{Whole30} Baked Sardines in Olive Oil

Fresh sardines baked in olive oil with aromatics like oregano and thyme – super easy to make, yet very healthy. This can be served with salad or if you are not on a Whole30 program, bread or white rice would be perfect!

There are things that I prefer doing all by myself.

Like…

All food related stuff – grocery, cooking, food storing and preparation… all things food, I say.

Cleaning the house? Help, please!

Dishwashing? Hmm, let me think about it.

Cleaning fish? That one, my friends, I prefer doing all by myself. Oh, that smile I see from the fishmongers when I say “no need to clean”. I was once asked why I do not let them clean the fish and my answer is always “because I don’t like the dish looks like after it is being cleaned by them”. I am not saying the case is always the same, but there are things that you are really comfortable doing than letting others do it for you. You know what I mean? But this time, I could say that I wished I let them clean the sardines for me. It was late night and it was my first time to get fresh sardines (You say whaaat? Ssshhh!) and decided to clean them. It was a nasty, painful experience (think about the fish bone and me not wearing gloves – don’t ask, I hate wearing gloves).

Thankfully, I won the fight. (Note to self: next time, it’s either you wear gloves or let them clean the fish. I think I’ll go with the second one.)

I hated that fish bone coming out from the sardines when it’s cooked. Anyway, the dish came out really nice that I wanted set aside the Whole30 rules and get a cup or two of rice with me. Gladly, survived without the rice.

This dish is very healthy. Although the dish has few ingredients only, it came out very tasty and oh so good! Okay, enough… why don’t you come to Fiesta Friday #164 so you could taste this amazing dish? 😛

It’s crazy that my topic today is about doing things all by myself and then Angie told me that I am co-hosting alone just after I finished the draft of my post. We are psychic! Ha! Anyway, time to join us now at Fiesta Friday #164 so go ahead – link up, chat and have fun! See you! 😉

Baked Sardines in Olive Oil

Ingredients:

  • 500g fresh sardines, cleaned and scaled
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare a baking dish that could accommodate the sardines in a single layer.
  2. Make sure that the sardines are cleaned and scaled very well. Place them on a baking dish in a single layer. Season all sides with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, dried thyme, dried oregano, red pepper flakes and lemon juice. Mix and pour over the sardines and let sit while waiting for the oven to reach the required temperature.
  4. Bake the sardines for 20 minutes.
  5. Serve with salad or bread (can be paired with white rice, too). Drizzle with more lemon juice, if desired.

Source Recipe:  Baked Sardines by Kali Orexi

Enjoy your weekend, people! Happy Fiesta Friday!💃🏻

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Thai Fish Cakes

Have some delicious Thai experience with these fish cakes – deliciously aromatic and full of amazing flavors with a little kick

Thai Fish Cakes - TNSCC 3

I love fish, but I don’t have much fish recipes. When I want to eat fish, it’s either I fry them or I make something like this King Fish in Turmeric and Coconut Milk. I love grilled fish, too, but if I am the one to char-grill them, ‘No, thank you!’.

I am happy that fish can be enjoyed in cake form, too. Uh, chocolate fish cakes? Have you heard of them? Oh! Not that kind of cake? Well, it I could not imagine how it must taste. 😛 Fish cakes are boneless, skinless white fish fillet mixed with other ingredients, then formed like patties and fried (or baked).

Thai Fish Cakes - TNSCC 1

These fish cakes are so delicious and aromatic with Thai flavors like nam pla (fish sauce) and red curry paste. The taste is really fantastic! The kitchen were surrounded by such an aromatic smell when I was making these babies. They are good on their own, but they taste fabulous with sweet chili sauce. (especially homemade sweet chili sauce). I kept popping these cakes in my mouth like I am eating cookies! They are that good, I tell you!

Thai Fish Cakes - TNSCC 4

Thai Fish Cakes

  • 450g skinless hammour fillet (or any white fish fillets)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp red curry paste
  • 1 red chilli (deseeded and finely chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger (peeled and finely chopped)
  • A handful of fresh coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 3-4 spring onions (roughly chopped)
  • Fresh coriander leaves, to garnish
  • Sweet chilli sauce, to serve

Instructions:

  1. Wash and slightly dry the fish fillets. Cut to fit into your food processor. Blitz until smooth (about 5 seconds).
  2. Add in fish sauce, egg, coriander leaves, curry paste, chili, garlic, ginger and zest and juice of 1 lime. Blitz again just until everything is well combined.
  3. Transfer the mixture into a bowl and add in spring onions. Using your clean hands, mix to combine.
  4. Divide the mixture into 12 (or less), shape into balls them slightly flatten.
  5. In a large frying pan with medium heat, add oil and fry fish cakes for about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer cooked fish cakes on a paper-lined plate.
  6. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve with sweet chili sauce.

Source recipe: Thai Fish Cakes by Donal Skehan

I hope you try this recipe and let me know what you think. Hmm, please share with me if you have more fish cakes recipes. I’d love to try them in the future.

Thai Fish Cakes - TNSCC 5

I am bringing these gorgeous fish cakes at Fiesta Friday # 116, co-hosted by Aunt Juju and Cynthia. Of course, we don’t have Fiesta Friday if we don’t have the lovely Angie!

Happy Fiesta Friday!

Always wishing you a blessed day and full of smiles. 😀

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Firecracker Shrimps

Marinated shrimps wrapped in spring roll wrappers, fried until crunchy and golden brown. Best served with sweet chili sauce

Firecracker Shrimps - TNSCC 1

Happy 2016, party people! I hope you all had a wonderful New Year’s celebration. What did you do to celebrate? Maybe some of you went out of town with your loved ones. Maybe some celebrated at home with those feasty foods. Maybe some had a simple celebration while watching fireworks. Maybe some celebrated with lighting firecrackers?

I had a post New Year celebration with firecrackers. Did you know that firecrackers can be eaten as well? Oh you didn’t know? You silly – I am talking about firecracker shrimps! 😀

I thought… what’s the best way to celebrate first Fiesta Friday in 2016 than having these Firecracker Shrimps on our table? And with the past holidays, you gotta be wild with me and Mr. Fritz as we do our duties as co-hosts for this week’s Fiesta Friday #101.

Link up your posts by clicking Fiesta Friday #101 above and make sure to link them to this post of mine, Angie and to Mr. Fritz so we would know that you have arrived.

These firecracker shrimps are very easy to put up – you marinate the shrimps (of course, after making sure they are clean), wrap them in spring roll wrappers and fry. Dip them in sweet chili sauce and oh yum!

Firecracker Shrimps - TNSCC 2

Those crunchy spring roll wrappers.

Those delicious marinated shrimps.

You just want to eat them all.

Well, I don’t mind and I will tell it to anyone. 😉

Firecracker Shrimps - TNSCC 3

Firecracker Shrimps

Ingredients:

  • 20 large shrimps, tail on, deveined and nicked*
  • 10 spring roll wrappers, cut in half (2 triangles)
  • Cooking oil, for frying

Marinade:

  • 1 tsp garlic, grated
  • 1/2 tsp ginger, grated
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tsp cornstarch

Cornstarch ‘paste’:

  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water

Instructions:

After cleaning your shrimps and making sure all are deveined and nicked,

  1. In a bowl, place and mix all marinade ingredients. Place shrimps and marinate for 20 minutes.
  2. Using paper towels, pat dry shrimps.
  3. Wrap each shrimp in spring roll wrapper and seal with the cornstarch ‘paste’.
  4. Fry in hot oil until golden brown.
  5. Searve immediately with sweet chili sauce.

Source recipe & visuals: Firecracker Shrimps with Sweet Chili Sauce by Steamy Kitchen

Notes:

Make sure to leave the tails intact. To straighten up the shrimps, flip the shrimps after deveining to reveal their underside. Make cuts , making sure not to cut them halfway through.

 I hope you all enjoy these and wishing you a day full of smiles. 😀 😀 😀

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Mom’s Kinilaw na Isda

Fish cured in vinegar and/or citrus juices, mixed with tomatoes, onion, ginger, cucumber and coconut milk. Spiced up by bird’s eye chili or long chili. 

Kinilaw na Isda (Fish Ceviche)-TheNotSoCreativeCook

Similar to Latin America’s Ceviche, Kinilaw na Isda is so popular in the Philippines and mostly eaten as an appetizer. I know that fresh fish is used, but some uses shrimp. This doesn’t involve cooking. The fish sliced in small pieces (or shrimp in some others) is cured in vinegar or citrus juices. It is then prepared with chilis, ginger, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes and calamansi juice. I guess that is the traditional way of serving it. In our family, it’s different. My Mom used to prepare it with a twist and not too citrusy. She adds freshly squeezed coconut milk.

I have made kinilaw na isda before, but not using my Mom’s version as I completely forgot how she made this. I was just surprised one day that I finally remember everything. Also, unlike others, we do not serve this as an appetizer. Rather, we serve this with rice and fried fish or grilled fish. 😀 We also use king fish and not the tuna fish.

Kinilaw na Isda (Fish Ceviche)-TheNotSoCreativeCook 2

I hope you like our version of Kinilaw na Isda of Fish Ceviche. And now, time for the recipe. 😉

Kinilaw na Isda

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients: 

  • 2 large slices of king fish
  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • 1 cup of coconut milk, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tbsp of ginger, chopped
  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cucumbers, sliced/diced
  • sliced chilis (bird’s eye chili or long chili), depending on how spicy you want you kinilaw to be
  • 7 calamansi, squeezed
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp white sguar
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions: 

  1. Wash and clean your fish. Slice your fish in cubes, scales and bones removed. Place in a container, add the vinegar and cover. Let sit for about 2 hours.
  2. Remove the vinegar from the fish. Wash with water and drain.
  3. Add the freshly squeezed coconut milk and the rest of the ingredients. Also, add salt and pepper according to your taste.
  4. Keep in the fridge for at least an hour.
  5. Serve as an appetizer or serve with warm white rice with grilled or fried fish.

It is crucial to use Calamansi instead of lemon or lime. But in case it is difficult for you to find Calamansi, you can play with lemon or lime. 🙂

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I am sharing this at Fiesta Friday #92, hosted by the Amazing Angie who is so excited to have a new laptop. Yay! 😀 And we are all going to select our faves for this week’s FF as we are all co-hosts! Enjoy, FF Friends! 😉


I am also sharing this at

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Featured at: What’d You Do This Weekend? #42

 

King Fish in Turmeric and Coconut Milk

This dish is very popular in our family. If not using king fish, we use a low-priced fish. The taste is just the same, but using king fish is much easier when eating. 😀

King Fish in Turmeric & Coconut Milk

This dish uses the spice paste called ‘Sakurab’ which I have mentioned multiple times (for my old readers) that this comes from a root vegetable with the same family as the spring onions. The root vegetable used in this dish has stonger taste and smell compared to spring onions and they are have mostly the white part rather than the green. It is mixed with ginger and red chilis to finish the paste. Here’s how it looks:

'Palapa' or 'Sakurab'
‘Palapa’ or ‘Sakurab’

This paste was made by my Aunt September last year (yeah, this paste has a long-life). She was one of my Aunts who was closest to our family. She made this especially for me. So you could say that this dish is quite special to me. We haven’t seen each other for seven years until last year. She passed away early this year. Like my Mom, she will always be special to me.

King Fish in Turmeric and Coconut Milk

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices of king fish, cleaned and washed
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of ‘sakurab/palapa’ paste
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • spring onions, for garnish
  • salt, to taste

 

Instructions:

  1. In a cooking pot, saute onions and tomatoes in medium heat. Add the ‘sakurab/palapa’ paste.
  2. Add fish and coconut milk. Cook for 7 minutes.
  3. Add coconut cream. Let it boil for a few minutes. Add salt to taste. Turn off the heat.
  4. Add spring onions.
  5. Serve with white rice.

Notes:

Canned coconut milk/cream can be used.

If using fresh grated coconut, follow these steps:

Prepare 3 bowls and strainer.

Bowl 1: put 2 cups of grated coconut and 1 cup water. Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze until you get a very beautiful coconut cream.

Get Bowl 2, top with the strainer, pour the coconut together with the another 1 cup of water and squeeze until the coconut is dry. Set aside. Take note to save the coconut.
Now, you have the used grated coconut. Go back to Bowl 1 and put the used grated coconut and add 1 cup water and again, squeeze, squeeze, squeeze…

Get Bowl 3, top with the strainer, pour the coconut together with the coconut milk and squeeze until the coconut is dry.
Now, you can throw the used grated coconut.

Clearly, you have the coconut cream and milk on a separate bowls. Set them aside until ready to use.

Palapa or Sakurab paste can be substituted:

You will need:

  • ½ cup white part of spring onion, sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped ginger
  • 2-3 bird’s eye chili (or add more if you want screaming spicy)

Put the ingredients for palapa in a food processor and pulse for 1 or 2 seconds. (Not longer than that because you are not making it to a full paste-like spices.) You can also use mortar and pestle for this or you can put them in a ziplock bag and pound. Set aside until ready to use.

King Fish in Turmeric & Coconut Milk 2

This dish is best paired with rice. I don’t know the right words to describe the dish except that this is so tasty and will always be a favorite of mine.

I hope you enjoy all enjoy this dish. Have a lovely weekend to all. 🙂

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I am sharing this at Fiesta Friday #87, hosted by Angie. For this week, we are all co-hosts. So you know what to do when the party ends, come back and vote for your favorite entries. Meanwhile, click the link above to join the party. Have fun! 😉


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Dynamite Shrimps

How far would you go for love…for FOOD?

I love cooked Shrimp. But my love has limitation – I really hate the task of having to remove its skin. I don’t cook shrimp that often… but when I do, I make sure that it’s a BIG HIT. 😉

thenotsocreativecook-DynamiteShrimp2
Please click the photo for a clearer one. Go click it. 😀

I’ve been seeing Dynamite Shrimp recipe for quite a while now and the review was very good. I’d love to try it but I was, you know, lazy. But since I have guests coming over for lunch and I wanted to serve something new, I decided to try it out.

Dynamite Shrimp

Ingredients:

  • 1 KG medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • Vegetable oil (or any cooking oil)
  • Lettuce
  • Spring onion

For the Dynamite Sauce:

  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp Sriracha sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey

    For the batter:

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch (or corn flour)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ cup cold water

    For the coating:

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch (or corn flour)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp onion powder (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Mix the sauce and do a taste test. If the taste is fine with you, you can set the sauce aside in the fridge.  If not, you can make adjustments.
  2. Prepare the batter: Mix the ingredients for the batter. Add in shrimp and mix well to coat.
  3. Heat at least 1 inch oil in a deep pan in a medium heat and wait for it to be hot enough.
  4. Prepare the shrimp: In a wide flat dish, Mix the ingredients for the coating. Working in batches, remove shrimps from the batter and transfer to the dish with the coating mixture and coat every shrimp. When shrimps are well coated, remove from the coating mixture and set aside. Repeat until all shrimps are coated.
  5. When oil is hot enough (about 350 degrees Celsius), fry shrimp in batches for 2 minutes (or until golden brown) and transfer to a stack of paper towel to remove excess oil.
  6. When all shrimps have been cooked, carefully mix the shrimp and the sauce.
  7. Serve in a bed of lettuce or cabbage. I prefer lettuce.  And garnish with spring onion, if desired.

This recipe is inspired Best Yummy Recipes.

This Dynamite Shrimp is one of a kind. I was lost for words the first time I took a bite. It was… I don’t know – NO WORDS… No words could describe how much delicious this appetizer is. I think the first word that I have uttered was ‘WOW’ with my eyes wide open, like I was so amazed. And then I said, ‘I will surely definitely absolutely make this again!’ Haha! Oh! How about the prep thing needed for shrimps? Well, I don’t mind doing that all over again. The cuts I will get from cleaning and removing the shells will be worth it. 😀

thenotsocreativecook-DynamiteShrimp

WARNING: Please have somebody to eat this with you if you don’t want to end up eating them alone. If you don’t mind that, that’s better! Hahaha!

Notes:

  • Depending on the richness/taste of the mayo, you may need to adjust your ingredients. That is why I suggest doing the taste test before mixing them with the cooked shrimps. If Sriracha is not available, I think the mixture of mayo, sweet chili sauce and hot sauce will do. I think, you’ll just not get the AMAZING sauce because Sriracha is just so… different.
  • I made another batch of sauce and add it to the sauce little by little until I was satisfied. I put the remaining inside the fridge and used it as a sauce for fried chicken.

I am sharing the delicious dish at

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Fish Fillet Ceviche

Hello, Friends!

I am back with a dish that I don’t serve that often. As others say, serving this often is not good for the body. Is it true? We call this ‘Kinilaw’ or ‘Kilawin’ in the Philippines. Even my Mom, she was not making this that often. I think the rumors are true??

thenotsocreativecook-Kinilaw

I love my Mom’s version of this. She used to include coconut milk and tomatoes in addition to the usual ingredients seen everywhere. It was not that sour but it was so delicious.

Anyway, here’s my version of Fish Fillet Ceviche – simple and easy to do.

Fish Fillet Ceviche

Ingredients:

  • 500g fish fillet, sliced into ½ inch pieces
  • 3 cups + 6 tbsp white vinegar
  • 3 lemons (or more if necessary), or juice from fresh Calamansi but you’ll need more
  • 1 green mango, sliced or chopped
  • 3 tbsp onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp ginger, chopped
  • Cucumber, diced
  • 2 tsp salt or to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, combine sliced fish fillet and 2 cups vinegar. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  2. After 30 minutes, remove the vinegar. Add 1 cup of vinegar and juice from 2 lemons. Let sit for 30 minutes. When completing 30 minutes, drain the liquid from the fish fillet.
  3.  Add green mango, onion, ginger, cucumber, salt, 6 tbsp of lemon juice and 6 tbsp of vinegar.
  4. Give it a good mix and do some taste test. Adjust according to your liking.

I love this dish. How about you? Have you tried making this? Do let me know how do you make your Ceviche and I will be glad to try it.

thenotsocreativecook-Kinilaw2

Have a blessed weekend, everyone! 😉

Tuna Spread = Tuna Sandwich

I am a person who loves to try different kinds of sandwiches, burgers and anything that looks so yummy. But sometimes, due to the non-availability of ingredients mentioned in some sandwich/burgers recipes, I don’t have a choice but to just keep them in my files – wait for a lucky day, maybe.

thenotsocreativecook.wordpress.com-TunaSpread1

Aside from my favorite – Egg Sandwich, Tuna Sandwich is also a favorite of mine which only needs a very few ingredients. I always have tuna in can in the pantry – whether it’s tuna in oil, tuna in water or Spanish-style tuna. I love them because they are ready-to-eat when you are in a hurry or just too lazy to cook. So I had two cans of tuna in water and I was thinking whether to do Tuna Spaghetti or Tuna spread. Well, I decided to do the latter.

Tuna Spread Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans tuna in water, about 370 grams*
  • 5 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp commercialized sandwich spread (the one with pickles)**
  • 1 tbsp chopped onion
  • 1 ½ tsp sugar

Instructions:

Mix all ingredients together and chill for a hour or so. Spread on your favorite bread. I like mine on a toasted white bread.

****

What I love about making your own sandwich spread is that – you just have to put it in your bread with lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers and boom!… you have a good meal. For me, this sandwich makes a very good snack, lunch or dinner. I am even bringing some when I go out; just in case I get hungry – I have a sandwich to dig in. 🙂 I also love this with lettuce and lots and lots of cucumbers! 😀

blog_Tuna Sandwich

Notes:

* Remove the water first before mixing the tuna with the rest of the ingredients.

** If you cannot find commercialized sandwich spread, replace it with pickles. But due to the varieties of brands we have, you might want to do a taste test before chilling the Tuna Spread.

****

Related articles:
Apple Tuna Sandwiches (http://cierracountry.wordpress.com)
Breadless Tuna Sandwich (http://eathealthynotscary.wordpress.com)
Grill Cream Cheese Creamy Tuna Melt Sandwich (http://mydiaryremix.wordpress.com)

Missing Mom’s Fritters

My mom used to make fritters but I don’t know its name, or if it’s made of very small fish or shrimps. It was a very easy and simple dish but it was so yummy that I always ask for more rice. 🙂 I missed it so much and I told myself, I will make my own fritters.

thenotsocreativecook.wordpress.com-ShrimpFritters

That’s the good thing I like about cooking – you can experiment on your ingredients without worrying too much about the outcome and adjust the ingredients or do a taste test until you feel satisfied with it. No matter how easy the dish may seem, I still feel very much happy when it turns out to be successful. Like this dish I am going to share today, you just have to gather all the ingredients you need, mix and fry. 🙂

thenotsocreativecook.wordpress.com-ShrimpFritters2

Shrimp Fritters Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup shrimps, shells removed and deveined, cut into small pieces
  • ¼ cup grated squash (or carrots)
  • ¼ cup sliced green onion
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp roasted chili paste
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp parsley flakes (optional)
  • 1 large egg

Instructions:

Mix everything together. Make sure they are well combined. Fry on a hot oil and flip when the other side is done. Drain on a paper towel to remove excess oil. Serve with your favorite sauce.

Note: You can use chicken or flaked fish. You can put any ingredients you know that would make good fritters; just balance the water and the flour, and of course the taste. So, do some experiment and let me know. 🙂