Friday, January 06, 2006

No-fry Fried fish or Roasted Salmon

Who doesnt love a fried fish? It is the best side dish to go with Fish curries. I havent come across a better dish to go along with Fish curry and Rice. Being a health freak that I am, I used to wish, if only there was a way not to fry fish and still get the great taste! Well, there was.... When I started using the oven, I started baking marinated Chicken drumsticks. Since it was great, I tried the same technique with Fish too. After a few trials, I found a neat way to make Fish crisp and tasty, just like the Fried fish, infact even beter than the fried ones. And the whopping amount of oil you need to prepare this dish is .... hold you breath ... 1 tbsp!

It was only very recently that I learnt that the process wasnt Baking, but Roasting! It is called roasting when it comes to cooking vegetables and meat in the oven. And Baking for all those made of flour. (Courtesy: The book 'The Clueless Baker').

I'm going to write only the process here. It turns out great with any recipe, any masala/spice blends you use. Salmon is great when roasted this way. I've tried Tilapia and Cat fish fillets too, with great results. If it is an oily fish like Salmon, one tbsp of oil for greasing the tray, will do. You'll be surprised by the amount of oil that the fish emits while baking. For other types, add another tbsp of oil along with the marinade and proceed as usual.

1. Marinade: I cut the fish fillets into small pieces, like about 2 inch squares, for handling ease. But you can cut them into any shape you want. Then, I add about 2 tbsp of Shaan Tandoori Chicken Tikka BBQ powder (any Indian stores in US, now available in India too). This has salt in it, so you can omit salt... or add in a tiny bit if you like. Add a tbsp of lemon juice or white vinegar. Mix carefully without breaking the fish fillets. Cover with a saran wrap and keep it aside for about an hour or overnight in the fridge.

2. Preparation: Preheat the oven; Line the grilling tray or baking tray with Aluminium foil and grease it with a tbsp of olive oil (Any vegetable oil will do). Carefully place the fish pieces on the tray and bake at 375 F for 15 mins, turn over, bake for another 15 more mins.. Now turn ON the broil mode of the oven for about 5 mins. Broiling gives the crispiness. You may want to increase/decrease the broiling time depending on your oven.

Serve hot with Fish curry and Rice.

Variations: You can add the masala marinade of your choice - I've tried chilli powder, salt, pepper powder, garlic salt, lemon juice, garlic/shallot paste or a mixture of a few of these items...and it has turned out great, every single time. Though I dont prefer using store bought masala powders for the amount of preservatives/MSG/what not they add, I still store some of them for those lazy times. This Shaan powder is for those lazy times, but it usually turns up very nice!

If you try this, do let me know how it turns out.


Tina Jennifer D'Silva said...

Hi Kay... Sounds good.. A must try. I usually bake/ roast food more than frying it. It gives an added flavour that you dont get in frying the meat/ fish.

Priya Bhaskaran said...

Wow kay, the recipe looks too good. I try to avoid deep frying. I know its is not healthy. I will follow your method for cooking fish:)

Lera said...

This looks so appetising ,Kay, Now I do have a reason to indulge this tasty dish without feeling guilty.

Kay said...

Thanks Tina, Priya and Lera. If you try, do tell me how it went. :)

Tina, I agree - it gives an added taste that you dont get in frying. Maybe because the meat cooks in its own juice?

sailu said...

Healthy dish indeed!

bilbo said...

hey kay,
thanks for visiting my blog. I went through your posts and your sprouts look good. I realised what I was doing wrong with mine. Thanks a bunch.
take care

kals said...

hi kay,

Thanks for posting the oven made fish fry.I will try and let u know how it turned.I tried your biryani today and it was yummy.I added ginger,garlic,green chillie paste to it as we like spicy food.I am planning to make it on a regular basis from now on as the procedure seems to be easy.Can we add coconut milk to the biryani?.
Also iam cooking your karela crisps now.The smell is very good and yet to taste.It is not very crispy.If i broil for few more mins it turns black.I added only 1 tbsp of oil.
Also i made sprouts as per your procedure and got very nice sprouts.My 2 year old daughter liked it a lot.Thanks for sharing your recipes.

Kay said...

Thanks Sailu and Bilbo! Glad I could help with the sprouts, Bilbo.

Thanks kals, I did add ginger-garlic paste in my biryani, but d'uh! I forgot to write it down when I posted the recipe. :) Thanks for reminding me. I'll update the recipe now.

If you add coconut milk, the spiciness of the biryani will reduce, but well, you can call it 'Chicken Pulao' then. My mother makes a Pulao with fresh coconut milk and it tastes so good!

I'm so glad your little daughter liked the sprouts! Believe it or not, this is one of the very few times when I've heard that a 2 yr old liked eating something healthy! You are surely doing a great job, bringing her up!

I wonder why your karela chips didnt turn up nice :( Are you cutting the slices very thin? Greasing the bakign tray? Tossing the slices with some oil? Hmmmm... Are you using the Indian type karela? I've found that the oriental varieties are good for curries, and Indian ones for this type of fries. Maybe, you can make the thin slices, and sun-dry them for a while, if possible? Or adding a bit of cornflour/rice flour? hmm... I've do a bit of experimentation in this area.

kals said...

Hi kay,

I didn't cut the karela into very thin slices and used less oil.May be that is why it didn't come that crispy.Next time i will make it real thin.I bought the karela from the indian store only.I actually cut it previous day and did the crisps the next day.Next time i will make it fresh and thin and let u know.Thanks

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anila said...

hi kay... i read your recipe yesterday..i just couldn't stop myself from trying it i made them yesterday itself with homemade marinade..salt,red chilli,ginger garlic paste,pepper,turmeric and lime turned out yummy!!me and my husband munched on them happily since it was non i roasted salmon cutlets instead of frying them was yummy too..thanks a the baking time same for chicken?