Category Archives: Salmon & seafood - Page 2

Tom Kha Shrimp and Scallop (Thai Soup)

We recommend making bone broths regularly, for the minerals and collagen extracted from the bone and joint tissue. The broths can be drunk as a beverage, used in cooking (eg in making rice), and used as the base for soups, curries, and stews.

We make broth most Saturdays, and use it throughout the week. For an example of how to make broth, see Bone Broth Revisited; and Pumpkin Soup, Oct 3, 2011. The nature of the broth depends on the type of bones you get. Marrow bones create a fattier broth; bones with joint tissue attached create a collagen-rich gelatin; bare bones create a mineral-rich watery broth. If you start with marrow and joint bones, then the first broth will have all the fat, the first and second will have a lot of collagen, and later batches will become progressively more watery.

Since broth itself has a mild taste, it can be the foundation for a great diversity of soups. Once you have broth, most soups can be made very quickly – often in 10 minutes.

Tom Kha Gai, or chicken galangal soup, is a classic dish of Thai cuisine. It’s always made with coconut milk and usually lemongrass (which has a mild citrus flavor) and some kind of spicy flavor.

Of course, there’s no need to use chicken, and we generally prefer seafood, ruminant meats, eggs, and even duck to chicken. In today’s recipe, we used shrimp and scallops as our meats.


We used coconut milk, bone broth (not shown), shrimp, scallops, cilantro (coriander leaves), lemongrass, lime juice, fish sauce (not shown), mushrooms, and in the small bowl on the right, a homemade chili paste, galangal root, and sliced Serrano or Jalapeno chili peppers.


Place equal parts coconut milk and bone broth in a pot; add lemongrass, sliced galangal, lime juice, and 1 tbsp fish sauce:

You won’t eat the lemongrass, so it’s best to slice it in long diagonal strips that are easy to find and remove from the finished soup. Don’t cut it too small.

Bring the soup to a simmer for 5 minutes and add the remaining ingredients. Mushrooms, chili paste, and peppers:

Simmer another 5 minutes, and add shrimp and thin-sliced scallops:

The shrimp and scallops only need 2-3 minutes, so it’s almost done. Add cilantro:

It only takes a few minutes until everything is cooked, and it’s ready to serve:


Many variations are possible to alter the taste. Chili powder can be substituted for the paste, and ginger root for galangal. The lime juice can be used for the citrus flavor in place of lemongrass. Add more fish sauce for a saltier taste, or more lime juice for sourness.

Tom Kha Gai has always been one of our favorite soups, and it’s very easy to make. It’s even better with scallops and shrimp!

Bengali Fish Curry (Machher Jhal), 2: The Recipe

Dr. Shilpi Bhadra Mehta is a Doctor of Optometry, a Board Member of the Archaeological Institute of America, and leader of the Boston Paleo group, Living Paleo in Boston. I asked her to tell us about Indian cuisine, and she offered a discussion of Bengali Fish Curry. We’re doing it in two parts: first, a discussion of its health benefits; second, a recipe with pictures. — Paul

This recipe for Bengali Fish Curry provides 6-8 servings. It will be good up to 5 days in the fridge after cooking. Keep the skin on the fish if it’s wild!


2 pounds fillet or steak of wild fish with skin-in (preferably a high Omega 3 fish like salmon)

1 Large Onion, diced or sliced

3 Tablespoons Ginger Paste (Don’t use if taking warfarin, blood thinners, or have gallstones)

2 Teaspoons Kalo Jeera/Kalonji/Nigella Seeds (available in South Asian grocery stores)

Macadamia Nut Oil

Turmeric powder

Juice of Half a Lemon or 1 Small Lime

1 Cup chopped fresh Cilantro

1 Teaspoon Sea Salt (more can be added to taste by the individual)


2 medium Vine Ripe Tomatoes, chopped

1 Green Chili Pepper

1 Teaspoon Red Chili Powder/Cayenne /(Paprika for less heat)


Sprinkle turmeric and salt lightly over both sides of the fish (but not the side with skin if your fish has it). Squeeze the juice of half a lemon/lime on the fish (but not the side with skin if your fish has it). Let it marinate on the counter for 15 minutes, or longer in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Sautéing the Fish:

1) Heat oil in a pan at medium to medium-high heat (depending on your stove). The oil should be sizzling but not smoking. If oil is too cool or the pan gets dry then the fish might break or stick to the pan. Slide fish pieces carefully into hot oil, in a single layer placing them flat.

2) Sauté fish about 2 min to a light brown on each side and flip only once. Do not fry to a dark brown, or they can become stiff and chewy. Then set the fish pieces on a plate.

Making the Sauce/Curry:

1) Heat the remaining oil in the pan to the same temperature as before. Add more oil if necessary – do not let your pan get dry or the fish will stick! Add the Nigella/Kalonji seeds.

2) When the seeds sizzle, add the onion in and fry for 2 – 3 minutes till they get translucent.

3) Stir in the chili, tomato and the ginger, and continue to cook about another 3-5 minutes till the tomatoes become soft and start to break up.

4) Pour in about 2 cups water, and return fish to pan and place them in a single layer, with the skin surface touching the pan. Add fresh cilantro, cover the pan, turn down heat and let simmer for about 10-15 minutes until fish is cooked, and then turn off heat.

5) Enjoy with rice cooked in butter or ghee (you can top with ghee or butter, too) and a vegetable of choice (in this case it was bok choy) for a Perfect Health meal!

Mussels in Thai Curry Sauce

We recommend eating shellfish, for their nutritional content and lack of omega-6 fats.

At least in New England, mussels are inexpensive and readily available. We pay around $3 per pound and they are in local supermarkets year-round.

Mussels make a good appetizer or main dish. We usually make them with one of three sauces: (1) A soy sauce based Asian sauce; (2) Pacific Sweet and Sour sauce; or (3) a Thai curry sauce. Today, it’ll be the Thai curry sauce.

Preparing the sauce

Our main ingredients were onions, peppers, shiitake mushrooms, coconut milk, and Thai Kitchen red curry paste:

Prepare the sauce in a wok – this is important because we’ll want to toss the mussels in the sauce later, and you’ll need the rounded sides.

Soften the onions in a bit of oil – we used rendered beef tallow:

Add the peppers and mushrooms and cook them a bit:

Then add the coconut milk, curry paste, salt, pepper, and other seasonings to taste:

Steaming the mussels

The key to cooking mussels is to steam them separately, flash-cooking them so they don’t overcook and become dry and tough, but cooking long enough to kill any bad bacteria.

While the sauce is cooking, start heating a few inches of water in a steamer pot. When the water is boiling and making steam, and the sauce is done, add the mussels to the steamer.

They’ll need two to five minutes to cook. You’ll know they’re done when the mussels open. You can hear them opening, or, if you have a glass lid to your steamer as we do, can watch them. Let the opened mussels steam briefly before removing the lid. When you open the lid the mussels should all be open:

Discard any mussels that failed to open. Immediately remove the steamer basket and let any liquid drain out.


There’s no further cooking once the mussels have been steamed; all you have to do is transfer the mussels to the wok with the sauce, and mix them.

Once you’ve transferred the mussels to the work, toss the mussels in the wok until the mussels and sauce are thoroughly mixed:

Transfer to a serving bowl, pouring any residual sauce over the mussels:


Seafood Paella

Paella is the classic rice dish of Valencia on Spain’s Mediterranean coast.

It’s a great food for a dinner party: the ingredients take some time to gather, but paella can be made in bulk and provides a complete meal in one bowl. It also uses some wine, so you can drink while you cook and get in the party spirit before the guests arrive!


You’ll need a collection of meats, and seafoods are the usual choice. We chose shrimp, calamari, mussels, salmon, and spicy Italian sausage:

White wine and bone broth provide the necessary liquids. Our ox feet bone broth has plenty of collagen and fats as you can see:

Other ingredients we used are saffron (the threads are soaked in water overnight), red pepper, onion, uncooked white rice, a lemon, garlic, paprika, and parsley:

We also used olive oil and coconut oil (not shown).


You can start by stir-frying the onion and garlic in olive oil for two minutes, then adding red pepper for a minute, then the saffron and paprika:

Immediately after the saffron and paprika, add the rice (this was 2/3 cup uncooked), stir to coat it in oil and spices, add the wine and broth, and cover:

Cover the pot and simmer the rice in the broth about 15 minutes at low heat. As it cooks it absorbs liquid; if the broth runs low, add more bone broth. After 15 minutes looks like this:

At this point add the meat, and cover again to steam-cook the meat:

When we made paella a second time, we cooked the shrimp in coconut oil separately and added it to the paella only after the other meats were cooked. This enhanced the flavor of the shrimp:

Once the meat is cooked, add the parsley, juice of a full lemon, salt, pepper, and any other spices. The first time we made it looked like this:

But it’s really better when it has more parsley. When we made the paella the second time, this was how much parsley we used:

You can see that the second time we used more broth. This is the proper amount of liquid to have; our first version was too dry.

Here was the finished product the first time:

Here it was the second time:


If you’re tired of Cambridge Fried Rice, this is a good alternative: it has similar macronutrient proportions but a totally different taste!

For a bonus, we asked Gordon Ramsay to do a paella video: