Confinement Snacking: Angel Hair With Salmon Fillet & Barbary Wolfberry Fruit Drink Recipes

Usually between the third and sixth day after delivery, the breast milk comes in and becomes available to the newborn. More blood flows to the new mom’s breasts, and some of the surrounding tissues would swell, causing them to become tender and swollen. While not all new moms will experience engorgement, Valerie had a bad one yesterday!

We tried the cold cabbage leaves method to ease her bounteous bosom but it didn’t help much. Her breasts were throbbing and hard. Valerie was practically in tears. The swelling extended all the way to her armpits, and she had a temperature but after pumping out her breast milk and taking 2 paracetamol, she felt better and asked me to prepare her snack. That, to me, is the greatest consolation to any mom… when her sick child ask for food. 🙂

When I arrived at Valerie’s, I told her I have a special snack for her that afternoon – Salmon!

Depending on one’s dialect group, eating fish during confinement period can be frowned upon or highly encouraged especially between the Cantonese and the Teochews. I forgot which of the two dialect group is yay and which is nay.

The reason for NAY is because they believe the new mother will smell fishy (ordour that will stay a long time in her body) and the reason for YAY is that fish rich in omega-3 fat content can nourish the new mom to restore her balance and return to good health quickly.

I chose salmon to be Valerie’s snack simply because salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. It is also a good source of biotin, choline, essential amino acids, iodine, niacin, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, potassium, protein, selenium, vitamins B6 and B12, and vitamin D.

Some of the known benefits of eating fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids regularly (at least once a week) as health supportive food are:

  • Cardiovascular benefits – regular intake (2-3 times per week) of fish rich in omega-3 fat is associated with decreased risk of numerous cardiovascular problems, including heart attack, stroke, heart arrhythmia, high blood pressure, and high triglycerides in the blood.
  • Eye benefits especially decreased risk of two eye-related problems, the macular degeneration and the chronic dry eye.
  • Decreased risk for several types of cancer i.e. breast cancer, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, blood cell or lymph cell-related cancers including leukemia, multiple myeloma, and non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
  • Improved mood and cognition – DHA is considered by many researchers to be the most important fat found in the human brain, and the unusual concentration of this omega-3 fatty acid in salmon is associated with decreased risk of depression, decreased risk of hostility in some studies of teenagers, and decreased risk of cognitive decline in older persons.
  • Joint protection by decreasing risk of joint inflammation, provide special support for joint cartilage, insulin effectiveness, and control of inflammation in the digestive tract.


Angel Hair with Salmon Fillet

Mis en place for Angel Hair with Salmon Fillet:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Angel Hair Pasta
Norwegian Salmon Fillet (skin on and bones extracted)
Goji Berries
Wood Ear Black Fingus (julienne)

Angel Hair with Salmon Fillet

Season the salmon fillet with coarse black peppercorns and any type of salt (black, pink, sea or kosher but avoid table salt).
I also cut the skin of the salmon to allow even cooking of the fish as well as making it easier to crisp the skin.

Angel Hair with Salmon Fillet

Most people would fry the salmon flesh side down first as the skin tend to pull and curl the fish up making it hard to cook evenly.
I had cut across the skin so that was not a problem.
Also, I hold the fish down for a few seconds after putting them in the very lightly greased (2 drops of olive oil and swirl) hot pan to hold its shape and to ensure even doneness.
When 2/3 of the sides of the fish has turned opaque, turn the fish over and cook for another minute or two, depending on your heat and desired doneness.
Valerie is careful about raw food so I cooked till the fish had very little translucency in the middle and let the residual heat finish the cooking while I prepare the Angel Hair pasta which took only 2 minutes to cook.

Angel Hair with Salmon Fillet

When the salmon is about ready, I added a small dollop of unsalted butter to caramelise and lend a velvety richness to the fish.

Angel Hair with Salmon Fillet

In a huge pot, add enough salt to boiling water and cook pasta to the texture you desire.
I cooked them in vigorous boil for 2 minutes without oil.
I’ve also added a pinch of minced dried bay leaves into the water.

Angel Hair with Salmon Fillet

Drain away the pasta water, seasoned with a bit of parsley or whatever herbs you like and have at hand.
Drizzle enough olive oil to moisturise the pasta.
The plate in background was Ryan’s (he doesn’t like the black fungus and goji berries).
For Valerie’s plate, I added some boiled wood ear fungus julienne and some goji berries.
The goji berries I bought are the semi-dried ones and so they tasted soft, slightly chewy and sweet.
I rinsed but did not cook the goji berries; I simply tossed them into the hot pasta.

After eating and approving her snack, Valerie was due to extract more milk. Ryan teased baby Tae Jin, “You are drinking faster than mommy can produce.”

The love of a mother knows no bounds.

Happy eating and bonding 🙂

The Goji Berries or more accurately Barbary Wolfberry Fruit I bought was from Eu Yan Sang and here’s the link:

Barbary Wolfberry Fruit Drink Recipe
Add 1 tablespoon of the wolfberries (not more than 20gm) into a 250ml cup of very hot water, cover and steep for 15-20 minutes before consumption. Always store opened tin in fridge and remember to rinse berries before using. Suitable for daily consumption. Known benefits are:

  • Nourishes Yin
  • Enriches blood
  • Benefits vitality
  • Improves visual acuity

Information credit on benefits of eating Salmon goes to

Click here to see preparation method for Wood Ear. There is no need to season the wood ear in this recipe.

P.S. Although I have cooked traditional confinement meals for my sister and aunt, snacks cooked during Valerie’s confinement were never tested. Valerie liked them so I share my preparations with you.

Since Valerie already has a confinement caterer, I do not want to overdose her on the traditional herbs and spices used during this period, but the idea of balancing and restoring her to good health is definitely taken into careful consideration.

My rationale is that she needs to enjoy her meal and as long as the food properties that I am preparing do not clash with our traditional confinement nourishment concept, I am game enough to supplement her diet with unconventional menu which easily includes Ryan.

Hence, I entitled my posts “Confinement Snacks” instead of “Confinement Food”.

“What we eat, who prepares it, who is at the table, the origin of the dish and why we eat it is a form of communication.” – The Bonding Tool

I hope you will also enjoy Angel Hair with Salmon Fillet and Barbary Wolfberry Fruit Drink Recipes.

Always talk with your health care professional if you have concerns or allergy.

5 Responses to “Confinement Snacking: Angel Hair With Salmon Fillet & Barbary Wolfberry Fruit Drink Recipes”
  1. Like the salmon, thanks for your suggestions for
    how to prepare it. No table salt ? ? ?
    Love, hugs and happy family … ME

  2. Lignum Draco says:

    I thought you didn’t cook any more? But now there’s obviously a reason to. 🙂

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