two golden salmon croquettes sit on a baking sheet
Faith Kramer's Salmon Croquettes (Photo/Faith Kramer)

For Earth Day, put sustainable seafood on your plate

Judaism has a history of living in partnership with nature and respecting the land, and by extension the sea. So this Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, I thought I’d focus on choosing sustainable fish to help protect species diminished by climate change, pollution and overfishing.

Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch produces a guide to the best choices, which is available at seafoodwatch.org. So now when I go to the fish counter, I don’t just ask what’s fresh, I also check the guide to see what’s sustainable.

The recipes below use fish currently recommended as “best choices” for Californians by Seafood Watch. Serve the Baked Salmon Croquettes on a bed of greens or with broccoli slaw. The baked technique is inspired by a recipe on the Seafood Watch site. The Fish Steamed in Parchment features North African seasoning.

Baked Salmon Croquettes

Makes 4

1 Tbs. oil plus additional for baking sheet
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
8 oz. salmon fillet, skin and pin bones removed
1 Tbs. finely chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
Hot sauce to taste (optional)
1 large egg, beaten
1 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. hummus
1/2 cup matzah meal

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Grease paper lightly with oil.

Heat 1 Tbs. oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion. Sauté until softened. Add garlic. Sauté until golden. Add red pepper. Sauté until just beginning to soften.

Cut salmon into 1-inch chunks. Add with parsley, salt and pepper to food processor. Pulse until just combined. Add onion mixture. Pulse until just combined. Add hot sauce, egg, lemon juice and hummus. Pulse until just combined. Add matzah meal and pulse until well combined and mixture is smooth but still has a little texture.

Form 4 patties. Place on prepared pan. Bake 5 minutes. Flip. Bake 5 minutes more. Patties should be firm and cooked through. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: Check Seafood Watch for sustainable salmon varieties. I used Alaskan salmon.


a bundle of white cooking parchment filled with red, green and white
Faith Kramer’s Fish Steamed in Parchment (Photo/Faith Kramer)

Fish Steamed in Parchment

Serves 4

1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbs. finely chopped cilantro
2 Tbs. finely chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. ground turmeric
1/4 tsp. paprika
1 lb. cod, lingcod, rockfish or snapper fillets, 1/2” thick
1-1/2 cups chopped fresh tomato
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions (scallions)

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Have ready 8 sheets of parchment paper about 14 inches square (or 8 sheets of foil) and a rimmed baking tray.

Stir together zest, lemon juice, oil, cilantro, parsley, salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric and paprika in small bowl. Cut cod into 4 servings. Put a sheet of parchment directly on top of another to make a double layer. Center filet in paper. Scatter a quarter of the tomatoes and green onions on top. Drizzle with a quarter of olive oil mixture. Bring 2 sides of the parchment together and fold over edges. Continue folding over until securely wrapped. Twist each end very tightly to close. (If using foil instead of parchment, fold into a tight packet.) Repeat with remaining ingredients. Place on pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until fish feels firm when pressed through parchment. Open a packet. Cut into fish to check doneness. If more time is needed, reseal and return to oven. Check every 2 minutes. Serve in parchment.

Note: Check Seafood Watch for sustainable varieties. Timing depends on thickness of fish.

kramer-faith-WEB
Faith Kramer

Faith Kramer is a Bay Area food writer. She blogs about her food at clickblogappetit.com. Contact Faith at clickblogappetit@gmail.com.