blogging, Food

Friendly Friday Blog Challenge – Something Fishy

Join the Friendly Friday Blog Challenge

For the next two weeks, the Friendly Friday Blog Challenge asks for you to share a story, photographs, poem or recipe on the theme: Something Fishy. You are very welcome to join in.

  • crab
  • fish face mural fgraffiti art

Think fish markets, lobsters, fishing tales, the one that got away, graffiti art, food or travel photography, even something suspect or mysterious can fit with this theme. Make it your own!

Gold Fish in a pond
Wellington Botanic Gardens, New Zealand

The Friendly Friday Blog Challenge instructions fully explain how to join in. Don’t forget to pingback this post and leave a comment below, so I can find your post.

Here is my contribution for Something Fishy.

Fishy Dishes

During my formative years, as many Aussie families could attest, Salmon dishes hadn’t extended beyond one’s elderly Aunt Betty’s, “Salmon Patty.” For the uninitiated, salmon patties are a slightly bland salmon and mashed potato concoction. For the most part, Australian cuisine hadn’t spread its wings beyond the ‘meat and three veg’, until well after the seventies.

Unless your family was into crabbing or regular fishing trips, like my former neighbour who served up this delicious smoked fish and Red Claw lunch one day, you might not be tempted by seafood at all. But I can’t really understand that! It matters not whether it is Barramundi, Salmon or Mussels, there isn’t any seafood I don’t like.

Red claw smoked fish
Red Claw and Smoked fish

Ten or so years ago, Norwegian Gravlax, entered my life. I was visiting a Danish friend who was teaching me how to string a loom for weaving, (which had nothing to do with salmon), and she kindly offered me a smoked salmon and lettuce sandwich for lunch. It was humble and it was delicious. I was hooked. I had to have more.

Salmon and Avocado on ryebread
Salmon and Avocado on ryebread

Norwegian Gravlax

Gravlax tastes like a cross between salmon sashimi (imagine it with the addition of seasoning from salt, plus fresh herb flavour), and the smoked salmon slices you buy at stores – but minus the smokey flavour, because smoked salmon, is, [of course,] made by smoking salmon.

It’s not too salty, the flesh is not overly cured i.e. still nice and moist. But it’s cured enough to be easily sliceable into thin pieces, (which is virtually impossible with raw fish). It’s salty enough that you’ll want to eat the slices plain, but not too salty that you’ll need to guzzle a glass

Most of the salmon, that is produced in salmon farms, is thought to be highly toxic. This is due to the techniques required to produce it according to a documentary on YouTube. Some varieties of FARMED salmon they consider especially so. The farmed salmon can and may infect, wild populations as well.

Although this revelation concerns this salmon zealot, I’ve only discovered the delights of eating smoked salmon a mere decade ago, so I’m thinking I am not about to give it up, yet, especially at my stage of life.

It’s All About the Salmon

So where do you find the best Salmon?

Sweden? The very best I’ve eaten was a Salmon dish in Stockholm, with Swedish friends. A melt-in-the-mouth fillet topped with a berry-based sauce that can only be described as sublime perfection.

Surprisingly enough, the next best salmon dish, I’ve eaten, was a pan-fried Tasmanian Salmon fillet I selected from a local restaurant’s menu. Again, it was – perfection.

Salmon varieties in Finland

Many Scandinavians love eating Salmon, so I can easily blame my Nordic genes, for my present addiction. Finns have a hundred different varieties of this fishy beast to try, as I discovered in Helsinki, one day.

Salmon Quiche, found in a Norwegian friend’s Women’s Weekly magazine, was more popular with visiting guests, than it was with my children, as was a Salmon pie recipe shared by a fellow Australian School-Mum.

Needless to say, I loved them both.

salmon pie
Salmon Pie

Some folks enjoy Salmon soup, which I found to be quite similar to a creamy seafood chowder I was served in Wellington harbour one year, but the Finns adds a flavour to die for. It must be the fresh dill or the cold waters of the Baltic region? Here’s the one I tasted in Finland.

salmon soup in helsinki
in helsinki

By now, you have probably figured salmon, smoked or otherwise, had me in its grasp. Each time I ate it, I liked it more and more. So much so that I experimented with making my own Gravlax.

How to Make Your Own Gravlax

A rose gold lump, formerly knows as a marine creature, sat curing in the refrigerator, under a cleaned bluestone rock, for 3 days. It had been doused with black pepper and enough salt to clog several arteries. The rock was to compress it, (apparently). Here is the recipe I followed:

Smoked Salmon Gravadlax
Smoked salmon fillet prior to adding the seasonings and rock

Gravlax Recipe

  • Mix equal parts salt + sugar (combined) to 50% of the weight of the salmon. 
  • Coat a fresh fillet of salmon liberally with the salt and sugar mix
  • Top with loads of chopped fresh Dill, or herbs of your choice.
  • Place a cleaned, heavy weight, such as a rock, a paperweight or marble board, on top.
  • Leave, loosely covered, in the fridge for 24 hours to cure; 36 hours for medium; 48 hours for hard cure. [I chose the medium time frame.]
  • Slice with a very sharp knife into wafer-thin slices and serve.

Next Friendly Friday Blog Challenge

Sandy, from The Sandy Chronicles, will announce the next theme for the Friendly Friday Challenge over at her blog, in two weeks time.

Blog challenge Friday

Until then,

Fishy Cheers from Amanda

159 thoughts on “Friendly Friday Blog Challenge – Something Fishy”

  1. My mouth is watering now! I like seafood and I love (smoked) salmon, especially on a slice of baguette. You must have an amazing memory, remembering all those salmon dishes and the progression of how you became more and more enthralled by it. My best salmon story has to do with watching a black bear catch one on Vancouver Island a few falls ago. 🙂

    Liked by 9 people

    1. Some meals stand out Liesbet! I try to remember my travels regularly so that the memory doesn’t fade.
      Now I am the one to feel envious of you. Seeing a bear catch the salmon would have been an amazing experience. I have seen it on Television and in advertisements, but never irl. That reminds me of a Physiotherapist I worked with. She loves Salmon so much and felt it was a crime to cook it. She said if she was an animal she would be a bear catching a salmon over the waterfall! That is how much she loves it! I think that even tops me!

      Liked by 4 people

    1. Having been vegetarian for around 5 years or so, seafood seemed to taste even better when I started eating it again, Laurie. Strangely enough, meat tasted worse and it took me quite some times before I could enjoy it. These days I would rather seafood or vegetarian. Meat is a splurge for me.
      Nothing beats good old fish and chips. I didn’t think that was a tradition in US. It is definitely a tradition here and in the UK.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. After being a vegetarian for around 5 years, what made you try meat again? I have not eaten meat for almost 4 years, sometimes I contemplate adding it back to my diet, for nutritional purposes and maybe some extra weight gain, but when it’s in front of me, I can’t bring myself to eat it. Have you noticed changes after eating meat again? Other than seafood tasting better, haha.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. The Norwegian Salmon quiche is very simple to make. Layer slices of potato, then salmon, either smoked or canned, (it matters not to me), dill, then onion, finishing with a layer of potato. Mix 3 eggs seasoning and around 1 cup of cream and pour over. Top with grated cheese and bake. It is delicious. You don’t even need to fuss with a pastry.

      Liked by 2 people

            1. Anne, the recipe works well with canned salmon, only you might fit less layers in to the flan dish. If I use canned salmon, I only do a layer of each and then top with potato and cheese – this of course depends on the depth of your pie/quiche flan.

              Liked by 1 person

        1. Cured lamb leg.
          It is delicious, Peggy. It’s usually eaten cold on an open sandwich. My Norwegian friend used to have a leg hanging on a string in the pantry. It was heavily salted and she followed a process of salting, washing and re-salting it til it was cured. As I said, delicious. The Norwegians have a range of meats treated and preserved to last through the winters. The curing imparts a rather nice flavour.

          Liked by 2 people

  2. Glory hallelujah ! Absolutely brilliant ! THE correct recipe !!! And hello Nagi if you are reading this ! One of my favourite alltime dishes to make and to serve and to eat ! Utter perfection . . . well, I was about three when the family cook put a huge white apron around me, allowed me to step on a stool and ‘help’ her ‘make’ it ! One of the most wonderful dishes in the world . . . and it does not need beetroot, it can ‘take’ vodka or at a pinch gin, it should not be wrapped in plastic, it should definitely be turned . . . etc etc et al . . . but please – cut the piece of salmon lengthwise and stuff all that salt, sugar, dill down the middle ! Have fun with Adam Liaw of Australia and Viveka Gustavson (‘My Guilty Pleassures’) of Sweden . . . this to me is what real food is about !

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I know Adam Law did a cooking tour of Scandianavia so I will look up his version. Viveka…. I will have to search out.
      I like the idea of Vodka or gin infused Salmon. That sounds a bit like the 107 different Finnish varieties. You don’t like beetroot, Eha?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. C’mon – Go say hello to Conor Bofin of Dublin (‘One Man;s Meat’ !) – he and chefs like Donal Skehan made Irish food shine a long time ago ! I learn from them every day !!!

      Liked by 3 people

              1. So Ireland is your home? I do hope you are able to travel back there, soon. Still, I wouldn’t mind a summer stint in Germany. I do remember it was very hot the last summer I spent in Berlin. 37 degrees one day! Almost like Australia!

                Liked by 1 person

              2. I suppose Irish summers are a lot like Scandinavians ones. Blink and in some years, you will miss it! Ireland is renowned for cold windy bleak conditions in my mind, much like Scotland, I guess. But greener!

                Liked by 1 person

              3. Lol. And I have never even been there. I used to watch an Irish soapopera – I am trying to think of the name of it. A small village where it rained a lot. Rang for about 30 minutes an episode. Lots of activity centred around the pub!

                Liked by 1 person

    1. I just had about 1 kilograms of fresh cooked prawns. You call them shrimp, but these were almost 6 inches long, when stretched out. So I can’t call them shrimp – they sounds like they are small. I will throw some on the barbeque for you tomorrow. Will you be here?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Amanda, sounds great no matter what you call them. George Carlin did a comedy routine on oxymorons like “jumbo shrimp.” I would love to be there in the Autumn. Take care, Keith

        Liked by 2 people

            1. Excellent to hear. With the latest news on A-Z and countries dropping it, I feel it is the vaccine of first choice. Unfortunately, we missed the boat with Pfizer and only ordered for some of our front line workers.


    1. I am looking forward to reading your story, Knickers. The mural was on the wall of a …. fish and chip shop. Appropriate, hey? And like many murals, it stops the graffiti as it shows respect for the artists. Honour amoung thieves, kind of thing?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I don’t think we distinguish that clearly between murals and graffiti in Germany. Maybe that’s why some idiot always thinks that “tagging” on someone else’s work is a good idea 😒 But I love the concept.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Hmm. I love salmon too. I prefer it cooked though 🙂 In my house the favorite is a simple poached salmon finished with a soy/scallion/ginger/garlic glaze.

    I feel obliged to point out a typo Amanda. I believe you meant to say that salmon FARMING is toxic to the environment. The fish itself is not. Certainly, given the amount of Canadian farmed salmon that we eat, there’s nothing wrong with it 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I love all seafood too. I haven’t been fishing for such a long time when the water clears a bit I should go again. We used to go camping with friends & fish & toss out the crab nets & hunt for oysters we ate what we caught saved money as we didn’t have to pack much food. Great photos love the fish wall art.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. The fish mural is gigantic and sits on the side wall of a fish and chip shop! Appropriately, Linda!
      It has been years since I went fishing and caught something that I could eat. There just isn’t enough fish around in the bay here anymore. The fisheries have become very depleted. Sad. My neighbours used to get the red claw at Somerset Dam, but even that is hard to come by now. Have you tasted it?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Love love red claw If I could breed yabbies & lobster & crab & prawns all together in our dam I would live off eating them. lol. We used to have yabbies not big ones, in our dam that we caught & ate, yum cooked with a little oil & garlic.

        Liked by 2 people

              1. I play by taste in the cooking department so In a hot wok splash some oil around I guess it would be a couple of tblspns maybe more enough to coat the yabbies then toss a couple of cloves of chopped garlic in, then the yabbies stir them up coating them in the yummy garlicy oil about 10min depending on the size & amount of the yabbies. Enjoy.

                Liked by 2 people

  5. A fellow blogger here in the U.S. has decided to turn vegan and has been posting photos of vegan meals on her Facebook page. When I mentioned that I love seafood, she referred me to a new documentary entitled “Seaspiracy” about the fishing industry, which details how it’s damaging the world’s oceans. She later offered up a batch of frozen salmon she no longer wanted.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. No doubt the fisheries are threatened the world over. People trying to earn more, populations ever expanding. Then there is the dragnets that take everything from the sea bed. We have trawlers coming in to the north from as far as China and Taiwan, trying to find a way to get money, as the seas near them are fished out. We also have a huge largely unpopulated coastline so it is easy to catch what fish is there and take it back home. The navy and coastguard catch some ships and they are confiscated, but for them time in an Aussie prison is somewhat of a holiday compared to their fisherman lives on leaky vessels. I try to eat with the environment and the welfare of the fisheries in mind when I purchase. I do not buy fish that have come from Thailand or questionable sources, not just for hygiene/contamination and reasons of not being fresh, but also because of ethical dilemmas. How do you feel about it?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I pointed out – as I always have – that the true problem is the global population: we have too many people! We reached 7 billion a few years ago and we’re already approaching 8 billion. Considering that it took millennia to reach just 1 billion, the immediate future doesn’t look bright. Earth and its resources can only tolerate so much before it enacts revenge. And I feel it’s already doing that.

        That’s also why I feel COVID-19 is a mere harbinger of scourges to come. More people require more food, and it’s the tendency of humans to seek out meat. It helped our ancestors develop physical strength and mental acuity. But now it could be our demise.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It has crossed my mind that this scourge of disease viruses is nature trying to reduce the population level, directly or indirectly. The bubonic plaque wiped out one third of the world’s population didn’t it? Whole villages were wiped out. The countryside of Europe was left a wasteland, which in turn allowed for new waves of new immigrants to start afresh.
          I am by no means advocating or praising the awful effects of Covid, yet population control is something humans realistically have to come to terms with, in a finite world. There is only so much space, so much food that can be grown, so few resources. I can see the rich countries being in a better position than most but I wonder if population control measures might be introduced subtely at first by forward thinking nations?

          Liked by 2 people

          1. The 14th century “Black Plague” killed anywhere from 75 million to 200 million people from Western Asia to Europe and North Africa. Of course, it’s difficult to know the true number, but its legacy remains unquestionable. Yes, I agree that it’s likely nature enacts its own remedy to counteract overpopulation. In fact I see it as an inevitable response.

            I’ve also advocated education for all people about the need for population control, which necessitates a reduction in adherence to religious ideology and a comprehensive understanding of how humans interact within the natural world. Future global population estimates place Africa and Asia at the center of the crisis.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. There is issues between religious ideology and environmental generally, isn’t there, Alejandro. Whilst I respect religion and people’s right to believe, I do think they need to update their reference texts!
              Yes, I think Africa has some big problems in this regard. The famines of the 80’s are only the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.

              Liked by 1 person

    1. Are they gold fish in a pond, Donna? I find fish are hard to photograph so I don’t have too many photos of fish on my PC either. But I enjoy visiting food markets – they are also abuzz with activity and so I have a few photos from there. And then photographing nice food and reviewing the restaurant is a popular pursuit here, particularly on Insta. Is it likewise in your area?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Some great photos here Amanda. One thing I don’t like is salmon fillet! I love smoked salmon though. I don’t like most Japanese food either, so it was a real problem when we visited Japan. I think some of the best fish dishes we had were in Spain

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I have heard that Spain and Portugal has seafood to die for, although sometimes it might give you an intestinal upset. One friend, when in Portugal, who enjoys seafood, told me that she contemplated whether getting an intestinal upset before diving into eating some of their beautiful seafood.
      It makes me think of a huge paella dish full of delicous seafood cooking on a street stall in Milan. I would have loved to try it, but wasn’t sure whether it would agree with me. Tempting though…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I don’t know of any traditional ingredients. Spam perhaps! Because the population is quite racially mixed there are a lot of different influences. Poke is very big in Hawaii, but I’m not a raw fish eater.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. I also love all seafood and should really eat more of it. I also love salmon and dare say, it is my fish of choice. Would love to try making Norwegian Gravlax one day as I’m a big fan of smoked salmon on toast (and avo, red onion) + salad for lunches.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You really could try making your own. It usually works really well. Just the slicing wafer thin is tricky.
      I prefer eating seafood to meat any day but I suppose that was kind of obvious from the post?

      Liked by 1 person

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