Griddled fish and asparagus

Hello, today’s post is healthy, quick and so simple.  It’s also the first recipe I’ve taken inspiration from an infamous celebrity chef but put my own spin on it so technically I’d like half the credit.

The idea stems from when I had stopped in M&S’s food hall one evening after work and grabbed some tuna steaks.  They came with a pre-prepared sweet chilli sauce and all I had to do was grill the steaks and drizzle the sauce over them except I wasn’t quite feeling it and thought it lacked something.

I’ve bought stacks of cook books recently yet not found the time to look through them so it’s with luck I came across a recipe in Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food for Griddled Tuna with Asparagus which resulted in this:

It looks impressive, doesn’t it?  I used the sauce the tuna steaks came which set the bar for what I decided to experiment with.  And it takes less than 10 minutes to make from start to finish.

Jamie’s recipe recommends an cooked sauce to accompany the steaks but I have come up with my own, and it’s totally a Sheenie concoction that I love and have tested a few times.  Unfortunately the poor excuse of  a Tesco Metro that I stopped at after work didn’t have tuna so I had to make do with salmon fillet steaks but it proved that this sauce will go with more than one type of fish.

The method remains the same as Jamie recommends, only the sauce contains completely different ingredients and it is cooked at the same time the fish and asparagus is prepared.

Ingredients:

½ a bunch of asparagus (if thick, slice in half, length ways)
2 salmon fillets/tuna steaks/seabass/trout
2-3 spring onions, chopped (save some of the green shoots for garnishing)
2-4 cherry/plum baby tomatoes
half a red chilli, chopped and deseeded (optional)
Soy sauce
Reggae Reggae sauce
¼ – ½ tsp of Marmite spread
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
Water

Serves: 2

Method:

  1. Break off the woody ends of the asparagus, season lightly and cook on the griddle plan on a medium heat with a dash of olive oil till they are nicely charged on both sides.  You want that great nutty taste coming through.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan on a low heat, pour some Reggae Reggae sauce.  I would say about 4-5 tablespoons to start with or just estimate as I do (one less item to wash up!).  You need a sufficient amount to form the basis of the sauce though it will be diluted when you add a few glugs of soy sauce.
  3. Throw in the chopped tomatoes, spring onions and the Marmite and keep stirring.  The sauce will start to thicken so add a splash of water to dilute the sauce to the right consistency that pours nicely.
  4. Reduce the heat on the griddle pan, shift the asparagus to either side where the temperature is not as hot as it is in the middle and lay the fish in the centre.  For the tuna, it’ll take 30-60 seconds to cook on one side before flipping over.  Don’t overcook the tuna or the tenderness will evaporate.  Ideally the tuna should be slightly pink in the centre.  You don’t wish to overdo it or the tuna will taste too dry.
  5. For the salmon, cook on both sides until you notice the flesh has turned light pink.
  6. For the seabass, skin side down first and carefully flip over as seabass flakes quickly once cooked.
  7. Lay the asparagus on a plate and then gently place the fish on the bed of asparagus.  Save a few asparagus tips to decorate on top if you so wish.
  8. Drizzle the sauce over the asparagus and fish and finally garnish with the left over spring onion chopped shoots.
  9. Serve immediately.

You can leave out the chopped chilli (that was just my personal preference).  Marmite is urgh, I know!  I don’t like it at all as a spread but it works well with diffusing the strong sweet taste of the Reggae Reggae sauce while the chopped spring onions and tomatoes adds a good kick to the overall flavour.

The type of fish you use depends on your preference.  Salmon and tuna are the easiest, trout I took a chance on and fortunately it worked out.  Seabass flakes and breaks quickly because it’s so delicate so watch this one carefully.  What are your thoughts on mackerel?  Do you reckon that would work?

Basing a recipe on estimated quantities means I don’t waste time measuring and before I know it, a quick meal has been prepared. Boom!  Done.  I was licking my plate afterwards, you know.

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