Wondering how much fish should you and your family can safely eat? The FDA and the EPA recently recommended that women who are pregnant or breast-feeding and young children eat at least two servings of fish or seafood every week. Many people have avoided fish because of fears of high mercury levels. However, there are so many varieties of seafood with low levels of mercury that it is easy to find seafood to fit the bill. What may be more difficult is finding ways of preparing fish that the whole family will enjoy.
Some of the types of low mercury fish are salmon, tilapia, shrimp, cod and canned light tuna. By eating fish regularly, adults will be doing great things for their health as well as encouraging kids to develop a taste for seafood from a young age. If you haven’t been eating much seafood because you or your kids don’t like it, it is never too late to start. Try different preparations, including the recipes below.
I have a confession to make: my children don’t eat fish. When my daughters were little, they ate fish pretty well. I would serve salmon, tilapia, and they would at least eat a little. Somewhere along the line, things went south and neither of them would eat cooked fish. Oh sure, they both love sushi and will gobble up salmon, yellowtail and eel at a restaurant, but my budget does not allow for sushi the
Every so often, I will fix fish in another attempt to foist it on my family and it is usually rejected with dramatic facial contortions after the first, and only, bite is tried. A little bit ago, my youngest daughter had a blackened mahi sandwich when she was out to lunch with her grandmother and said that it was actually good. Aha, there is hope! She agreed to try some blackened mahi at home, so we got some mahi mahi fillets, spices and set to work.
First, we decided on which spices to use. To keep things really simple, I pulled out a couple of spice blends I had on hand. After trying the jerk spices and then this Fiesta Citrus blend, my daughter decided to go with Fiesta Citrus.
Next, we patted the fillets dry and then completely coated them with the spice blend plus a little sea salt.
Put a little bit of oil in a large pan on the stove and turn the heat to medium high. Do not use olive oil for this, as the temperatures will get too high and this delicate oil will break down. A better bet is canola or grapeseed, both of which have no flavor of their own.
Get the oil quite hot before adding the fish, then carefully add the fillets, being careful not to splatter the oil.
Cook the fillets for 3-5 minutes on one side, then flip it and cook for another 3-5 minutes, depending upon how thick your fillets are. The fish should turn white almost all the way through. The best way to tell if it is done is to take a fork and gently flake it and peer into the middle. Remove the fish when it is is just barely done in the center, as it will continue to cook even when you remove it from the pan.
I served the fish with some coconut rice and sauteed zucchini.
And what was the verdict from my daughter? She loved it and ate every bite!
Kid-Friendly Blackened Mahi Mahi
- 1 1/2 pounds mahi mahi or boneless, skinless fish fillets of choice
- Your favorite spice blend
- Sea salt
- Canola or grapeseed oil
- Pat dry the fish fillets with paper towels. Sprinkle with sea salt and then completely cover with spice blend on all sides.
- In a large, shallow pan, heat a little bit of oil, just a couple tablespoons, over medium high heat. When the oil is quite hot, add the fish fillets.
- Cook each fillet for 3-5 minutes, depending upon how thick it is, then flip it and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Flake the fish with a fork to see if it is opaque all the way through. Do not overcook, as the fish keeps cooking when it is removed from the heat.