Soup Up My Soup

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Flounder Roulades

Flounder is a flatfish that lives at the bottom of the ocean. It will give you four fillets that are white, lean and flaky, and when cooked in butter and a bit of oil in a nonstick pan can give you a nice complex flavour that’s worth the effort that goes into filleting delicate flatfish.

One fairly painless way to prepare this fish is by doing a roulade. Once you’ve done the filleting, dress the pieces in some salt, pepper and any other spices you want, roll them and put them through a skewer. Then, on high heat, cook for about three minutes on each side, leaving them a bit raw in the middle for extra flavour, take out the skewers and serve.

To plate, you can finish with some citrus juice and any sauce. For this I used some lime juice and wasabi










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What is Teriyaki?

Teriyaki is derived from the word teri, which refers to the shine produced by the sugar in the marinade, and yaki, which means to grill or broil. The marinade used to make teriyaki in traditional Japanese cuisine consists of soy sauce, mirin (similar to sake but lower alcohol and higher sugar content), and sugar. Like the recipe below, it’s more common in Western recipes to see garlic and/or ginger added to the marinade.

Teriyaki Marinated Salmon Fillet w/ Herb Dressing 


  • Salmon Fillet, 1.5 lbs.


  • Sherry, Sake, or Mirin, 3 tbsp.
  • Brown Sugar, 3 tbsp.
  • Water, 2 tbsp.
  • Soy Sauce, 2 tbsp.
  • Vegetable oil (or Olive oil), 2 tbsp.
  • Minced Ginger, 1.5 tsp.
  • Minced Garlic, 2 tsp.


  • Sour Cream, 1/4 c
  • Lemon Juice, half a lemon
  • Vegetable Oil (or Olive Oil), 1.5 tsp.
  • Choppd Fresh Dill, 2 tsp.
  • Chopped Fresh Basil, 2 tsp.


Marinade the fish for at least 20 minutes. An easy way to do this is to add the fish to a dish and pour the marinade mixture over the fish and put in the fridge.

While the fish is marinading, make the sauce and set aside.

Cook for about 4 minutes on each side on minimal heat. I took the skin off (scortched it and then it slide off), if you want to keep the skin on, turn the heat down slightly and if possible, use a non-stick pan.

While cooking the fish, continue to baste it with the remaining marinade mixture.

To serve, place a dollop of sauce and put on the plate, along with the fish and whatever else you’re serving it with.

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Super quick baked fish

Baking fish is super easy and requires literally no active time. I got a couple yellowtail snapper from Kensington market. Have the fishmonger clean it for you (descale and gut it). When you’re ready to cook it, sprinkle liberally on the outside and inside with salt and pepper, and rub some oil on there (I used olive oil here, just make sure the oil you use doesn’t have a smoke point lower than 400 degrees). I also added some “Bangkok Blend” spice that I got from The Spice Trader on Queen west that is quite nice. Just preheat your oven to 400 degrees, wrap the fish in foil and throw it in there for 40 minutes, depending on your oven. That’s it.

I like to finish with some lime juice and more salt before eating. The meat should just flake off, and chopsticks are best to use I think, but you can also use a fork.

bakedfish1 bakedfish2





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(Sort of) Sole Marguery

This sauce was made famous by the nineteenth-century Parisian Restaurant Marguery. It’s basically a hollandaise made with the braising liquid from the fillets you cooked with. It would probably be more authentic if you used fish stock instead of wine (or a combination), however I had just cracked a bottle of white and used that instead out of laziness. Also, the original recipe uses shallots, and I used a handful of mushrooms.

1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees. Season fish with salt and pepper. In a small pan that just suits the size of the fillets (I had two), sprinkle chopped mushrooms and place the fillets on top. Pour over 1/2 cup of white wine (I used a bottle of Viognier white from the Languedoc-Roussillon region. Great value at $13 at the LCBO).
2. Bake until fish is firm, maybe 5 minutes but as much as 10 minutes. Transfer the fish to a plate.
3. Transfer the pan to the stove top and whisk in a few egg yolks over medium heat until the mixture stiffens. Remove from the heat and add about 4ish tablespoons of clarified butter (Ghee works, if you don’t have this stocked in your cupboard go and buy some immediately). Season with salt and pour over the fish. Serve.

I got a version of this recipe from the Sauces book by James Peterson, and then made some modifications to suit my level of motivation and what was in my fridge.

If anyone complains that this sauce will stop your heart, just tell them that you only live once. And please pass me the wine.

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Oh, Snap! – Red Snapper and Scallop-based Bouillabaisse

Dear Soup Development Team,

Bouillabaisse is a traditional Provençal fish stew originating from the port city of Marseille.

In theory, it’s a simple stew created by Marseille fisherman using fish that were too bony to serve in restaurants. In practice, it’s an expensive main course in most French Bistros, probably due to the level of complexity and cost in making it, especially in landlocked areas where fish is more expensive.

Although purists will claim that a true Bouillabaisse can’t be made too far from the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, and I’m using a fish from the Gulf of Mexico, this is a pretty faithful version of the classic fish stew.

You can put bouillabaisse versions into two buckets, one with a clear broth and one with a pureed  soup base. This is the latter. It tastes and looks better to do it this way in my opinion. Both are great though.

Oh, Snap! Bouillabaisse

Serves Four 


Red Snapper, 1
scallops, 1 pound

olive oil, 1.5 tablespoons
garlic, 4 cloves chopped
fennel Bulb, 1/2 chopped (or 1/2 tsp of fennel seed)
onion, 1 coarsely chopped
marjoram, 2/3 tsp dried or 4 fresh sprig
Orange Zest, from 1/2 orange
Fish bones

Soup Base
leeks, 2 finely chopped
Tomatoes, 5 peeled, seeded, and chopped
Pernod/Ricard liquor, 1/8 cup
saffron, a pinch

water, 3 tablespoons
coarse fresh bread crumbs (preferably from a baguette, crust removed), 3/4 cup
garlic cloves, 3
coarse sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon
cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon
extra-virgin olive oil, 3 tablespoons


Preparing the fish and prepping the bones

Debone the fish (or if the fishmonger is kind enough to do it for you, ask him to put the bones and head in a bag and to save for you), cover them in cold water for 30-45 minutes, changing the water at least twice. This is an important step before making the broth.

Making the rouille

Use this downtime to make rouille. Pour water over bread crumbs in a bowl. Mash garlic to a paste with sea salt and cayenne using a mortar and pestle or a small food chopper. Add moistened bread crumbs and mash into garlic paste. Add oil in a slow stream, mixing until combined well.

Making the Stock

Put 1.5 tbsp of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot on low heat, add the fish stock ingredients except for bones and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally

Add the bones, cook for another 10 minutes, then add enough water to cover, approximately 4 cups. cook for about half an hour

Strain product through a medium strainer and reserve the liquid. This is the stock.

Making the Soup Base

Add another 1.5 tablespoons of oil, and cook the leeks for about 10 minutes on low heat

Add the rest of the soup base ingredients, cook for another 10 minutes

Puree the product in a blender, adding salt and pepper to taste

Cooking the fish and scallops 

Lay out the fillets of Red Snapper and about 1/2 pound of scallops in a pan on low heat

Ladle enough of the soup base over the fish and scallops until they are covered, cook for 5 minutes. You can just pan fry the fish and scallops by themselves  as well without cooking in the soup base.


Put the cooked fish and scallops into bowls. Ladle the soup mixture over top, and then spoon out a few tablespoons of the rouille on top of the soup, after you’ve put a bit of the soup mixture in to thin it out a little. Serve immediately with a baguette.

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Thai Pesto Roasted Fish (with less than 5 minutes of work)

Fish can be intimidating, but if you’re new (or even if you’re not), here’s a great recipe that takes less than 5 minutes of active time. This is from the CHOW website a few years ago, and have made it about a dozen times since

1) Buy a red snapper, or red snapper-like fish from your local fishmonger, gutted, scaled and cleaned.

2) Put the following into a small food processor and puree for a couple minutes to make Pesto:

-Cilantro, about 3/4 cup
-Mint leaves, 1/4 cup
-Garlic, 5 cloves
-Jalapeno, 1 or 2
-lemongrass, 1 stalk-ish
-Ginger, 3 teaspoons
-Fish Sauce, 2 tsp
-Lime, 1 zest (and the juice if you want)
-Peanut oil, 1/4 cup

Feel free to mix and match any of these ingredients – they can easily be substituted. Also, if you have the foresight, make and then put in the fridge for an hour or so beforehand to let the flavours really soak into the fish.

3)Put the Pesto into the cavity of the fish, and then Bind it with some string. Then wrap it in some parchment paper or tinfoil. Bake for about 35-40 minutes in the oven at 400F.

4) Serve immediately. Goes well with Reisling.

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Sauteed Tilapia and Zucchini

Been trying to eat more fish lately, so I Picked up a flillet of tilapia and a zucchini on the way home from work today.  I smeared the fillet in some good olive oil and then cooked it in a few tablespoons of butter for about 5 minutes. I sauteed the zucchini in some olive oil as well for about ten minutes, sprinking salt and peppper a few times.