Saturday, February 2, 2013

Salmon Belly Squid Ink Spaghetti with Sautéed Mushroom and Spinach




Wife and I were at the supermarket this morning for our weekly grocery shopping. While she went around in her regular route from row to row filling up the shopping cart, I was looking around for ideas and interesting ingredients for our dinner tonight.

These salmon belly strips caught my eyes. Salmon belly has higher fat content than other part of the fish. For this reason, the boneless meat is very soft, tender and tasty. And unlike pork belly or any other animal fat, salmon fat is considered healthy fat. Salmon is a fantastic source of DHA, the omega-3 fatty acid that is essential for brain development. DHA is stored in salmon’s fat and most often in the belly!

For selfish reason, I was actually in a dilemma whether should I feature salmon belly on this blog or not. I have always been puzzled that such a delicious and precious cut of the fish is sold at a fraction of the price. If words start getting around and the world finds out how good salmon belly is, prices will double or triple. :) But I still believe good things must share and especially with my blog readers and friends! 

Just sprinkle sea salt and pepper over the belly and pan fry over medium heat. You will get a golden and crispy layer on the outside and soft, juicy and flavourful meat, that melts in your mouth, inside. Absolutely heavenly!

This is perfect on its own with glass of cold white wine but I combined the salmon belly with squid ink spaghetti, spinach and brown mushroom for our dinner tonight.


Salmon Belly Squid Ink Spaghetti with Sautéed Mushroom and Spinach

Ingredients 
(Serves 4)

8 strips salmon belly
250g squid ink spaghetti
200g brown mushroom (cut into quarters)
300g spinach leaves (Blanched in salted water with olive oil)
6-8 cloves garlic (chopped)
100g chicken broth (optional)
1 spoonful mixed herbs
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Directions

Wash and pat dry the salmon belly. Marinate salmon belly with sea salt on the skin side and with sea salt and pepper on the meat side.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat up frying pan and add just enough olive oil. The belly will give up a lot of fat when frying so you don’t need much oil.

Pan fry salmon belly skin side down on medium heat until skin becomes golden and crispy. Flip over and pan fry for another minute. Remove from pan and let rest on kitchen towel to absorb excess fat.

Pour away excess oil. In the same pan, saute the mushroom until soft and moist. Add a tablespoon of olive and saute some chopped garlic without browning. Add salt and pepper to taste. Put aside and keep warm.

In the same pan, heat olive oil and saute remaining garlic without browning. Toss cooked spaghetti in the pan with mixed herbs and the garlic oil, then season with a little coarse salt, to your taste. Add the broth (or pasta water) and toss for another minute for pasta to soak up the sauce.

To serve, divide the spaghetti equally into 4 pasta plates.  Spoon the sautéed mushroom and spinach on top of the pasta. 

Cut each salmon belly into two. Top the pasta dish with the belly. Garnish with fresh dill and serve immediately.










42 comments:

  1. Hi Alvin
    Another something new and interesting thing for me in this post....I have never come across squid ink spaghetti before. This is new to me. Is there any difference in taste? Having it together with salmon is indeed an healthy meal after all, isnt it?

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    1. Hi Mel! Compared with normal pasta, squid ink pasta is slightly fishy and salty.

      Oh yes... like I said earlier - absolutely heavenly! Try the salmon belly on its own if you are not into the pasta! I'm 101% sure you will love it!

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  2. What a delicious meal, that is right up my alley! I love squid ink anything! :D And salmon done in anyway!

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  3. Hi Alvin,
    Thanks for dropping by :D

    Wow!! What a lovely meal!!
    Thank you for sharing the wonderful taste of Salmon belly.
    Reading what you have shared i believe i am loving this..

    mui

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  4. Hi Alvin. You never fail to make me drool. This post made me want to fly to Singapore. What! They sell the belly on its own and cheaper? No way! That is the yummiest part, isn't it? Shhhhhh! Paired with black pasta, just top notch.

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  5. for a moment i really thought you made squid ink pasta from scratch.. then i realize there are instant packed ones available ^^ i will certainly look out for it from now on. another great looking meal, chef! i can so imagine the taste of the melt-in-the-mouth salmon toro.. yums!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Hui! They do sell the squid ink on its own but it's kind of messy for me... Personally I prefer tagliatelle or linguine to spaghetti.. just that this time, my supplier ran out of stock. So if you can get the flat noodle go for it!

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  6. Hah!!! You did not post your photo of yourself, smiling happily...after eating that. Your teeth would be a sight, I'm sure. LOL!!!!! It looks superb though - can give the professional chefs a run for their money.

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    1. Hi Arthur... dun malu me! But the squid ink pasta I used will not have the "desirable" effect you are hoping for. :)

      Thanks.

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  7. Your photos are gorgeous, as always. I heart heart heart salmon belly. Wish I can taste this beautiful creation of yours.

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    1. Hi PY! I think I'm getting old... I was asking my girl why "heart" is used as a verb... she explained it means "love" here ... haha... old daddy!

      Why dun you hire me as a private home chef? :)

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  8. Your presentation is top notch as always, Alvin. I think I've only eaten salmon belly sashimi (love its fatty texture) but never pan fried, and have not come across it in the supermarkets before. Have to look out for it.

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    1. Hi Yen! Yes, salmon belly sashimi is awesome but trust me, when you pan fry it, the salmon belly elevates to another level.

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  9. What a gorgeous meal! Absolutely something I would order at a fine restaurant! I love each component, but all together they make for a delicious dish~

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  10. I've always wanted to make my own ink squid pasta with the ink squid sauce. Those that really stain your teeth & lips. Hahaha! Somehow, those squids that I've bought can't seem to produce that much ink. Lol! I'm just afraid just using the squid pasta can't give enough flavours like some places I've tried :<

    I've always seen these salmon bellies going at very attractive prices but I've yet to try. Your dish certainly looks very tempting!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Shirley, you need to get the ink separately from gourmet supermarket. Thanks!

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    2. Thks, Alvin! I've tried but can't find :< Which one, any idea??

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  11. Alvin , I just love salmon belly and yup , it's cheap here as well :D But they don't cut ( that is , the one I've seen and usually buy ) as nice as the one you've got there :P The ones we have here are thin so I just use it to make "sinigang" ( Filipino soup ) .

    I love how you prepare the salmon belly , they look expensive :D and I'm sure it tastes divine as well !

    Presentation is awesome as always !





    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shhhhh Anne... Just keep the salmon belly secret within this space! Haha...

      Thanks! I always believe food that pleases the eyes, tempts the palate.

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  12. Alvin, salmon belly is my favorite part! You are right, let's hope the suppliers don't get wind of this. In general, any big fish I eat, I like the belly part the most. Love your dish especially the golden brown salmon bellies :)

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  13. Look and sound so delicious..did not cook dinner today (due to making cookies), wish i can have a plate nowhehehe..

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    1. Thanks Sonia! You must be super busy with all the baking and organizing the CNY blog event! Come my place during CNY, I will make a plate for you! :)

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  14. i'm so outdated, this is my first time hearing squid ink spaghetti..thanks for featuring this..at least now i'm aware of this :) i love salmon belly, just a simple pan fry is good enough for me ..and also pork belly..oops!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lena! Yeah! I love both salmon and pork bellies!!!

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  15. The belly is the most expensive part of the fish when eating shasimi I believe...so I find it strange that salmon bellies are sold cheaper... I have not seen it sold separately at lower price here though...pity, would love to replicate your delicious dinner! Squid ink spaghetti is something new to me too!

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  16. This is a "win win" dish Chef! ... for HEALTH and for WEALTH :) I like the contrasting colour of the black pasta and red salmon too...very creative combination!

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  17. Oh wow, everything you post looks like it is from a restaurant! This looks so good.... May I invite myself for dinner sometime :p

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  18. Hi Alvin, your meals always look so classy like from 5 star restaurant. Wish I'm your neighbor....LOL

    I'm very impressed with your cooking skill. 2 thumbs up for you. Best regards.

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  19. oooh... i love salmon belly too! It's the best cut and hopefully prices do not go up after this post of yours.

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  20. I think I just drooled and I couldn't control. Salmon belly! Gosh, I want to eat this meal. Alvin, would you adapt me as your kid? I will eat so well in your household. :D

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    Replies
    1. Huh Nami?? Adopt you? I'm not that old!!! :)

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