Although meat and chicken dishes are downloaded more often, I get a lot of requests for amazing fish dishes that are great tasting and not fishy. Here are a few fish suggestions, cooked, raw and even a salad variety that are big hits with my readers. Just like with all recipes, fish should have contrast in texture and flavor to make it satiating. These recipes include bold flavor profiles and look stunning on the plate.

Seared Salmon with Herbed Pine Nut and Olive Topping

Serves 4

Photo by Jonathan Lovekin

Yotam Ottolenghi the best-selling cookbook author, is responsible for this wonderful recipe. It was referenced in the movie Bridget Jones’s Diary and thus the recipe needed to be published and formally written up. The combination of crunch, sweetness, brininess, and fresh herbs makes a wonderful flavor profile. I’ve edited it a bit to simplify the technique and make the ingredients as familiar as possible.

  • 3/4 cup currants
  • 4 salmon fillets, skin on
  • 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 medium celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch dice (1-3/4 cups), leaves removed but kept for garnish
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup capers, plus 2 tablespoons of their brining liquid
  • 1/3 cup large green olives, pitted and diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon (pinch) saffron threads, mixed with 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Cover the currants with boiling water and set aside to soak for 20 minutes.

Mix the salmon with 1 tablespoon of the oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a sprinkle of black pepper. Set aside.

Heat 5 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large sauté pan and place on high heat. Add the celery and pine nuts and saute for 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until the nuts begin to brown. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the capers and the liquid, olives, saffron and its water, and a pinch of salt. Drain currants and add to mixture. Add parsley, basil lemon zest, and lemon juice. Set aside.

Put the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil into a large frying pan and place over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the salmon fillets, skin side down, and fry for 3 minutes, until the skin is crisp. Decrease the heat to medium, then flip the fillets over and continue to cook for 2 to 4 minutes (depending on how much you like the salmon cooked). Remove from the pan and set aside.

Arrange the salmon on four plates and spoon on the salsa. Scatter the celery leaves on top. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Tuna Tartare

Serves 6

Photo by Eatyourbooks

Raw fish entrees have been popular since sushi became all the rage. I serve this often on Shabbos morning. Be sure to buy sushi grade fish and I freeze it immediately. Slice it as it slowly defrosts, it will slice cleanly instead of shredding.

  • ½ lb. sushi grade tuna, finely diced*
  • ¼ cup flat leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 3 teaspoons wasabi paste
  • Thick potato chips

In a medium bowl, combine tuna, parsley, shallots, tomato, capers and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise and wasabi paste. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to serve.

To serve, spoon wasabi mayonnaise onto potato chips and top with tuna tartare. Alternatively, dollop tuna tartare into decorative small dish. Top with dollop of wasabi mayonnaise and place potato chips alongside.

*Fresh sushi grade fish until ready to use. It only takes about 1 ½ hours to defrost. Slice it when it is still very cold to get clean slices without shredding the fish.

Miso Cod

Serves 6

Miso is a terrific flavor enhancer. It packs an incredible bunch of rich soy sauce flavoring along with a slight creamy texture. This recipe can be made with other hearty fish, like halibut, tuna or salmon.

Photo by Andrew Zimmern

  • ⅓ cup sake or white wine
  • ⅓ cup mirin
  • ⅓ cup white miso (or other mild miso)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fresh ginger or 2 frozen cubes ginger
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 6 cod fillets or sea bass pieces
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar

Make the marinade: Combine sake, mirin, miso, soy sauce, lime juice, ginger, and crushed red pepper in a small bowl. Place cod in an oven-safe baking dish. Pour marinade over fish, coating completely and marinate 2 - 6 hours.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Cover fish and bake for 12 minutes. Turn oven to broil setting. Sprinkle fish with brown sugar. Broil until cooked through and sugar has browned, about 2 minutes. Serve warm.

Asian Salmon Crisp Lettuce Salad

Serves 8

This is a great salad with cooked salmon tossed throughout. I serve it midweek with a hearty soup or as a Shabbos Day appetizer. The Asian seasoning that the salmon cooks in, becomes a wonderful dressing.

Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons mirin
  • 6 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon white horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped ginger
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped garlic
  • ¾ lb. salmon, skin removed, cut into strips (or fresh tuna)

Salad

  • 6-8 cups iceberg lettuce
  • ½ cup chopped scallions
  • 1 cup thinly sliced radish
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk mirin, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and white horseradish. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil. When oil is hot add ginger and garlic and saute until softened, about 1 minute. Add salmon or tuna, and cook stirring, until salmon is opaque and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. Add mixed dressing and turn off heat.

In a large bowl, mix lettuce, scallions, radish and sesame seeds. Pour salmon with sauce over salad right before serving. Toss and serve immediately. Note: Salmon can be cooked a day ahead of time and stored with juices in the refrigerator until ready to use. Dress salad just before serving.