There’s Nothing Fishy About These Heart Healthy Recipes

Off each of Canada’s rugged coasts, whether east, west or north, lies the wealth of its oceans. Yet most Canadians do not eat enough fish, falling 45 grams shy of Health Canada’s recommended intake of two 75-gram servings each week.

Fish are a perfect lean protein and provide vitamin D, zinc, magnesium and iron. Fatty fish such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, anchovies, albacore tuna and salmon are also rich sources of omega-3s, considered essential fatty acids. Omega-3s are necessary for normal growth and development and are vital for optimal brain function. There is also abundant clinical research linking these “good” fats to heart health. A new study of 3,000 older adults out of the Harvard School of Public Health found those with the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood were 30 per cent less likely to develop heart arrhythmia, a heart-rhythm abnormality that can lead to stroke and heart failure.

Up your weekly fatty fish intake with these recipes: chef Earlene Busch’s Atlantic Salmon Fishcakes from the Chanterelle Inn found in Scrumptious & Sustainable Fishcakes (Formac), a collection of tempting recipes from Canadian chefs coast to coast; or Calabrese-Style Herring Aringhe Alla Calabrese from Fish: Recipes From the Sea (Phaidon), a guide to selecting, preparing and cooking a wide range of seafood and fish.  —Athena McKenzie

Recipe 1


Chanterelle Inn, North River, St. Ann’s

Bay, N.S. Chef Earlene Busch says the hake in this recipe acts as an emulsifier in place of the more traditional use of breadcrumbs or potato. This makes it an excellent choice for gluten-free diets.

5 oz (140 g)  hake (or other white fish such as haddock, sustainably harvested)

1 tsp (5 ml)  lemon juice

8 oz (225 g) farmed Atlantic salmon fillet, chopped

1⁄2 cup (125 ml) diced onions

1 tsp (5 ml) chopped garlic

1⁄2 cup (125 ml) diced celery

1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped fresh parsley

1 tsp (5 ml) salt

1⁄2 tsp (2 ml) black pepper

2 tbsp (30 ml) butter

2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil

In a food processor or blender, liquefy hake with lemon juice. In large bowl, combine hake mixture with salmon, onions, garlic, celery, parsley, salt and pepper. Form into four patties and refrigerate until chilled. In a non-stick frying pan over medium heat, combine butter and oil. Sauté patties until golden brown on both sides, turning once. Serve with Lemon Dill Mayonnaise. Makes 2 servings.

Excerpted from Scrumptious  & Sustainable  Fishcakes from Formac Publishing Company,

NEXT RECIPE: Calabrese-Style Herring Aringhe Alla Calabrese

Recipe 2

Calabrese-Style Herring Aringhe Alla Calabrese

 Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves 6

150 ml (2⁄3 cup)  olive oil

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 red chili, chopped

1 kg (21⁄4 lb) herring, cleaned and filleted
About 12 slices bread, crusts removed and slightly toasted


Flat-leaf parsley, chopped, to serve

Lemon wedges, to serve

(Alternative fish: sardines or mackerel)

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a frying pan or skillet, add the garlic and chili and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes. Lay the herring fillets on top, season lightly with salt, increase the heat to medium and cook for about 15 minutes, occasionally mashing it with the back of the spoon, until the fish have broken up completely in the sauce. Spread the hot herring mixture on the slices of bread, put them on a serving platter, drizzle with the remaining oil, sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately with lemon wedges.

Excerpted from FISH: Recipes from the Sea, courtesy of Phaidon Press.