Yin Yoga and Fish Scales

I am a morning person at heart.  I love getting up early.  [OK, maybe not the very-first-alarm-ringing-waking-up part, but basically everything after that.]  I like to catch a glimpse of the world when it is still, and calm, and peaceful, and quiet(er).  I appreciate my cup of coffee, and the freedom that comes from having answered all my emails before the recipients are awake to toss replies back at me (this is less rewarding now that my early morning is actually early evening to many of the people I email, but whatever).  I get a little thrill thinking about what I’ve gotten to enjoy, and yes, accomplish, before most people even get their morning shower.

Lately, though, KMN has been working pretty late nights.  Since my schedule is flexible, and I rather enjoy hanging out with my husband (even if we’re just computing side-by-side), I’ve been staying up later, and therefore sleeping in later, than usual.  But this week, I’m trying to get back on track.  Tuesday was a resounding success. I managed to get the dishwasher emptied, the washing machine filled, my email inbox emptied, my stomach filled, a blog post posted, and myself out to the bus stop a bit after 7 AM.  I was headed for Yin Yoga class.

[Yin yoga may be unfamiliar to many of you – it was to me until a few months ago.  But in case not all of you want to read several picture-less paragraphs about it, I’ve tucked a separate yin yoga post here.  I suggest you read it, but heck – I’m a little biased.  You’re adults, do what you like.]

[Welcome back! Or not.  Up to you.]

I was feeling relaxed and limber after yoga class, and decided to be lazy (efficient?), so I kicked out 30 easy minutes on the treadmill at the gym.  Everything felt good, and I laughed along with a random mid-December episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show.  Yes, I’m the girl running along, headphones on, lost her in own little world and laughing hysterically at Ellen.  So what?

This was a confidence building workout for me, because I was so caught up in Ellen that I forgot to worry that my IT bands would start twinging until I was finished…and they weren’t (twinging).  Whoot!  I completed the workout with 10 minutes on the foam roller.  And to everyone else who was in the stretching area of the gym, I swear this was good 10 minutes, despite the pained sounds I was making.

After my workout, I popped into the supermarket – conveniently located just downstairs from the gym.  It is just 2.5 weeks until Chinese New Year, so the decorations and treats are out in full force.

No, I did not buy any of these items, each of which would, approximately, cover one of my calves...  There go my hopes for a festive outfit for the festive season...

These are neither treats, nor decorations. Photo taking fail. But don’t worry, there will be plenty of both in the next months or so, believe me.

Purse bag + Shoe bag + 3 Shopping bags + 1 Beancurd = Very Full Bus Seat

Purse bag + Shoe bag + 3 Shopping bags + 1 Beancurd = Very Full Bus Seat

I was only supposed to pick up some produce and fish for dinner, but somehow ended up with three full grocery bags.  I sometimes still forget that traveling on public transportation means I have to be conservative in the amount of stuff I’m toting with me.  Thankfully, the morning rush had passed, so my bags and I got two bus seats all to ourselves.

One of the consequences of an early morning is the need for an early lunch.  I was ravenous by 11 AM, and devoured the beancurd and sushi I’d brought home (OK, maybe I was also hungry 90 minutes earlier, when I was at the supermarket…).  Bonus? I learned something from my supermarket sushi:

"Sushu Sauce" is secret code for "Soy Sauce"

“Sushi Sauce” is secret code for “Soy Sauce”!!!!

I was still hungry, so I enjoyed some yogurt and grapes, then finally settled down to work with a delicious snack/dessert:

Coffee + Banana Bread With Nutella (ingenious!)

Coffee + Homemade Banana Bread With Nutella (ingenious!)

Since work isn’t as much fun to talk about as food, let’s jump straight to dinner.  But first, I have to confess that I’m a cheapskate.  I wanted to make fish for dinner, and I’m not quite gutsy enough yet to buy and steam the whole fish yet (soon, though, soon!).  So I wimped out and decided to get a fillet instead.  I was planning to get some kind of local white fish, but then the salmon started calling to me.  I thought about protein, healthy omega-3s, good fats, and…resistance was futile, even though the price tag on salmon is a little steep.

As a compromise (with myself), I decided I’d buy the skin-on salmon, which was considerably less expensive than the skinless fillets.  I reasoned that I have good knife skills, and should be able to slice the skin right off, with minimal loss of meat.  And heck, I might as well save a few more dollars and buy the “Scale-On” salmon, since I was planning to cut the skin off anyway.  So I came home with a package of scale-on, skin-intact salmon.

But as I worked through the afternoon, I started dreaming about salmon with a delicious crispy skin, like I’ve had at restaurants.  You know what I’m talking about?  Mmmm….  So I did a little research, and convinced myself that, with the help of some step-by-step instructions from Fifteen Spatulas, I could replicate that crispy skin salmon.

Or not, but I won't argue.

Or not, but I won’t argue.

But now, thanks to my cost-saving-proclivities, I was going to have to de-scale the darned fillet.  D’oh.  So, I unwrapped it, grabbed my knife, and took a tentative rub along the skin.  Nothing.  Again.  Nothing. Wait a second, does this piece of fish even HAVE any scales?  It’s embarrassing how long I – a biologist – poked and prodded that piece of salmon, before finally deciding that the package lied.  My fillet was not, in fact, Scale-On.  My fillet was (whoot!) Scale-Off salmon.  Score!!!

So, I rinsed, dried, salted, and re-dried that salmon before gently laying it into a pan with a little bit of oil, skin side down, as Joanne recommended.

The color change makes cooking salmon super fun to watch (to me, at least).

The color change makes cooking salmon super fun to watch (to me, at least).

Unfortunately, I didn’t have tremendous success on the flip – the skin detached from the fillet – but it stayed in one piece and did get nice and crispy.  We served the fish over rice and sauteed veggies:



Are you a fish eater?  What’s your favorite fish dish?

Ever been deceived by product packaging (or try to de-scale an already scaleless fish)?

10 thoughts on “Yin Yoga and Fish Scales

  1. Pingback: You Want Me To Hold This Pose For HOW LONG? (Intro to Yin Yoga) | Run With Holly

  2. Silas

    I have this modified version of blackened seasoning that I make (usually with tilapia, but any white fish will work) where I replace the fennel with coriander, which gives it a nice, extra-citrusy flavor. Even Megan loves it, and she is not a fan of fish, in general. I grind the herbs and spices fresh, so it’s always really flavorful.

    1. Holly KN Post author

      I don’t cook much with coriander, but this sounds intriguing. Do you broil it? Grill it? Pan fry? I’m always on the hunt for tasty fish recipes. Nah, I’m always on the hunt for tasty RECIPES! 🙂

  3. Sarrilly

    I loooove salmon, even though I’m not normally much of a fish person otherwise. Your dinner looks yummy! How do you normally cook your Chinese veggies? (Looks like bok choy but I could be wrong…)

    1. Holly KN Post author

      It’s called “round spinach”. It’s has a small rounded leaf on a long, thin stalk. I usually default to bok choy or kai lan, because I’m familiar with both – but I’d decided it was time to expand my repertoire. So I crossed my fingers in hopes that round spinach wasn’t too bitter, and went for it. It was actually quite good – tender and mild.

      I usually saute garlic & onion in a touch of oil (vegetable + a little peanut), add mushrooms, cook until they release their moisture, then add the greens and a little water (if necessary). I dump a lid on the whole thing for just a minute or two to let the veggie steam. Then, I mix in a little bit of water/cornstarch/soy sauce mixture and turn off the heat. The cornstarch thickens to a sauce, and the veggie cooks the rest of the way in the warm sauce. Not especially inventive, but it’s becoming my go-to method for most Chinese green veggies.

  4. erica prier

    Oooo I just made a really yummy salmon dish recently: I marinated the fillets in mirin and miso paste (should be much easier for you to source than it was for me) for about an hour, then dipped the two sides in a combo of sesame seeds, crushed up nori and some sea salt for a thick crust. Then pan fried 🙂 It was pretty delish. We cook a decent amount of fish and a quick pan-fry is usually the best!

    1. Holly KN Post author

      Ooo! That does sound tasty (although I just had to look up ‘mirin’…). I’m going to have to give that one a try, too. Guessing you used a skinless fillet, though?


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