Publisher's Note

  • Publisher’s Note

    Dear Kababayans, I hope you are all doing well this April and are keeping safe and healthy during this trying time. Last month we saw businesses closing down and workers getting laid off because of the economic shutdown that was created by the Coronavirus Pandemic. This puts a lot of stress on people as bills just [...]

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Page added on January 19, 2011

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*** THE MAIN INGREDIENT segment aims to inform, educate, share skills and knowledge. It also hopes to satisfy most of our TASTEBUDS (the five elements of taste perception: salty, sour, bitter, sweet, and umami or savoury). Email your request INGREDIENT(s) be  featured for its uses, nutrient contents and/or cooking tips, and comments/suggestions. ***The author has had 13 years of experience in the field of Food and Nutrition, Research, Community/Public Health and Food Services combined. Earned the Degree in Nutrition & Dietetics (Philippines.) and Food and Nutrition Technology Program (Canada).  Information presented in this segment is  based on  nutritional books, online  searches and personal knowledge of the author.  Furthermore, all recipes featured in this segment are personally developed and/or original creations of the author, and are intended solely for personal use of the end users. This article and contents are copyrights and patent pending and therefore, no portion/ parts or whole  can be re-produced for any other use other than stated above without the author’s expressed permission. Mbpd

Happy New Year   to all our avid “MAIN” followers!

Just like everyone else, every  first month of the year, majority of the  people get into the mode of being “NEW”.  Others even consider  new year’s resolutions  while some prefer to choose or set new goals. For few, it can be a new habit,  for others it will be wholesome lifestyles and habits,  and of course the majority will embark on a quest for healthy food choices.

This  is why I thought this month’s feature should be SEAFOODS, very timely and appropriate for  the above endeavor, although, for me  having them is a FEAST  on its own as I love  preparing them or ordering them whenever we are traveling, particularly in the areas where they are abundant.

During the holidays and on the last leg of our flight to Calgary, seafood was always  on the table, so it is very  appropriate to feature these recipes for the tastebuds column.

Seafood refers to any sea animal or plant that is served as food and eaten by humans. Seafoods include seawater animals, such as fish and shellfish (including mollusks and crustaceans) although fish is the most common to eat. In North America , although not generally in the United Kingdom, the term seafood is also applied to similar animals from fresh water and all edible aquatic animals are collectively referred to as seafood. Edible seaweeds are also seafood, and are widely eaten around the world, especially in Asia.  Mediterranean diets are likewise based on a rich intake of fish. It is believed  that the longer lifespan of Japanese and Nordic populations may be partially due to their higher consumption of seafood.

Seafood is often distinguished from meat, although it is still animal and is excluded from vegetarian diets. Not only is seafoods delicious, it is nutritious as well. Because many diets now specify  poly-unsaturated fat rather than saturated fat, fish and shellfish make an excellent  and delightful addition to any meal  as a main dish. Seafood is low in calories and is a source  of many essential nutrients.  Seafood contains about twenty percent of the high quality proteins of red meat and poultry around the world, especially in coastal areas.  It is also low in poly-unsaturated fat. There are some fish that are relatively high in fat such as salmon, mackerel and catfish, however, the fat is again poly -unsaturated. Seafood is also rich in vitamins and minerals and many varieties of seafood are also low in sodium and cholesterol.

Fish, especially saltwater fish, is high in omega 3 fatty acids, which are heart-friendly, and a regular diet of fish is highly recommended by nutritionists. All fish are also a significant source of vitamin D and contribute valuable mineral nutrients to the diet such as selenium, iodine, magnesium, iron and copper. Some types of fish have higher levels of beneficial fatty acids than others. Fish and shellfish that contain higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids and are also low in mercury include: anchovy, capelin, char, hake, herring, Atlantic mackerel, mullet, pollock ( Boston bluefish), salmon, smelt, rainbow trout, lake whitefish, blue crab, shrimp, clam, mussel and oyster.

The harvesting of wild seafood is known as fishing and the cultivation and farming of seafood is known as aquaculture, mariculture, or in the case of fish, fish farming.        According to the Canada Food Guide for Healthy Eating, an average adult should eat at least two Food Guide Servings of fish each week.

Having mentioned all the benefits, however,  eating certain kinds of seafood doesn’t come without  risks and hazards to the human body. According to Health Canada,  the most common source of human exposure to mercury is the consumption of certain types of fish. Therefore, we should follow Health Canada’s fish consumption advice in order to enjoy the health benefits of fish consumption while controlling exposure to mercury. Health Canada  also provides advice for limiting exposure to mercury from certain types of fish.  Summary is as follows:
Choose fish such as char, herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines and trout.
Types of fish that should be eaten less often include fresh/frozen tuna, shark, swordfish, marlin, orange roughy and escolar (Note: Additional health information on escolar is available from Health Canada’s website and the Canada Food Guide for Healthy Eating.
This advice does NOT apply to canned tuna.

PLEASE ENJOY these sumptuous FEAST of SEAFOODS below:


Appetizer: (Savoury) Tropical Shrimp Skewers

Yield: 4 Servings


1 lb shell-on shrimp,  deveined, uncooked
1/3 cup coconut milk, canned

2 Tbsp lime juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp red chili peppers flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground white pepper

1/2 cup pineapple chunks

1 cup dessicated  coconut
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped green onion
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup olive oil

Combine coconut milk, lime juice, garlic, red peppers, cumin, coriander and pepper; pour over shrimp.
Marinate no more than 1 hour.
Thread shrimp and pineapple chunks on skewers.
Broil or grill, 3 minutes per side, or until shrimp are done.
Serve coconut shrimp with sauce.

Soup: (Savoury) Seafood Chowder

Yield: 6-8 servings


3 cups water

2 Large baking potatoes, peeled and diced

1 medium white onion, diced

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 pound raw fish (Basa, Haddock, Sole, Tilapia), cut into bite pieces

1 pound of mix seafoods

2 cups cream

1 cup whole milk

4 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup green onion, chopped

6-8 Sour dough breads (optional) to use as bowls

1. Add water and potatoes to stockpot. Simmer over medium heat about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
2. Stir in diced onion, fish pieces, and coarse salt. Simmer 10 minutes, or until fish is tender.
3. Stir in lobster, clams, and bay scallops. Simmer 5 minutes.
4. Stir in cream, whole milk, and butter.
5. Bring up to almost boiling. Reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes.
6. Remove from heat. Stir in parsley and green onions

Entree: (Savoury) Tilapia with Mango-Garlic Salsa

Yield: 3-4 Servings

2 (6 ounce) tilapia fillets 1/3 cup  olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried basil shopping list

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt


1 large ripe mango, peeled, pitted and diced

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

2 tablespoons minced red onion

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together the olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, parsley, garlic, basil, 1 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl and pour into a sealable plastic bag.
2. Add the tilapia fillets, coat with the marinade, squeeze out excess air, and seal the bag.
3.  Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
4. Prepare the mango salsa by combining the mango, red bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, and jalapeno pepper in a bowl.                                                                                                                                            5.  Add the lime juice and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and toss well.
6. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
7. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and brush lightly  with oil.
8. Remove the tilapia from the marinade, and shake off excess. Discard the remaining marinade.
9. Grill the fillets until the fish is no longer translucent in the center, and flakes easily with a fork, 3 to 4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the fillets.
10. Serve the tilapia topped with mango salsa.

*** TIP: LEFT OVERS, why not make and try  FISH TACO

** LIGHT (Savoury) Entree- FISH TACO with  Adobo Sauce

Left over grilled tilapia
1 (6oz) package corn tortilla

1 (8 ounce) container light sour cream
1/2 cup adobo sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons lime zest
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon seafood seasoning salt and pepper to taste


1 ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 small  bunch cilantro, chopped

1 cup shredded  iceberg lettuce

2 limes, cut in wedges

For Dressing:  Combine the sour cream and adobo sauce in a bowl.Stir in the lime juice, lime zest, cumin, chili powder, seafood seasoning. Add salt, and pepper in desired amounts.Cover, and refrigerate until needed.
Assemble tacos by placing flaked grilled fish pieces in the center of tortillas with desired amounts of tomatoes, cilantro, and cabbage; drizzle with dressing
Roll up tortillas around fillings, and garnish with lime wedges.


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