Cooking for the Sensitive Gut

Pan roasted salmon with mini chive potato cakes

One food group that is great to eat if you have a sensitive gut is fish. Fish and other seafood are high in protein and other important micro nutrients and do not contain carbohydrates. So there is nothing to ferment and cause troublesome symptoms in a sensitive gut.

Salmon is known as an oily fish and contains omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for health. We need omega-3 fatty acids for numerous normal body functions including controlling blood clotting and building cell membranes in the brain. Since our bodies cannot make omega-3 fatty acids we must obtain them through food.

Salmon is a great fish to include in meals. It is quick to cook and easy to eat and can be served in all sorts of ways. In this recipe it is prepared very simply – just pan roasted and served with some very simple, but delicious chive flavoured potato cakes.

Just a note on portions. Salmon is quite a rich fish and so I would recommend a portion of between 100g and 150g.

This sort of meal is perfect for summer eating and can be served with a small salad made up of any of the vegetables featured in the photograph. Radish, fennel, carrot and dill are all low in fermentable carbohydrates and would be lovely chopped up and dressed simply with a squeeze of lemon juice seasoned with sea salt and black pepper and a little good quality olive oil. Ordinary potatoes are fine to eat for most people and so too are chives. They will add a great savoury flavour to the fish cakes.

Potato and chive cakes

Serves 4


  • 300g old potatoes
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 tbsp chived, finely chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil for shallow frying


Peel the potatoes and cut them into quarters. Place the potato pieces in a pan of water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the potatoes until they are soft and beginning to fall apart a little. Drain the potatoes and leave to cool. When cooled mash the potatoes using a ricer or potato masher. Place the potatoes in a bowl and gradually add a little beaten egg to loosen the potatoes (you may not need to use it all), season with pepper and salt and add the chives. The mixture needs to be quite firm. Shape the mashed potato into small balls, approximately 5cm across. Flatten the potato balls so they are about 2 cm high. Place the potato cakes onto a baking sheet lined with silicone baking paper and place in the fridge for 20 minutes to half an hour. This will firm up the potatoes making them easier to cook.

Place a little olive oil in a non stick frying pan and heat up gently. Add the potato cakes and fry until they begin to turn golden brown. Remove from the pan and keep warm while you cook the salmon.

Pan roasted salmon

Serves 4

4 pieces of salmon each weighing 150g each. Either fillets or steaks will be fine.

30g unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 tsp chopped chives


Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6. Run your fingers over the flesh of the salmon and remove any small bones with tweezers. Season the salmon with a little salt and black pepper and place in a lightly oiled, oven proof, non-stick frying pan. Brush a little olive oil over the pink flesh of each piece of salmon. Cook the salmon pieces in the pan, skin-side down, for 2 minutes. Turn them over, then place the pan in the preheated oven for another 3 to 4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets.

While the salmon is cooking mix the chives with the butter and place in the fridge to chill until required.

To check if the salmon is cooked. Pull the fillets apart a little with a small sharp pointed knife and look inside. Salmon goes from being an orangey colour to an opaque pink when it is cooked. It is important not to over cook the salmon.

To serve: Place a salmon fillet on each plate and dot with a little chive butter. Serve two or three potato and chive cakes with each piece of salmon. A wedge of lemon would be lovely too.

For more information on how to manage your sensitive gut go to the IBS NetworkIBSLogowithstrap March 2011

This entry was written by Joan Ransley and published on July 17, 2014 at 11:10 pm. It’s filed under Dinner and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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