Thanis Lim

All Rounder Chef and Food Journalist

Olive Oil Poached Seafood.

If you’ve been to fine dining establishments, you’ll probably come across seafood poached in olive oil or butter on the menu for quite an expensive price and wondered what it tastes like. Well, for starters, the seafood, be it prawns or fish such as tuna, salmon or halibut, will be perfectly cooked to just the right tender texture, seasoned and infused with rich flavours.

You might assume that such techniques require a lot of culinary training and expertise, but the truth is, this can be easily done in the home kitchen! One advantage of cooking using this technique is that it’s very difficult to overcook the fish, it’s easier to control the cooking time than frying, steaming or baking the fish the traditional way. Health conscious or vain people like me might be concerned that poaching in oil may sound like it would produce oil-soaked fish, but it actually seals in the juices and results in tender, moist fillets. After that, the leftover oil can be strained to be reused for extra poaching, for making salad dressings or sauces. They keep well in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

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This is warmed extra virgin olive oil – to the temperature of a warm hotspring or bath. I tossed the freshly peeled prawns I got from Jerudong Market (good quality frozen prawns will do too), tossed them with some salt, pepper and spices, then let arrange them onto the oil bath, making sure they don’t overlap too much, as I want as much exposure to the oil as possible. I also threw in some garlic and thai basil for that added oommph!


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Pop the oil bath into a moderately low heated oven and leave to bake slowly. Once you see little white specks forming, it means they’re done. They might look uncooked but you can definitely eat them at this stage.


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The succulent fresh tasting prawns and the garlic taste fabulous! *Smacks lips* Simply delicious!

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