Olive Oil Poached Fish with Lemon-Cucumber Salsa

Here’s a fresh and tasty salsa to top a mild fish.  With the addition of the caviar cream garnish, it makes an easy but elegant restaurant quality entree.

We use Kelp Vegetarian Caviar from Quebec in this recipe because it doesn’t bleed into the filling, unlike true caviar.  Kelp Caviar is an all natural substitute made from sustainably harvested kelp.  It’s milder in flavour than traditional caviar with a refreshing crunch.  It’s great to use in recipes or as a garnish on appetizers.  You can substitute real salmon caviar.

Serves 4

Salmon with Lemon Cucumber Salsa
  • 4 mild fish fillets or portions, such as tilapia, catfish, whitefish, halibut, or salmon
  • ½ cup good virgin olive oil (use virgin instead of extra virgin because it has a higher smoking point)
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper

Lemon-Cucumber Salsa

  • 1 cucumber peeled, seeded, and finely diced 
  • ½ cup (about ½ bunch) finely chopped fresh cilantro or Italian parsley
  • 2 - 3 green onions, finely sliced
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and finely diced 
  • 1 lemon peeled, sectioned and chopped  (try to slice away any membrane)
  • 1 Jalapeño, white membrane removed (contains bitterness & heat), minced 
  • 1 Tbsp Wildly Delicious Lemon Infused Oil or olive oil and squeeze of lemon juice
  • ⅛ tsp soy sauce
  • ⅛ tsp fish sauce
  • salt to taste

Caviar Cream Garnish (optional, but really tasty and beautiful, so why not try it)

  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1½ Tbsp Kelp Caviar (a mild vegetarian caviar substitute that doesn’t bleed in sauces) 
  • ¼  tsp dried dill
  • ¼ tsp lemon juice

It’s important to seed the cucumber and tomato so that the salsa isn’t too watery.   Combine all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to several hours.  For this recipe, it’s best to use the salsa the same day while it still has lots of colour and crunch.  Use leftover salsa in a fish taco the next day.

In another bowl, stir sour cream, caviar, dill, and lemon juice together and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.  Season the fish fillets with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  Cook the fillets in the oil 2 - 3 minutes on one side, carefully turn and cook 1 - 2 minutes on the other (times may vary depending on the thickness of the fillets).  The idea is that you are almost frying/poaching the fish in flavourful olive oil.  Transfer the fillets to individual plates.  With a slotted spoon, top each fillet with a generous amount of salsa.  With a teaspoon, spoon some of the caviar cream over the salsa down the middle.  Serve immediately.

Fish Tacos with Lemon Cucumber Salsa

Fish Tacos with Lemon Cucumber Salsa

Accompany with fresh steamed green beans and potato salad.  Pair with Colio Bianco Secco, Ontario Dry Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Un-oaked Chardonnay, or Italian Pinot Grigio .

Also try the salsa with...

  • Fish Tacos - corn tortillas lined with a leaf of lettuce, fish, salsa, and avocado.
  • Toss salsa and baby shrimp to top shredded lettuce for a seafood cocktail.
  • Yse the salsa as a base for a prawn and sliced avocado salad.

For more information and serving suggestions for Kelp Caviar, visit their website.  You can also read Chef Brian Henry's review of Kelp Caviar published in the Peterborough Examiner.

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