Tilapia Tempura

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Contrary to popular belief, tempura didn’t originate in Japan. Tempura is a frying technique using a batter mixture consisting of flour, egg and liquid (milk, beer or water). This style of frying was introduced in Japan by Spanish and Portuguese Catholic missionaries and traders during the late 1500s, according to Portuguese online magazine Catavino.

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The word Tempura came from the Latin word Tempora, which refers to “The Ember Days” when Catholics refrain from eating meat. It was accounted that tempura became the favorite dish of the first shogun of the Tokugawa/Edo era. Shogun was the commander-in-chief of Japan’s military government, at that time.

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Cajun Shrimp Stew

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I first learned about Cajun flavor when I started eating and making Jambalaya rice. I usually buy it in a box and I would just add meat or seafood into the rice. Coming from a rice-bowl society in Southeast Asia, the concept and taste of Jambalaya rice is still new to me. Since my introduction to this flavor, it opened my eyes further to the diversity of the flavor traditions in Southern United States, specifically Louisiana.

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You can say that Cajun flavor found an unexplored territory in my palate. That was my first encounter with Cajun cooking. Then I started making soup Gumbo, which is another Louisiana cuisine but in a Creole tradition. A first, it got me confused about its distinction with Cajun. So I started digging for facts and I found the simplest explanation there is on the web.

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It says, the basic difference between Louisiana’s Cajun and Creole cuisines is that the latter (creole) uses tomatoes either fresh, paste or sauce while the former (Cajun) does not.

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Salmon En Croute

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I can’t get enough of Salmon! So today, I have another special salmon recipe. This time it’s en croute style, a French term for anything baked in pastry.

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Baking salmon is quite challenging because it dries out easily. Yet, baking is a very common household cooking technique because it’s simple and easy. And it gives salmon a slightly firm flake instead of mushy texture. Baked salmon could turn too dry and hard though especially when overdone.

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Salmon and Potato En Papillote w/ Coconut Curry Sauce

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I don’t know how else to properly describe this recipe except that it’s healthy, clean and very light in the belly. The combination of coconut milk, curry, and honey gives it a very Southeast Asian flavor with a mild spicy kick of cayenne pepper.

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Besides the salmon, the rest of the ingredients are plant-based which dissolve easily in the stomach.

Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help in keeping the heart healthy.  It is also an excellent source of protein, vitamin B12, vitamin D, selenium, niacin, phosphorus and vitamin B6 for whole body wellness, strong bones and joints, brain and neurological repair, according to Mayo Clinic research.

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Bread-Crusted Salmon

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April is an important month for most Christians who still observe Lent which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends Easter Sunday. This event is observed mainly in the Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, Methodist, and Roman Catholic Churches.

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Where I came from, the observance of Lent is very colorful and elaborately ritualistic. Devotees are literally crucified to a wooden cross out of personal conviction and belief that by doing the crucifixion, they will be redeemed from their sins. I’m sure modern-day believers would raise eyebrows on these practices. But it’s a tradition and people from my culture have lived through such traditions for centuries that observance of the Lent has become more of a ceremonial rather than personal devotion.

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Poached Salmon with Sweet Garlic Sauce

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Poaching or cooking food by simmering in small amount of liquid is a great method of retaining the natural and delicate flavors of food. Imagine all the deliciousness of the herbs, vegetables and wine simmering together to infuse all their flavors into the salmon. The key is to use the poaching liquid for making the sauce to top salmon, as this will definitely bring the dish to the best finish.

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