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Boost Your Brain

Tea-poached salmon and crispy salmon skin with avocado and kale pasta

Nutrition and your brain’s ability to function are closely linked. This recipe features ingredients that are rich in antioxidants, good (monounsaturated) fats, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals that can help boost your brain power, increase your focus, and improve your memory — benefiting both your mind and body. Recipe makes 2 portions.

Tea-poached salmon

• 3 green tea bags • 1⁄2 cup mirin (you can substitute this Japanese wine with any white wine mixed with 1 teaspoon of sugar) • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns • 1 litre water • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt • 400g salmon fillet (cut into two portions) • 250g whole meal spaghetti Spaghetti dressing • 1 small/medium avocado • 1 tablespoon lemon juice • 2 tablespoons plain yoghurt • 1 teaspoon dried parsley • 1 cup chopped kale • 2 garlic cloves • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil • 1⁄3 teaspoon salt • Dash of ground pepper • Mesclun salad greens • Sesame seeds for garnish


1) Pre-heat oven to 200°C (for salmon skin).

2) While the oven is pre-heating, bring 1 litre of water to boil in a medium-sized pot. When the water has reached boiling point, remove from heat and add tea bags.

3) After 3 minutes, remove tea bags. Add mirin, black peppercorns, and salt, and bring to a boil before reducing to low heat.

4) Prepare salmon by removing bones. The best way to remove the bones is by using tweezers. Remove skin by making a cut between the flesh and skin with a sharp knife and gently pull the skin while pressing the flesh side down. Alternatively, glide your knife between the skin and flesh with skin side down.

5) Slide salmon pieces into the pot and cook in a gentle simmer, over low heat. The water should be not bubbling vigorously. After 7-8 minutes, remove salmon from pot and set aside.

6) Place salmon skin between two baking paper pieces or foil on a baking tray, and place another baking dish on top to ensure that it turns out crispy and flat after baking. Bake for 15 minutes in your pre-heated 200°C oven and set aside when done.

7) Cook whole meal spaghetti according to package (typically 12 minutes) in salted water, drain, and set aside.

8) For the spaghetti dressing, place avocado flesh, lemon juice, yoghurt, dried parsley, kale, garlic cloves, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper in a food processor and blend till well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning (salt/pepper) to your liking.

9) Toss spaghetti with dressing and mesclun salad greens.

10) To serve, sprinkle sesame seeds on spaghetti.

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