The thrill of Norwegian seafood

Published September 23, 2021, 12:00 PM

by Sandy Daza

FISH PLEASE Sushi platters

A few weeks ago, I got a call from someone I met in a diplomatic function. Connected with the Norwegian Embassy, Anna wanted to explore the possibility of working with us at Casa Daza the Cook show to promote the seafood products of Norway.

Of course, I got excited. I wanted to jump for joy after learning what these products were—salmon, bacalao, and king crab, all of which are on top of my list of favorite seafood items.

Think salmon in sashimi, sushi, sinigang of head and belly, or just a simple seasoned filet over a nice salad.

As for bacalao, I grew up with it. My lola cooked this for our Daza reunions every Sunday. It is comfort food to me. I always thought it came from Portugal or Spain. I learned, though, that a lot of it comes from Norway.

GOLDEN CRUME Banana bread

Then there too was Alaskan king crab! I’ve tried it only a few times but it was love at first bite! The crabs are fresh frozen and they are simply out of this world. They are so delicious. I like to just have these meaty crabs with a simple sauce on the side so I can taste their succulence.

As for bacalao, I grew up with it. My lola cooked this for our Daza reunions every Sunday. It is comfort food to me. I always thought it came from Portugal or Spain. I learned, though, that a lot of it comes from Norway.

Of course, I had to kitchen test these products a lot but it was no chore because of my love for these seafood items. My mind never stopped working on how to share recipes that would not only excite the viewer of my cook show, I had to make sure the recipes were simple enough to duplicate at home. I love my job. In a few weeks, we will be airing these shows and I challenge you to try the recipes at home. My kids were the recipient of my experiments and there is nothing more satisfying than to see your loved ones humming with satisfaction.

CRAB-TIVATING Baked crab legs with lemon, garlic and butter sauce on the side

When I visited San Francisco, my sister Mariles, who is a foodie just like me, had an itinerary of places she had discovered that she was excited to share with me. One of these places was in Oakland. We had to drive for over an hour to get there. As soon as you get to it, it is likely you will have to wait another hour and a half. This place is packed. Every day! Boiling Crab is a Vietnamese restaurant that specializes in seafood. You choose from a selection of Dungeness crabs, mussels, clams, prawns, shrimp, king crab legs, and a few others. You order by weight and all these seafood items are packed in a bag loaded with spices added with butter. The bag, I suppose, is then dropped in boiling water. When done, that whole bag is mixed and served on your paper-covered table. The burst of the spice with the seafood and the butter will make you swallow in anticipation. You put a bib on yourself and start. You have rice on the side and it’s all “kamayan.” Wow, what an outstanding meal of deliciousness! Their chicken wings too are delicious! I mention Boiling Crab because one of the dishes I will be making with the Norwegian crabs legs in my show Casa Daza is similar to the Boiling Crab recipe. I’m excited to share this.

Last week, I also came across a few winners. Ban Yu, my son Franco’s girlfriend, brought a banana bread. I have tried many banana breads in the past. This is above all of those I’ve tried. Moist, soft, compact, and not too sweet, it disappeared in our fridge even before it got a chance to get chilled. (0915 4200555)


Another winner that I came across was a Poke Bowl. These bowls I believe originated in Hawaii where they combine fruits, vegetables, sashimi, and rice. There is a bed of rice at the bottom that, when mixed, brings out an out-of-this-world combination of flavors and textures. The talent comes in choosing the combination of ingredients to make sure they work and complement each other. The one I tasted was made my #seafoodlava. You can tell from the choice of the fresh sashimi that the creator knows how to choose quality. On the side was a delicious creamy chili sauce to complement the dish. There were chunks of salmon, what seemed like seared tuna, crab, mango, edamame, corn, and a few others over a thin layer of rice. The bowl was not only delicious, it was also beautifully presented. One bowl is good for six to eight people. What a winner! They also have sushi platters. ( Seafood Lava- (02) 7001 2960- 0945 637 2310).

I have a few other discoveries. I will share those next week.

Meanwhile, Don’t be like me (sometimes). Don’t allow your mind eat you up. Happy Weekend!

Happy eating!

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