For Kiwis young and old, fish and chips are the food of summer. We all have memories of evenings spent at the beach holding greasy newspaper packets and tucking into mountains of fries with lashings of vinegar.
Yum! It’s no wonder this dish is a favourite on aged care menus.
Fish is an excellent source of protein and a good way to add variety to a menu. Beyond the traditional battered-with-chips, there are many other ways to serve up seafood.
Here are some tips to help you make your fish ‘delish’:
Be dish dependent
A fish curry requires a firm flesh that will hold together during cooking. You also need to select a swimmer to balance out the curry with its own flavour.
Depending on what is locally available, salmon, mackerel, ling and hoki all work in an Indian or Asian-style curry.
Salmon or snapper make good fish for grilling, while a deep-fry-friendly selection could consist of whiting or Murray cod.
Cooking methods for aged care kitchens
When baking, it is important to make sure not to overcook the fish so that it doesn’t dry out and become hard for residents to chew and swallow. Fish is cooked when it loses its translucent appearance and turns white. Keep the oven at 180°c and check if your fish is done by inserting a fork and seeing how easily it flakes.
Crumbed or battered
Residents love their fish and chips and it is a menu must in aged care. Choose a tasty sauce to go with this all-time favorite. Hellman’s Tartare Dressing is an ideal choice or if your residents would like to try something new every now and again, mix KNORR Garde d’Or Hollandaise with KNORR Sakim’s Chinese Lemon for a creamy lemon-flavored option.
Steaming is a great way to cook fish. This healthy technique normally only takes about 10 minutes and results in delicious, moist flaky fish that residents will love.
Fish casserole is so simple to make and is great for your residents as it is also soft and moist, easy to chew and swallow. A great winter menu item! Make sure to select a firm fish so it doesn’t break up.
Sauces to complement fish dishes
Using a different sauce can help adding variety to your menu: choosing the same protein, i.e. fish, but changing a cooking method and/or adding a different sauce, can help keeping your fish menu exciting and fresh. Here are some of our top picks:
Looking for an alternative to chips? Fish pie is a great way of using extra vegetable supplies from the kitchen. You can add a breadcrumb topping instead of a full pastry base for easier eating.
Further ideas include:
Don’t forget to ask your supplier if the fish you are purchasing is produced sustainably - we want the ocean to stay full for our future generations!