Friday, January 18, 2019

Celebrate CNY 2019 with Norwegian Salmon and Fjord Trout

Cooking with Norwegian Salmon and Fjord Trout for Good Health and Prosperity during Chinese New Year

Left to right: Mr Jon Erik Steenslid, Norwegian Ambassador to Malaysia HE Gunn Jorid Roset and Chef Jimmy Chok

Its that time of the year to toss to a Chinese New Year filled with much prosperity, joy and health being! And there’s no better way to do this than to gather with family, friends and loved ones to usher in the Year of the Pig with Yee Sang or Yu Sheng and other festive good eats.

Yee Sang is made tastier with Norwegian salmon and fjord trout. The Norwegian Seafood Council recently hosted a workshop on “Cooking Healthy and Prosperous Chinese New Year Dishes with Norwegian Salmon and Fjord Trout” at KDU University in Shah Alam.

Members of media, bloggers and honorary guests were treated to a delectable cooking demonstration by the jovial Chef Jimmy Chok. This is no ordinary workshop but rather an in-depth class of how Norwegian Seafood Council is ensuring diners all over the world that Norwegian Salmon and Fjord Trout is deliciously safe for consumption and how theses fishes are reared and harvested out of the cold, clean waters of Norway and within hours are sent for export to more than 100 countries around the world.

The perfect timing of the festive season, Norwegian salmon is now a Malaysian favorite when it comes to Yee Sang. Fjord trout is also another good option for the festive Chinese dish. Norwegian salmon is one of the richest sources of Omega 3 fatty acids and a normal meal of 150g of salmon covers a person’s weekly needs of Omega 3, according to the European Food Safety Authority recommendations.  It is also a rich source of iodine, selenium and other key nutrients.

The Norwegian Fjord Trout is similar to salmon, but its flesh has a deep red-orange colour with white marbling that gives the fillets a luxurious feel. Norwegian Fjord Trout has a remarkably rich flavour, with a pure aftertaste. It has a lustrous and silvery skin like salmon and grows to a weight of 2.5 kilos, which is a bit smaller than salmon.

Norwegian Ambassador to Malaysia HE Gunn Jorid Roset kicked off the event with a speech...

“The auspicious colour of Norwegian salmon and fjord trout makes it so suitable for these fish to be served during the Chinese New Year celebrations,” says Mr Jon Erik Steenslid, the Norwegian Seafood Council director for South-East Asia. “Besides, they are widely and easily available throughout the festive season in markets, supermarkets and seafood stores in Malaysia.”

Chef Chok proceeded to explain that salmon has a layer of rich oils that is release during cooking hence one doesn’t even have to add any oil while cooking the fish. It only takes a few minutes to cook to a perfect doneness with a soft pink doneness in the middle. One should also leave the fish to seared well on the skin side down first and then flip over for another few minutes before the fish is ready to be seasoned or jazzed up with sauces. The fish is so versatile that one can also steam, bake, deep fried, stir fry and pan seared it. Same goes for the fjord trout and both fishes from the waters of Norway are safe for raw sashimi consumption on its own or with yee sang.

A simple tomato-based sauce and micro greens with pan seared salmon…

Steamed baked at low temperature, the fjord trout literally melts-in-the-mouth!

Chef Chok, together with Mr Jon Erik Steenslid and Norwegian Ambassador to Malaysia HE Gunn Jorid Roset proceeded to whip up their Yee Sang. There are no limits when it comes to ingredients for a Yee Sang although there are some basic classic ingredients to balance up the dish for its signature savory, sweet and sour notes. Textural components are also essential to making a great Yee Sang. Of course, the Norwegian Salmon is the highlight of the yee sang!

We also had the opportunity to make our own yee sang. Our yee sang had plenty of fruits like Mandarin segments, juicy pomelo sacs as well as pomegranate, dried apricots, dried figs, dried berries, pickled ginger and radish, crispy salted egg fish skin and more, all tossed with a kaffir lime leave infused plum sauce and slices of delectable Norwegian Salmon.

The workshop was followed by a luncheon showcasing how versatile the Norwegian Salmon and Fjord Trout can be in Chinese cuisine for this festive Chinese New Year. Easy to prepare and cooking time is minimal compared to other meat and poultry, one can easily whip up these dishes for this festive reunion dinner or festive parties in a jiffy. Recipes are provided below…

Our lunch includes Sweet Sour Soup with Norwegian Fjord Trout, Steamed Norwegian Salmon Head with Fermented and Salted Garlic Chilli Sauce, Deep Fried Norwegian Salmon Cubes with Szechuan Pepper Salt, and 41C Norwegian Fjord Trout with Japanese Mushroom Black Pepper Sauce.

After the yee sang, Chef Chok serves up a tasty Sweet and Sour Soup with Norwegian Fjord Trout. Taking the classic soup and adding the fjord trout pieces are much welcomed by everyone. The trout is utterly tender and goes well with the richness of the soup.

Deep Fried Norwegian Salmon Cubes with Szechuan Pepper Salt takes on simple cooking with basic seasoning, reminding us that as long as the ingredient such as the salmon is fresh and of premium quality, the salmon can really be amazing when its cooked just right.

Another great way to enhance the lusciousness of the fjord trout would be to slow baked them at low temperature. The 41C Norwegian Fjord Trout with Japanese Mushroom Black Pepper Sauce had everyone enjoying the creamy and melt-in-the-mouth trout paired with a robust black pepper sauce with mushrooms and iced vegetables.

I was particularly fond of the Slow Cooked Norwegian Salmon with Chili Bean Tomato Sauce. A whole fillet of Norwegian Salmon slow baked and sauced up with a rich and piquant sauce that beckons for steamed rice. The dish is perfect for foodies who enjoy Chinese dishes with rich and spicy flavours.

Nothing is ever wasted and one of the recipe to use up Norwegian Salmon head is flagged by Chef Chok in his dish of Steamed Norwegian Salmon Head with Fermented and Salted Garlic Chilli Sauce. Another dish that is bound to be a hit, this dish had a sublime umami flavour from the fermented tauchu, black beans, garlic and other aromatics.

Let’s usher in this festive Chinese New Year with a Norwegian Salmon and Fjord Trout feast! Both salmon and trout are available at all leading grocery stores. For more information, please visit their website: or Facebook:

Norwegian Seafood Council: Origin matters

The Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC) is owned by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries. The Norwegian seafood industry finances its activities through fees levied on all exports of Norwegian seafood. NSC is the approval authority for Norwegian seafood exporters.

Headquartered in Tromsø, NSC has presence in major markets around the world aiming to increase the value of Norwegian seafood resources. NSC oversees the administration and use of the trademark “Seafood from Norway”, a joint value for the Norwegian seafood industry. Together with the industry, NSC aims to increase the demand for and consumption of seafood from Norway. For more information, please visit


Slices of raw Norwegian salmon
Carrot, white radish and green radish, julienned 
Enoki mushroom – 1 pkt
Roasted salted peanuts – 100gms
White sesame seeds – 1 tsp, roasted

Slice into thin strips:
Japanese pickled red ginger – 80gms
Japanese pickled yellow daikon – 80gms
Dried mango – 80gms
Dried figs – 80gms
Dried apricot – 80gms
Dried cranberry –  80gms
Dried pineapple – 80gms

Ingredients for sauce:
Kaffir lime leaf – 3 pcs, cut into fine threads
Ginger flower, cut finely
Pomelo – 200gms, peeled fruit
Pomegranate – 80gms, peeled

Ingredients to finish Yee Sang:
Thai crackers – 1pkt
Olive oil – 150 ml
Lime juice – 80ml

Lee Kum Kee plum sauce – 1 jar of 260gms
Honey –  1 ½  tbsp
Rice vinegar – 3 tbsp

Arrange all the vegetables, fruits and dried fruits attractively on a large plate.  Top with kaffir lime leaf shreds, ginger flower.
When ready to toss, add crackers, salmon, lime juice, oil and plum sauce mixture.  (You can add less of the liquid ingredients according to your preference)



Fish stock –1 litre
Chinkiang black vinegar – 150ml
Fresh wood ear mushroom – 100gms thinly sliced
Oyster mushroom – 100gms – thinly sliced
Soft tofu – 1 pkt cut into cubes
Shitake mushroom – 100gms thinly sliced
Potato starch flour – as needed to thicken soup
Norwegian fjord trout – 600gm sliced thinly
Chicken stock cube – ½
Salt/pepper/sugar to taste
Coriander to garnish
Chilli oil

Bring stock to a boil and adjust sourness of soup with black vinegar
Season to taste
Add all the ingredients into the soup except for fish
Bring soup to a boil and adjust thickness of soup with potato starch
Place sliced trout in bowl and top with a piece of coriander
Pour hot soup over and add chilli oil as needed.



1 whole salmon head – cut into 2
Salted fermented soya bean – 2 tbsp wash and soak
Black fermented soya bean – 1 tsp soak
Red chilies– 2 pcs chopped
Garlic – 10 cloves chopped
Spring onion – 200gms chopped

Oyster sauce – 2 tbsp
Sesame oil – 1 tbsp
Ginger – 100gms chopped
3 tbsp oil
Sugar/salt /pepper to taste
Chicken stock – 500 ml
Potato starch – 1 tbsp

In a pan or wok sauté garlic, ginger until fragrant
Add black and salted soya beans, cook till soft and then season with oyster sauce, sesame oil and stock, bring to a simmer
Adjust seasoning and add chopped chili
Thicken with potato starch
Cut salmon head into half and steamed with some ginger for 10 minutes
Remove and pour away water
Spoon sauce over fish and garnish with spring onions



Salmon belly and top loin – 1 kg
Peanut oil for deep frying
Corn flour – 150gms to coat fish
Szechuan pepper – 2 tsp
Salt – 1/2 tsp
White pepper – pinch
Togarashi chili - 1 tbsp
5 spice powder – pinch

Season salmon cubes with salt and pepper and then coat with corn flour
Heat oil and fry salmon to golden brown and set aside
Lightly toast Szechuan pepper till fragrant then pound
Mix Szechuan pepper with salt, 5 spice, togarashi and white pepper
Serve on the side to fried salmon cubes



Fjord trout top loin only – 2 whole fillets
Shimeiji mushroom– 2 pkt
Lee Kum Kee black pepper sauce – 3 tbsp
Green bell pepper – 1 nos
Garlic – 5 cloves chopped
Ginger 100gms chopped
Salt/pepper/sugar to taste
Chicken stock 300ml

Salt trout for 20 minutes and wash away salt after that. Dab dry with paper towels.
Wrap trout loin tight with cling film
Bake in oven at 41c for 1.5 hours. Once done, remove and allow to cool in fridge
In pan sweat garlic and ginger, then stir fry mushroom and green peppers
Add black pepper sauce, stock and adjust seasoning
Cut trout to portion and place on plate
Pour sauce over and garnish



Salmon fillet – 1 whole fillet
Lee Kum Kee toban sauce [ chilli beans ] – 3 tbsp
Roma tomatoes – 500gms – cut diced
Red onion large – 1 nos – chopped
Garlic 5 cloves – chopped
Ginger 100gms – chopped
Spring onion 1 sprig – chopped
Chicken stock 300 ml
Oil 2 tbsp
Salt/pepper/sugar to taste
Red chilli 2 nos - sliced

Put salmon on tray and baked whole fillet in oven at 55c for about 45 minutes
Once done remove from oven
In pan heat oil and fry garlic, ginger and onion until fragrant
Add chilli bean sauce and stock, adjust seasoning
Add tomato and sliced chilli, bring to a boil
Pour over fish and garnish with spring onion

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Takebayashi @ The Ritz-Carlton Residences Kuala Lumpur

Kappo-Style Japanese Cuisine

When Chef Tatsuo Takebayashi first greeted us, it was a sight of humble pleasure. A warm smile followed by a bow of humbleness, we were bowled over by the sincerity of Chef Takebayashi. The master chef behind Kappo-style restaurant Takebayashi at the new Ritz-Carlton Residences Kuala Lumpur ushered us gently. One can certainly sense his proudness at the new Takebayashi restaurant.

The restaurant is not as huge as most Japanese restaurant but is well-designed to echo a Zen-minimalist Japanese restaurant. A vertical Japanese sushi bar that takes up half the restaurant space for avid diners who loves to catch some chef actions. There are tables set along the bar in parallel against the glass wall to soak in the natural city elements and scene as well.

A few chefs are hard at work setting up the evening’s service. However, that didn’t stop them from greeting us with a smile.

The catch of the day and fresh produce are displayed on the sushi bar, tempting diners with its glistening and vibrant signs of freshness. From cuts of premium seafood sashimi to an enticing marbled wagyu beef, bright cheery red Japanese Momotaro tomatoes, corn, radish and more, Takebayashi’s menu focuses on such amazing ingredients of Mother Nature.

And while one is dining at Takebayashi, it might also be a good idea to order one of the sake or premium whisky on their list…

A lovely white bubbly of Takebayashi Castello di Luzzano

Dinner commenced with Cream Cheese With Miso (RM30). The sheer simplicity of the dish at sight did not do justice to the dish. A brilliant concoction of pairing the lusciousness of cream cheese with the nutty umami note of miso, this appetizer rocks! The cheese is marinated with miso for 3 days before it is being lightly grilled to intensify and married the flavours together. The first bite, the cheese is utterly smoky with a fine divine note of unctuous pleasure. In fact, it is so good, one may literally not want to share this.

Cold Tomato Umami Jelly (RM45), another dish that really showcases what fine Japanese produce is all about. The skinned tomato itself literally tasted like a juicy sweet fruit. Set on a bed of konbu-dashi jelly cubes, there is a good balance of fresh juicy sweetness of the tomato with the lightest flavours of savory umami notes from the jelly. The chilled factor of the dish really elevated the vibrancy of the flavours of the dish.

If one is ever wondering that the White Fish with XO Salsa (RM80) looked rather familiar, it is because Chef Takebayashi’s previous stint at Nobu inspires his creation for the dish. Depending on the freshest catch of the day, ours was a delectable Kinmedai or golden eye snapper. The delicate firmness of the fish coupled with the sublime notes of house made XO sauce and ponzu sauce is exceptionally delicious!

Even Takebayashi’s Chawan Mushi (RM45) is jazzed up with a beautiful brown dried scallop sauce. The silky smooth egg custard has that classic umami note that warmed the palate with pleasure. The chawan mushi is also studded with shrimp, chicken, gingko nut and a yomogi mochi. All in all, the custard is satisfying with plenty of flavour and texture profile.

The Salmon Tataki Salad (RM50) is not only beautiful at sight but taste as amazing as it looks. Thick cut lightly seared salmon is paired with Takebayashi’s signature jalapeno sauce with crisp greens and sliced radish. The salmon is utterly sublime with a creamy melt-in-mouth feel and the jalapeno sauce packed enough heat to give the dish its wow factor. A must-order for foodies who loves a good kick of heat!

A dish that sides between snacking or a meal on its own if you are going for it alone, the Popcorn Shrimp Spicy Mayo Sauce (RM45) is simply lip-smacking yum. Even after our few minutes of photo session, the popcorn shrimp remains superbly light and crispy with hints of sweetness. The creamy and lightly spicy heat from the sauce worked so well with the crispy shrimps that we kept going back to mop up the sauce happily…

Grilled Spring Chicken with Wasabi Pepper Sauce was an intriguing dish as it looked nothing like any Japanese dish we have ever seen. Tender and juicy spring chicken is well-chargrilled to render crispy skin and served with a wasabi laced brown pepper sauce before being crowned with a grilled red pepper. Besides the wasabi, the dish is practically non-Japanese, not that we minded because the dish is rather tasty and cooked well.

When Executive Chef Jhon Chang personally grated fresh wasabi on a shark’s skin grater, we all stared in excitement with anticipation of what is coming next…

The pièce de résistance of the evening must be the prime cut of fatty Toro and fresh wasabi! Chef Chang has certainly mastered the art of sushi, having learning from MasterChef Takebayashi. A gorgeous sea green lacquered tray enhanced the skilled-shaped nigiri sushi of Otoro and Aji. Each one generously draped over sushi rice like a plush blanket of ocean pleasures. The sushi is served with chunky pickled baby ginger which lent a delicate gingery tang to clear the palate.

Seriously superb, both the Toro (RM40) and Aji (RM10) each are sublime. It is the perfect way to end this gastronomy at Takebayashi.

To sweeten up the evening, the serving of Japanese Nashi Pear and vanilla ice cream was simple and satisfying, leaving us with still a yearning for that amazing toro and aji sushi…

The Ritz-Carlton Residences Kuala Lumpur
Laman Sentral Berjaya
No. 105, Jalan Ampang,
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2181 3364

Business Hours:
Mon – Fri     12noon to 2.30pm | 6.30pm to 10.30pm
Saturday      6.30pm to 10.30pm
Sunday        Closed

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