Scarborough Fair…

No, I did not go to Scarborough nor did I go to any fair, just that the lyrics of the song go like this:
Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary & thyme

and that day, when I wanted to cook a slab of salmon that I had in the freezer, I rubbed the skin with some salt and pepper and some rosemary and thyme…


…and that brought the second line in the wordings to mind but no, I did not use any parsley or sage even though I do have those two spices in my rack.

I bought two pieces of the fish here, one a little smaller – around two-thirds of this one, I think – sometime ago before our Chap Goh Meh steamboat dinner. I can’t remember how much they cost now but the most expensive item in the list that day was the box of mussels, RM35.00, which was quite reasonable as there were so many of them in it so my guess is that the two pieces of salmon cost a little less than that.

Well, if we go for a salmon dish outside, it may cost a bomb like this one that my girl had once, RM38.00 and it was burnt, the skin part, that is…

Burnt salmon
*Archive photo*

…and this slice at the since-closed-down place…

Salmon dish
*Archive photo*

…set me back by RM39.90 so it certainly makes a lot more sense to go and buy and cook our own.

Well, the problem is quite frankly, I did not know how to cook the fish as I had never cooked it before so I went and watch a video clip on youtube. It seemed that after drying it well, I would have to fry it skin side down in hot oil…


…and in the meantime, I would have to splash the oil onto the top side to cook it. Once the skin was crispy enough and nicely done, I had to move the fish to let it stand and cook a bit on its sides and that was it!

I was afraid that it would be overcooked…

Salmon, served

…and my girl would not like that. That was what happened when the mum cooked the other slice prior to this. We’re so used to deep-frying ikan bawal (pomfret), kembong or whatever – just throw in and let it fry!

I thought the top half did look a little too well-done…

Top half

…but the bottom section seemed quite o.k…

Bottom half

Well, my girl had that for her dinner and she loved the crispy skin and she said no, it was not overcooked, just nice. Phewwwwwww!!! However, we could not detect the scent or fragrance of the rosemary and thyme…unfortunately.

I still had three of the mussels left so I cut them into halves to fry some thinly-sliced leek with egg…

Fried leek with mussels and egg

…and yes, it was very nice. This one wasn’t much of a problem, not at all.

I think I’ve cooked all that I bought before Chinese New Year and Chap Goh Meh now…finally!

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

15 thoughts on “Scarborough Fair…”

  1. scarborough fair is one of my favourite simon & garfunkel songs … though i do like a lot of their songs. my favourite is probably the sound of silence … but besides the point, the fish looks just nice to me too … crisp skin, tender below πŸ˜€

    Tender below? Hmmmm….!!!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    Simon and Garfunkel, my No. 1 would definitely have to be Bridge over troubled water…and No. 2, Homeward Bound. Ok, with Sound of Silence and Scarborough Fair. I like I am a rock too.

  2. Yummy! The leek and mussel omelette if I may call it that. As for the salmon, I have never used so much oil for it, just pan fry it in very little oil or poach it but I guess Melissa likes it with very crispy skin so deep fried it is.

    She likes it deep fried or baked. We had it boiled in our steamboat, don’t think she is all that into it that way so I don;t think she will like it poached. Oh? Can use less oil? Perhaps I should try that next time – the video said cover half of the slab and I do not have a smaller pan, such a waste of oil, I thought. Maybe that was why the top half look kind of overdone. Perhaps I should get a pan with a cover to retain the heat too? I was worried that it would be uncooked…but I guess many eat salmon raw, anyway.

    1. Below is a youtube clip on Gordon Ramsay cooking crispy salmon with not that much oil:

      Ah yes, the part right below the skin is darker in colour too. I guess in mine, it’s about half – the part covered by the oil. Gotta reduce it then next time. Oh? He sliced the skin – the way I would do it with ikan buris? Thin slits. Dunno why – my mum did it like that so I just followed, not so thin with other fish like bawal, for example.

  3. That slab of salmon was nicely done. Love the cripsy skin. All the while, I thought only frying chicken needs a lot of oil not fish. I like leek & used to fry it with egg & meat. These 2 dishes are simply out of this world. A week long school holidays is here, make the most out of it. Happy jalan jalan cari makan.

    A lot of oil is needed for deep frying fish but if using a wok, and all will be at the bottom, I guess one will not need as much, compared to using a pan. Besides, because of the size of the wok, the splutter will not make such a mess on one’s cooker top. Whatever pans, they can’t beat the good ol’ Chinese wok, you agree?

    Yes, it has started – as soon as we got back into town yesterday…and there is a food fair at the town square too – started yesterday! Yum yummmm!!!!

  4. I love Salmon. Love it even more when it is grilled with cheese and herbs. πŸ˜‹

    Next time I’ll try grilling too, just a bit of oil. My girl wants the skin very crispy but the fish not overcooked. I think the skin will be crispy as well if it is dry enough and grilled skin side down. I do think that sometimes, these tips online may not be the best ways to cook something. Gotta try other alternatives.

  5. Your slab of salmon looked delicious. The skin was crispy. I love my salmon skin crispy.

    Melissa thought it was good so a thumb up to you!!

    She will only eat the skin if it is crispy. Otherwise, she will peel it off and throw it away. 😦 I’m not really fond of salmon, not a fan of the smell but she loves it so much so I will make it a point to buy sometimes for her to enjoy…and I’ll just eat a bit.

  6. Salmon is my favourite fish, and that song brings back many happy memories of my student days.

    I am not all that fond of the smell, I would prefer our local fish anytime. Ya, the duo was very popular during our younger days. πŸ˜‰

  7. My girl loves salmon too… so each time I buy, I just did what you did.. but not so much oil in it… pan fry and let it cook by itself after that.. too long cooking will result in dryness…. by the way, you are using a ceramic wok if I am not mistaken? How is it? I wanted to buy one in Parkson and kept delaying cos of the price.. hahahaa… Does it work well in frying fish, I mean does it stick?

    Yes, the ceramic pan is very nice, extra hot and non-stick. Will need to get used to adding oil before turning on the fire though – usually, we heat up the pan first but according to the instructions, cannot heat up the pan with nothing in it. Also, watch out for the residual heat…like when I fried shallots till golden brown to toss noodles and I left them in it while I do something else, they ended up burnt. Expensive, is it? I got mine free when I bought a new air conditioner. πŸ˜‰

    These young people, my girl loves salmon too. Give me my kembong or tenggiri or bawal or terubok and all our local fish anytime! I will try grilling with very little oil next time – see how it turns out.

    1. Wahhhh…so good.. free one ah? I went to Parkson to check the price, of course there are a few brands but one with lid cost around 249rm.. whereas no lid will be cheaper.. but I prefer one with lid .. Yes, I think I will get one, waiting for promotion.. hahahaha…

      What? Wowwwww!!!! I sure was lucky to get it free then. Wouldn’t have been able to afford it, poor ol’ retiree, me… Sobssss!!!! πŸ˜₯

  8. Try baking it, don’t need any oil at all! Salmon can be enjoyed medium rare, try it. As well, I cure mine all the time: get a piece of filet with skin on, put in a non reactive container, add in salt and a bit of sugar and some alcohol like vodka or sake. Put in fridge for 48 hours. After 24 hours, pour out the liquid, then back to the fridge for the next 24 hours. When ready, rinse the filet, dry with paper towels, remove skin, slice the fish thinly like sashimi and enjoy with lemon juice or wasabi or soya sauce etc. Looks great on a piece of crispy fried wantan skin. Might add a bit of cream cheese to make even more decadent. Oh yes, the skin can be discarded or grill till crispy to enjoy.

    Oh dear! Throw away the skin? So expensive that I would eat the bones if I could. Hehehehehe!!!!!

    I think I’ve tried salmon cured and smoked at a since-closed-down place here – can’t say I have the acquired taste for it, don’t really mind it cooked even though I am not fond of the smell. Tried sashimi in NZ once, can’t say I was all that thrilled by it either. I would never order that here – dunno how “fresh” the fish is even though they claim it to be air-flown Norwegian salmon. I’m wary about how long it will take to fly it here and how reliable the freezing facilities are. If well-frozen, of course, it is fresher than what we get at the shops – dunno how long already, those, so I would want it to be well-cooked before I would eat it. Maybe it would be better to try it with some nice local freshwater fish here but I am so lazy. Hehehehehe!!!!

  9. I enjoy salmon and it’s quite tricky to cook. Sometimes I get it right, sometimes I don’t. Yours turned out very nicely, I like the crispy skin.

    Oh? It’s like that? I was quite worried I was not doing it right and my girl would not enjoy it. It’s kinda dry if overcooked, is it? I guess it’s the same with the bawal, used to fry till really crispy, could even eat the fins – my girl loved it that way but it was not so nice anymore, rather dry and hard. She does not insist on it that way now so I would not fry till like that anymore.

  10. I loves salmon, usually i steam it…

    She was not all that excited about it being boiled in our steamboat dinner and she’s not into steamed fish so much – only learning to like it a bit more now.

  11. Yeah, that’s a very decent looking slice of salmon.

    Very nice first try mate. I usually don’t splash oil on top though, I just fry the bottom to crisp up the skin and leave the other side (opposite to skin) and flip it over to maybe 10 seconds to finish it so the middle is still rare. I’ll do it with butter at the end so it tastes better though. That’s how I pan fry salmon anyway, but I prefer white fish mostly nowadays.

    The first RM 38 archived photo was really bad though, should have sent that back. Yours look 10x better than the burnt skin.

    Ok, will try that next time, still learning. Was tempted to try with butter but to cover half the slab would need quite a lot so I changed my mind. Yes, but I didn’t complain as my girl enjoys things burnt, extra fragrant, she says. πŸ˜€

  12. If you want it extra crispy you do try coating the skin with just a touch of cornstarch. I usually use close to no oil at all because Salmon skin itself is pretty oily. But has to be very non stick pan of course.

    Ok, I can try that next time, thanks for the tips.

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at

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