Category Archives: Fish

Fish Tacos (with Pickled Slaw and Jalapeno Mayo)

Tacos are delicious morsels, packed with flavour and these fish tacos are no exception!

Crispy slivers of barramundi with sweet n’ salty pickled onions and carrots, finished off with jalapeno mayo to spice things up a bit. An easy dish to put together that brings the whole family around at the dinner table.

Fish Tacos (with Pickled Slaw and Jalapeno Mayo) - thespiceadventuress.com

It’s been a little crazy out here, with all of us getting sick and that paired with the start of the school holidays, when every routine gets unfollowed. A death in the family further put me back on spirits so there’s been very little work that I have actually been doing. Top that with the early winter sunsets, I hardly get to shoot any food if I haven’t prepared it on time.

I made these tacos for a client, so thought this was a good time to share it with you especially if you live Down Under and have hungry kids all day at home. Tacos are one of my favourite things to make in the kitchen because even though there is a bit of prep involved, it’s easy and everyday ingredients that can be put together really quickly.

You could use any white fish for this recipe; buy whatever is in season and locally available. We are lucky to get local and really fresh barramundi out here so that’s why I have used it. But any white fish with a relatively firm flesh can be used.

Fish Tacos (with Pickled Slaw and Jalapeno Mayo) - thespiceadventuress.com

I always have an assortment of pickled veggies in my refrigerator; it’s just a convenient, affordable and simple way to add oodles of flavour to your food. For these tacos, I have made pickled slaw using carrots and onions with whole spices for that extra hint of flavour. And the jalapeno mayo, which is the simplest thing to make. I have grown quite fond of homemade mayo, it’s such an easy job once you begin to do it regularly and so much healthier than the bottled stuff. So do give it a try if you have never made it before.

Ingredients:

  1. Wheat tortillas
  2. 1 large carrot; julienned
  3. 1 large red onion; julienned

Find the full recipe here…..

 

Fish Tacos (with Pickled Slaw and Jalapeno Mayo) - thespiceadventuress.com

 

This recipe was developed, styled and shot for Supreme Seafood..

Salmon Kebabs

Today’s recipe was the result of a happy accident.

Salmon Kebabs - thespiceadventuress.com

I had actually set out to make salmon cutlets or croquettes for a client. And the plan was to make a version similar to these Kerala style beef cutlets. So I minced the salmon, added the sautéed onion spice mixture and rolled it into round balls before doing the customary egg breadcrumb routine. But something important came up and I had to go out only to return late,  just in time for dinner. There was not enough time to coat and crumb and then deep fry; and I needed to make something quick with the salmon mixture for dinner.

While shaping the mixture, I realised that since salmon is an oily fish, it held shape pretty well and didn’t really need any other binding agent. So I flattened out the prepared balls into small patties and shallow fried in a pan. The result was these delicious Salmon kebabs. I had struck gold!

Salmon Kebabs - thespiceadventuress.com

And ofcourse, I had to share the recipe with all of you. Because these kebabs are delicious, really simple to make and can grace your dinner tables in so many different ways. Have it as a starter/appetizer, serve it as a canapé topped with relish or chutney or serve it on a bed of salad for a simple light lunch. You can also make slightly bigger patties and have a salmon burger or slider.

The salmon mixture is great for making croquettes too just as I had initially intended.

So let’s get cooking these delicious Salmon Kebabs which is best paired with this tangy mint coriander chutney.

Ingredients:

  1. 1-2 salmon fillets; skinless (weighing approximately 300gms)
  2. 1 red onion; finely chopped

Click here for the full recipe….

Salmon Kebabs - thespiceadventuress.com

Spicy Salmon Sliders (with Kashmiri Chilli Mayonnaise)

I enjoy sliders more than full sized burgers simply for the fact that most often, I cannot finish a burger by myself. But sliders are like little morsels of deliciousness that are the right size for smaller human beings like me.

Also sliders are fun and exciting party food, perfect for any kind of season. Most of the elements can be prepared ahead of time which leaves you relaxed on the day. Paired with a creamy homemade mayonnaise with the vibrant flavour from Kashmiri chillies, this is a party canapé like none other.

Spicy Salmon Sliders (with Kashmiri Chilli Mayonnaise) - thespiceadventuress.com

Spicy Salmon Sliders (with Kashmiri Chilli Mayonnaise) - thespiceadventuress.com

Any kind of fleshy fish without tiny bones can be used for making the patties. Prawns, crab meat and lobster meat are all good options too. Since salmon is an oily fish, there is no need to add any other binding agent (except for a bit of breadcrumbs) but if you are using a white fish, you may need to add potatoes or more bread crumbs so that the patties will not break while frying. And shallow frying or grilling would be the best option instead of deep frying.

Even though I have used the word spicy, these sliders are not super hot but there is plenty of flavour from the spices and aromatics. And don’t get thrown off by Kashmiri chillies in the mayo; these are a variety of chilli from India that has an intense red colour but less heat when compared to others. But you may use any sort of mayo that you wish to.

Spicy Salmon Sliders (with Kashmiri Chilli Mayonnaise) - thespiceadventuress.com

Spicy Salmon Sliders (with Kashmiri Chilli Mayonnaise) - thespiceadventuress.com

Brioche buns are the perfect pick for making sliders like these; soft, buttery and delicious. If you live in Australia, I suggest the ones that you can find at Breadtop. You will need to visit early though; gets sold off within a few hours itself.

Spicy Salmon Sliders (with Kashmiri Chilli Mayonnaise) - thespiceadventuress.com

Ingredients:

For the salmon patties:

(Makes about 12-13 patties)

  1. 450gm skinless salmon fillet
  2. 4 tbsp coarse bread crumbs
  3. 1 egg (600gm)
  4. ½ red onion; finely chopped

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Supreme Seafood, so please visit their website for the full recipe (a really special one too as this marked the 50th recipe that I have created in collaboration with the company)

Full recipe….

Spicy Salmon Sliders (with Kashmiri Chilli Mayonnaise) - thespiceadventuress.com

Filipino style Grilled Barramundi

An Indian interpretation of a traditional Filipino dish known as Fish Sarciado.

When I first came across this recipe, I found it a bit strange as it mentioned the use of eggs. Now I have never paired fish and eggs or eaten a similar combination before so it all sounded weird. But still the flavours struck a chord because it reminded me of this tomato egg chutney.

Not being one to turn down a challenge, I decided to give it a go but with my own tweaks because the original recipe sounded a bit bland to my bolder tastebuds. So out came my spice jars and a few experiments later, I had a winner on my plate.

Traditionally whole fried fish is used, often as a way of giving leftovers a new life. But I decided to grill the fish as it is a healthier choice. You also have the option to grill it on the stovetop, use an oven or a barbie….more choices.

Barramundi - food photography - thespiceadventuress.com

Filipino style Grilled Barramundi - an Indian interpretation of a traditional Filipino dish - thespiceadventuress.com

Marinating the fish with a spice paste definitely adds more flavour especially when you are using a whole barramundi. At the same time, I didn’t want it to be overpowering to take away from the main flavours either. So a simple marinade using Kashmir chilli powder (more colour, less heat), pepper and cumin mixed in oil was used to coat the fish.

If you are preparing this dish for a party or get together, I would suggest marinating the fish the day you buy it and then refrigerate or freeze depending on when you will be using it. This allows time for the flavours to penetrate well especially for a fleshy fish like barramundi.

The rest of the dish comes together very easily and is best done just before serving as it tastes best when served warm. I love whole fish preparations when feeding a crowd and it always creates quite a drama when presented as the centre piece at the table. Gets everyone talking and reaching out for their favourite bits; the communal feeling that is best experienced over food.

Filipino style Grilled Barramundi - an Indian interpretation of a traditional Filipino dish - thespiceadventuress.com

Don’t be put off by the fish and eggs pairing, do try it out and let your tastebuds make the decision.

Recipe adapted from apronandsneakers.com

Filipino style Grilled Barramundi

Ingredients:

  1. 1 whole barramundi (approx 800gms); cleaned, descaled and gutted
  2. Marinade for fish
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin powder

This post is bought to you in collaboration with Supreme Seafood so find the full recipe here.

Filipino style Grilled Barramundi - an Indian interpretation of a traditional Filipino dish - thespiceadventuress.com

Pan Fried Salmon (with Spicy Green Salad and Tomato Butter Sauce)

Yes, I am back with yet another seafood dish. And it’s one that I thoroughly enjoyed cooking and eating. Not that I don’t enjoy the other recipes here, but this one’s special because this is our favourite way to eat salmon.

Pan Fried Salmon (with Spicy Green Salad and Tomato Butter Sauce) - a healthy and delicious weekday dinner - thespiceadventuress.com

The term holidays are still on and we aren’t doing much this time. My little champ was sick for a couple of days and coupled with our house hunting in full spree, there has hardly been time for any activities or fun stuff. Guess we will take a proper vacation once we are settled in the new home.

Coming back to the dish, simplicity is key when cooking with salmon. Do not get tempted to add too many flavours or spices to the fish itself which takes away from its real flavour. Instead, add flavour to the remaining components on the plate like this deliciously spicy green salad and a simple tomato butter sauce. Not much of a sauce actually, it’s more like a quick sauté and butter makes everything delicious right.

The spicy green salad is an awesome way to eat your greens especially if you think green salads are bland and boring. And isn’t it just gorgeous! Love how those purple carrots add that pop of colour to the greens. Use whatever seasonal greens are available in your area; you can even use the dressing for any sort of salad you like to have.

Spicy green salad - a very interesting spicy kick to make your greens interesting - thespiceadventuress.com

Pan Fried Salmon (with Spicy Green Salad and Tomato Butter Sauce) - a healthy and delicious weekday dinner - thespiceadventuress.com

Even with 3 components, this is a dish that comes together in no time at all which makes it perfect for weekday dinners. A light yet healthy and filling meal for the whole family. And if you make it, please tag me on the post #thespiceadventuress so that I could see it too. Enjoy peeps!

Ingredients:

For the salmon:

  1. 3 salmon fillets (with skin)
  2. Salt, to season
  3. Freshly milled black pepper, to season

Find the full recipe here.

Pan Fried Salmon (with Spicy Green Salad and Tomato Butter Sauce) - a healthy and delicious weekday dinner - thespiceadventuress.com

Pan Fried Salmon (with Spicy Green Salad and Tomato Butter Sauce) - a healthy and delicious weekday dinner - thespiceadventuress.com

Recipe developed, styled and shot for Supreme Seafood.

Roasted Spicy Golden Trout with Arabian Rice

Well, this was originally meant to be the first post of 2016 but I just couldn’t find the time to sit down and write it. But finally it’s here – my special Roasted Golden Trout with Arabian Rice.

It is special because of a wonderful experience we had late 2015. Many of you would have seen this picture of me with a huge golden trout on my fishing line. Early December, we went out on a fishing picnic to the Australian Rainbow Trout Farm, located in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges.

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Diverting off topic here…..one of my goals for 2016 is to have more enriching experiences. I am not a ‘New Year resolutions’ like of person but I do constantly make small but achievable goals and this happens through the year and not just at the start. I want to consciously incorporate small experiences like this fishing one with family and friends. I want to travel more but more locally than internationally. The beauty of this is the amount of meaningful time you spend with family and loved ones because that is the only constant in this ever changing world.

Getting back to the Australian Rainbow Trout Farm, it is a place you must visit if you live in Victoria. There are many similar farms across the state where a species or two are farmed in a sustainable manner. The farm has a small picnic area with barbeques where you can prepare your fish after you have caught it. Rainbow trout, golden trout and salmon were the ones farmed here and we caught all three. The good part is that, since it is a farm, you will definitely catch a fish which is great to avoid disappointment especially for novices like me.

While everyone else was busy fishing for rainbow trout and salmon, I wanted to bring home a golden trout because I have never tasted or cooked with it before. And I did catch a really huge one as you can see in the picture; I almost fell into the water trying to keep it on the line. A really huge and slippery fellow!

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I had been experimenting with a new marinade and so took it along for our picnic lunch. The whole rainbow trouts we caught were marinated using this and barbequed; turned out amazing so I decided to use the same for this golden trout.

What makes this marinade slightly different to most traditional Indian ones is the addition of tomatoes to the spices and aromatics. A richer and deeper flavour profile is the result which works brilliantly with any kind of seafood. I am sure it would work great with chicken, tofu, Indian cottage cheese, mushrooms and potatoes too.

It is also a freezer-friendly marinade, so make a large batch and freeze in small portions for quick weekday dinners.

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I served this roasted spicy golden trout on a bed of Arabian rice resplendent with saffron and nuts; add a minty yoghurt raita and you have a delicious meal.

Roasted Spicy Golden Trout with Arabian Rice - perfectly roasted golden trout with a delicious signature spice marinade - thespiceadventuress.com

 

Ingredients:

  1. 5 kg golden trout
  2. Salt, to season
  3. Juice of 1 lemon
  4. 1 lime, sliced
  5. 4 tbsp spicy marinade
  6. 2 sprigs fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped for garnish

Spicy marinade:

(Makes approximately 1 cup marinade)

  1. 6 large garlic cloves
  2. 2 inch ginger
  3. 1 large red chilli
  4. 1 tbsp red chilli powder
  5. 1 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  6. ½ tsp turmeric powder
  7. ½ tsp cumin powder
  8. ½ tsp fennel powder
  9. ½ tsp black peppercorns
  10. ½ tsp coriander powder
  11. 2 sprigs coriander leaves
  12. 3 mint leaves
  13. 1 medium ripe tomato; chopped
  14. 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Method:

To prepare the spicy marinade:

  • Blend all the ingredients into a smooth paste. (Water is not necessary if the tomatoes are ripe enough, but add a few drops if you need to).

To prepare the fish:

  • Clean the insides of the fish and also de-scale. (I got this done at the Trout farm itself; not an easy feat cleaning this big fella in an apartment kitchen).
  • Score the fish on both sides; season with salt and rub with lemon juice.
  • Liberally apply the spicy marinade on both sides and also the insides of the fish. Allow to sit for at least 4-6 hours, overnight is preferable.
  • Bring to room temperature before roasting in the oven.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (fan forced); line an oven proof tray with baking paper. Line the fish with lime slices and place in the baking tray.
  • Roast in the oven for 35-40 minutes or till done.
  • Serve on top of the rice and with a side of pickled onions, lemon wedges and garnished with fresh coriander leaves.

Note – The amount of marinade to be used and cooking times will vary according to the type and weight of the fish used.

Roasted Spicy Golden Trout with Arabian Rice - perfectly roasted golden trout with a delicious signature spice marinade - thespiceadventuress.com

Roasted Spicy Golden Trout with Arabian Rice - perfectly roasted golden trout with a delicious signature spice marinade - thespiceadventuress.com

 

 

 

 

Maharashtrian Bangdyache Ambat Kalwan (Spicy Mackerel Curry with Coconut and Tamarind)

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, isn’t it?

I have always loved this festive season. It’s not the starry lights, decorations or gifts but rather the cheerful spirit and joyfulness that seem to be in the air at this time of the year. And it is also the time when I am most grateful, when I count my blessings the most.

We will be spending this Christmas away from our extended families but I am still happy and grateful for the fact that all of us are happy and safe whichever part of the world we live in. Good health and safety is pretty much all that you wish for your parents as they get older and live so far away.

And my family always reminds me of seafood curries. Today’s recipe is a traditional mackerel curry from the coastal region of Maharashtra, not really from my home state of Kerala. If you look at the seafood dishes along the coastal line of South West India, especially parts of Kerala, Mangalore, Goa and Maharashtra, you can find so many similarities. But there will be one or two ingredients that would make the dish so unique to the region where it comes from.

Maharashtrian Bangdyache Ambat Kalwan (Spicy Mackerel Curry with Coconut and Tamarind) - a traditional seafood preparation from Maharashtra, India - thespiceadventuress.com

For example, this mackerel curry is famous among the Konkan community of Maharashtra. But you will find similar seafood preparations both in Kerala and Mangalore. But there is one ingredient that makes this curry so unique to the Konkan community and that is tirphal (a variety of Sichuan peppercorns). Till I came across this traditional dish, I wasn’t even aware of the importance of tirphal in Konkani cuisine. A spice that lends a distinctive woody and smoky flavour to the dish.

Sichuan peppercorns - food photography - thespiceadventuress.com

Fresh mackerel is often underrated but the oily nature of this fish makes it perfect for rich curries like this one. It is affordable, sustainable and local which ticks all the right boxes for me when it comes to seafood.

Unlike meat curries, seafood ones are easy to cook; the only job is to make the flavourful base and then cook the fish in it. The defining flavours of this mackerel curry are coconut, tamarind, Kashmiri chillies and tirphal. Since it is hard to get native tirphal in Melbourne, I used Sichuan peppercorns (only a very mild difference in flavour). The peppercorns add a woody kick without being overpowering; it is nothing like the Sichuan dishes that you would have tried.

Fresh fish - food photography - thespiceadventuress.com

Maharashtrian Bangdyache Ambat Kalwan (Spicy Mackerel Curry with Coconut and Tamarind) - a traditional seafood preparation from Maharashtra, India - thespiceadventuress.com

So let’s get cooking Maharashtrian style Bangdyache Ambat Kalwan or a deliciously spicy mackerel curry with coconut, tamarind and Sichuan peppercorns. Especially recommended for days you crave simple, soul food and complete the experience with a bowl of steaming hot rice and a refreshing tomato cucumber salad on the side.

Ingredients:

  1. 4 mackerel; cut into four equal sized pieces (head included)
  2. 3-4 tbsp vegetable oil
  3. 1 medium onion; finely chopped
  4. For the coconut paste:

Read full recipe here.

Maharashtrian Bangdyache Ambat Kalwan (Spicy Mackerel Curry with Coconut and Tamarind) - a traditional seafood preparation from Maharashtra, India - thespiceadventuress.com

Recipe developed, styled and shot for Supreme Seafood. 

Fried Shark with Tuticorin Curry Paste

Work hard and party harder! That’s what life looks like at the moment.

There’s plenty of work happening which has to be sorted before the Christmas holidays arrive but most weekends are filled with loads of fun stuff too….buying presents, attending parties, lots of eating out etc….

We are not really a ‘traditional’ family when it comes to Christmas. While we lived in India, Christmas and New Year meant visiting families and spending time with them. But after we migrated to Australia, we let each year’s plan unfold on its own which works out the best for our little family. The only thing constant is our feeling of joy and thanksgiving that He provides and cares for us keeping us together as a family. And that’s all we really need in these times of unrest and strife.

By the end of the month, the Christmas tree and lights are going to be up. And soon after, we will begin to add touches of festive spirit and charm to our home. We don’t go overboard but you will definitely get the Christmassy spirit every time you walk in. Not to mention the carols which will start playing quite frequently. Again not a tradition, but a practice that we started last year for the benefit of our little one.

Even with food, there are no traditions, whatsoever. There are no Christmas cakes, cookies, roast chickens or anything of the like. There will only be food that we enjoy to eat as a family and food that is prepared with much joy and love for our friends who visit us during this time.

What are your memories and traditions associated with Christmas? If you do not celebrate it from a religious point of view, do you make any other special plans for the holiday?

Getting back to today’s recipe, it is time for another seafood dish. I am slowly getting christened as the seafood queen among my friends.

Today’s dish draws inspiration from a very traditional spice paste used in Tuticorin. This deliciously aromatic spice paste is often used as a marinade for fried fish and also as a base for seafood curries in the cuisine of the region.

spices

I got the recipe for this spice paste from a fellow foodie who in turn had to coax a local resident to learn how to make this highly aromatic, spicy and vibrant spice paste. But instead of using it in the traditional manner, I decided to go the Asian route of stir fries. So, the shark pieces are first shallow fried and then quickly tossed through the curry paste along with onions and tomatoes resulting in a mouth watering starter dish. A winner if you want to include a seafood dish to your party this year!

And of course, always go the sustainable route while buying shark.

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If you do not wish to use shark, feel free to use any fish which has a firm flesh and does not break easily. This recipe would also be a winner with prawns.

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Ingredients:

  1. 600 gms shark fillet; cubed into even pieces
  2. ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  3. Salt, to season
  4. Vegetable oil

Find the full recipe here……

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Recipe developed, styled and shot for Supreme Seafood. 

Chettinad Style Grilled Snapper

Today, the Chettinad Meen Varuval gets a grillin!

Meen Varuval aka fried fish….the term cannot get more generic than that. There are a zillion ways for frying fish in India itself (forget about the other cuisines of the world). Now I cannot claim to have eaten all the different types but my excessive fondness for seafood has led me to try a large chunk of it.

The Chettinad style of fried fish is one among the simplest yet more flavourful ones that I have had. The marinade is simple with a few spices and aromatics but the defining flavour comes from the red chilli powder which is obtained by grinding dry round chillies (known as goondu milagu in the native language). These chillies have a sweet smoky flavour and are easily available at most Indian and Asian grocers.

Traditionally fried, but I am grilling this beautiful whole snapper that I picked up at my local farmer’s market. I would totally recommend to marinate the fish ahead of time to let the flavours seep in. You can any kind of fish for this; the traditional favourite is Spanish mackerel or kingfish but I would recommend just about any fish including salmon (just don’t overcook it though).

fish

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Barbecue season will be upon us soon and this grilled snapper can be the perfect centrepiece for your party. A side of salad or grilled vegetables and you have a delicious winner on your hands.

Ingredients:

1. 2 whole red snapper; cleaned and gutted, keeping the head
2. 3 – 3 ½ tsp red chilli powder (made by grinding dry goondu milagu)
3. 1 tsp turmeric powder

Read the full recipe here.

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Recipe developed, styled and photographed for Supreme Seafood.

Scrambled Fish with Mustard

Learning the ropes of a new cuisine can be a slightly daunting task!

It is not enough to try and follow a recipe to the exact but it is highly important that you try and have a brief understanding of the ingredients, flavour combinations and food culture of the region in general. This is how you will learn the building blocks of the cuisine and once you do that, the recipe becomes a canvas for your final painting.

And that was my approach towards learning Bengali cuisine; which till two years ago was a totally foreign thing for me. I read a lot about the general food culture and the key ingredients that make the base of this vast cuisine. And just like any traditional regional cuisine of India, food of West Bengal was as varied and colourful as its history. But if you look closely, there are always some key flavours that shine through which makes their food unique.

For me, the one ingredient that stood out was mustard. Now mustard is used in different ways along the length and breadth of India. But perhaps, no other cuisine celebrates it or glorifies it as much as the Bengali cuisine. And I very recently realized that Bengalis can get rather touchy on the subject and talk about this one ingredient for hours. For me, that spells passion!

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Today’s dish celebrates mustard in two different forms – in the seed and oil form. Mustard is often associated with a pungent aroma and flavour which puts it off for so many people. But when used in the right amount and combined with the right flavours, it is an ingredient that can work wonders in your kitchen.

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This scrambled fish with mustard is also a celebration of my understanding of the basic flavours of Bengali cuisine combined with my knowledge and love for South Indian style of cooking. This is not a traditional recipe (so don’t go looking for authenticity) but rather an inspired one.

Inspired by the fish podimas of South India, today we have a scrambled fish recipe which has been deliciously flavoured by mustard and with just a hint of chilli through. This dish can be made with any white fish that can be flaked easily and is best paired as a side dish with steamed rice and dal.

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Ingredients:

1. 2 basa (pink) fillets, around 350gm; cut into large pieces
2. ¾ tsp turmeric powder
3. 1 ½ tbsp mustard seeds

Read the full recipe here..

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Recipe developed, styled and photographed for Supreme Seafood.

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