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Cool food for warm weather

Try nutritious dishes that deliver nutrients, without raising your body temperature.

By Anna Chua-Norbert
Recipes by Chef Cyrille Soenen and Chef Anna Chua-Norbert

APRIL 2012

Gerard E. Mullin, the director of gastroenterology at Johns Hopkins Hospital, says “anything ingested that is lower than actual body temperature will initially produce a cooling effect systemically.” Eating cold foods during summer is not only healthy, but good common sense!

Cold food is much easier to prepare, compared to dishes that require hours of boiling or minutes of steaming. A fresh salad only needs 10 minutes: wash and chop the veggies, put them in a bowl, add garnish and dressing—and in a few moments you’ll be eating a filling and nutritious meal without having slaved away in front of a hot stove.

Another benefit of cold food is that you can take it with you in a chiller, and it’s ready to eat when you feel like it. Give these easy recipes a try: You can prepare them ahead of time, and reap the benefits of eating a good meal.

Salmon Tartar

Salmon Tartar

Chef Cyrille Soenen is a French chef who has lived in Manila for almost 15 years and has worked with the top hotels in the country. This is his favorite summer recipe, and if you don’t have salmon, you may use other seafood: tuna, scallop, prawns, tanigue, or lobster. Ensure the freshness of the fish by getting it early in the morning from the wet market or from your local grocery. For a change, you can add smoked salmon, about one-third the quantity of the salmon flesh in the recipe. Or you can also wrap the tartar mixture in a slice of smoked salmon to create a parcel.


½ kg trimmed salmon flesh
1 Tbsp chives, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
1Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp chopped coriander
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
A few drops of hot sauce
A few drops of lemon juice
¼ tsp fresh Kafir lime leaves, julienned


1. Cut the salmon in to small cubes (about 1/8 inch) and place in a mixing bowl.

2. Add the chives, shallots, coriander, olive oil, salt and pepper, Tabasco and lemon jus. Mix everything well.

3. Check the taste and correct as desired.

4. Serve casually in the mixing bowl, or arrange the salmon tartar on plates with lettuce leaves and toasted bread. Add the Kafir lime leaves on top just before serving.

Makes 4 servings, 256 calories per serving

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