates to Fried Clams with Roasted Chili Paste. I use the Mae Pranom brand of paste which I picked up in Thailand recently. It contains vegetable oil, dried shrimp, dried chili, onion, garlic, tamarind, sugar and salt. The paste can sometimes be labeled in English as 'Chili paste in soy bean oil'.


If you can't find it, don't fear! Up until I got hold of the Mae Pranom brand, I used a Chinese dried chili oil paste, which worked just as well and is easier to find.

It is really important though to cook the clams over a hot flame so I always use our portable gas cooker for this dish.

This recipe is so simple to make and literally takes only a couple of minutes to cook. Even on these colder days, it's fun to slurp up the clams, beer in hand, sauce on chin and pretend we're at the beach in Thailand.

Continue reading "Thai in Ten: Hoi Lai Pad Prik" »

27 July 2007

Half time bites - Panko Prawns with Kewpie Mayo


Hello, Tastebuddies,

I'm Nic - Syrie's extremely lucky and much less talented other half. I think it's appropriate that this is my first contribution to her blog. I made these Panko Prawns in the half time break in the second Bledisloe Cup match last weekend (for the uninitiated, the Bledisloe Cup is the most fiercely contested Rugby prize in the world - with the possible exception of the World Cup - and New Zealand and Australia play for it annually). So they took about 5 minutes from prep to bite.

For those of you who haven't Panko'd before, Panko is Japanese for breadcrumb. Panko crumbs are a bit different to normal crumbs, though - they are very light and a little larger than the granulated crumbs we're used to. I have used panko in non-asian dishes (on herb and mustard crusted lamb cutlets) and it's worked out a treat.

Next in our glossary of terms is Kewpie. Kewpie mayo is Japanese mayonnaise. It's sweet and creamy, but not like the horrible sweetness of Miracle Whip. That's really all I can tell you. Next time you're having sushi, ask the waiter to bring you some mayo. They'll bring Kewpie and then you'll know what I mean.

Panko Prawns with Kewpie Mayo

A dozen prawns - get a decent size: they're juicy;
Flour, Egg and Panko (enough for dipping rolling and dipping the prawns in);
Kewpie Mayo.

So this is a 5-step process and it's all over in about 5 minutes. (Actually I forgot about shelling the prawns...Ok, add another 5 minutes - you're still done before the second half begins).


  1. Set out the flour, beaten egg and Panko;
  2. Heat some oil (vege, maze, corn, etc) in a large pot on the stove on high heat for deep frying;
  3. Coat the prawns in the flour, egg and Panko (in that order); and
  4. Put them in the hot oil for about 2 minutes.
  5. Remove the prawns with a dry, steel slotted spoon or strainer, put them on some paper towels for a minute while you put the Kewpie in a bowl...and then sit back and watch the Wallabies get Panko'd.

17 July 2007

Bastille Day Bouillabaisse


To honour Bastille Day on 14 July we held our own Fête de la Fédération at apartment 405. The specialité de la maison was Bouillabaisse followed by a very rich Chocolate and Orange Mousse. Nic wants me to put in lots of other French words that he's yelling at me, like tete-a-tete and rendezvous and aprés-ski, but I'm not going to.

Bouillabaisse, a Provencal fish stew originates from the town of Marseille and consists of at least four different types of Mediterranean rock fish and crustaceans like mussels or small crabs. The rich seafood is balanced with a light, sweet broth that is made from fish stock given its famous red hue from saffron threads.

I never fully appreciated the amount of work that goes into preparing this acclaimed dish. Bouillabaisse is no ordinary soup. It requires patience, effort and real application. In the end however the result was worth the effort.

There are three major steps in the preparing of this recipe. The first is preparation of the fish stock, then the Rouille; a Saffron and Garlic Mayonnaise with croutons, and then finally the Bouillabaisse itself. Don't forget, you can always make the process easier by just buying fish stock from your local fish shop which is what I will do next time.

Continue reading "Bastille Day Bouillabaisse" »

14 July 2007

Seafood Barbie

Summer in Vancouver is fleeting so there is no excuse not to whip out the barbecue and head down to the park after work. We bought our barbie for $26. A Steal considering the number of times it has been used it so far.

On the BBQ menu was fresh Sardines and other seafood from the Granville Island Public Market. I have long had a love for sardines, especially when they are grilled. The little silver fish are not only tasty but high calcium, protein, iron, potassium, phosphorus and omega-3 fatty acids.

Sardines are a shallow swimming fish caught in the summer months and are believed to have been named after the Island of Sardinia, where they were caught as young fish to be salted or packed in oil in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

Sardines, also known as pilchards in some countries, are oily fish and can be eaten in a variety of ways such as grilled, crumbed, baked or pickled. I think they are best grilled and drizzled with chilied olive oil and lemon juice.

ok, back to last night's seafood feast...It consisted of grilled sardines stuffed with garlic and rosemary, oysters kilpatrick, prawns with a garlic butter dipping sauce and a potato salad with a balsamic wholegrain mustard creme dressing. Salivating yet? I am. 


Grilled Sardine Recipe

4 fresh Sardines
3 cloves of Garlic
4 Fresh Rosemary Sprigs
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Pepper
Half a Lemon
50 mls of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 tsp Chili Powder
4 Bamboo Skewers (soaked for an hour in water)
*Heat the BBQ up for 10 minutes.

1. Gut and wash the Sardines. Nic the fish filleter did this job as I am too much of a wimp.
2. Pat the Sardines dry and rub body and cavity with salt and pepper.
3. Slice Garlic and place in the cavity along with a Rosemary sprig. Add a slice of garlic in the mouth as well.
4. Insert the bamboo skewer into the Sardine's mouth and make sure that the stick runs as close to the spine as possible. Push the skewer out around the tail. Repeat with the rest of the sardines.
5. Sprinkle a little more salt on the fish.
6. Once the BBQ is ready then place the fish on the grill and cook for around 3 minutes each side turning once.
7. Mix the olive oil and chili powder vigorously in a bowl.
8. Once the Sardines are ready, take off the grill and drizzle with chili oil and a squeeze of lemon.


Oysters Kilpatrick Recipe

12 Fresh Oysters
3 rashers of Smoked Bacon
2 tsp Oil
Worcesterchire Sauce
Tobasco Sauce
4 cloves of Garlic
5 tbs of Unsalted Butter
*Special Equipment: Glove, kitchen towel and an oyster shucker

1. Finely slice the bacon and fry it until crispy in 2 tsp of oil. Drain and set aside.
2. Finely mince the garlic.
3. Heat up the butter gently in a small fry pan. Add the garlic and stir for about 3 minutes on a low heat. Turn the heat off and let the pan sit on the plate for about 3 minutes.
4. Carefully place the unshucked Oysters on the BBQ grill. Cook for about 3-4 minutes. They should start steaming and hissing and even open a little. Don't worry if they don't.
5. Take the oysters off the grill and then shuck them open. Careful of the hot oyster liquor!
6. Put the open oyster back onto the grill and add a dash of Worcesterchire, tobasco, garlic butter and a sprinkle of bacon.
7. Cook for a further minute or so, remove from the grill with tongs and then SLURP!


BBQ Banana Prawns and Garlic Butter Sauce Recipe

This was simple. Just grill the prawns for about 3 minutes on each side then peel and dip in the garlic butter left over from the oysters.


Potato Salad with a Balsamic Whole Grain Mustard Dressing

15 Small Red Potatoes
5 Small Vine Ripened Cherry Tomatoes
1 handful of shelled Sugar Snap Peas
1 handful of diced Spanish Onion
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 tbs of Aged Balsamic Vinegar
3 tbs of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tsp of Wholegrain Mustard

1. Wash and boil the potatoes until cooked - about 15 minutes. Keep testing the potatoes with a knife as you don't want them to fall apart or to be undercooked.
2. Shell the Sugar Snap Peas and cut the tomatoes in half. Set Aside.
3. Prepare the dressing. Add the Olive oil and Balsamic vinegar into a bowl. Add the Wholegrain Mustard and mix vigorously with a fork until a creamy consistency forms. Add the Black Pepper and continue to mix.
4. Drain the potatoes once cooked and run under cold water.
5. Add the potatoes to a bowl, add the peas and onion. Add about 1/2 tsp of salt and mix well.
6. Mix the dressing into the salad and then top with chopped chives.


My Photo


  • Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

Check out the buzz...


  • Foodbuzz

Recent Comments

BCSPCA - Vancouver