Guest Post: A Nordic Fish Breakfast

Last week I was on twitter and a tweet by Dietitian Jennifer McGuire @JenniferMcG_RD caught my eye, it was sardines with brie titled nordic breakfast. I just adored the idea of having a healthy fish for breakfast its lean, high in protein and omega 3 fatty acids. So me being me shot her and email and asked for a guest post on the topic and she kindly obliged. She is actually quite an expert on fish and is the dietitian for The National Fishing Institute. 

I remember as a child sometimes having kippers on toast with butter for breakfast. Kippers are smoked herrings. We are headed to the UK next week and for a week staying with my parents in Scotland, where I went to High School and University. We plan to head to the Highlands for a weekend, I really want to show this amazing place to my hubby and Jasmine. When I was looking at the area, I read about kippers from the west coast and it got me hungry. Its on my list of foods to eat when home, and I hope after this post you may consider fish for breakfast :-) 

My interest in Nordic breakfasts sprung from jetlag-induced confusion.  I was in Norway a couple weeks ago with the Norwegian Seafood Export Council to learn about the delicious fish responsibly harvested from the cold, deep waters surrounding Norway’s 50,000 miles of coastline.  Norway is just about halfway around the world from where I live on the Hawaiian island of Oahu and the time difference is exactly twelve hours.  So when I woke up for breakfast on the first day in Norway at 8am, back home dinner was being served.  As a dietitian and lover of wholesome, tasty food, dinner equals seafood at least twice a week.  To close the gap between my geographic location in Norway and physiologic orientation in Hawaii, I chose seafood for breakfast.

The sunrise seafood offerings I saw at the beautiful breakfast bars in Norway were smoked mackerel, smoked salmon, and sardines.  There were also a variety of cheeses and hearty whole-grain breads.  After a bit of indecision because there are few foods I adore more than seafood and cheese, I opted for a slice of Swiss and smoked mackerel.  By the time my trip was over, I started to crave a savory punch of protein each morning, and tried just about every scrumptious seafood and cheese combo the hotels had to offer.

Back home in Hawaii, cereal sounded a little unsatisfying.  So I decided to keep up the healthy habit of fish for breakfast at least once a week.  So far I’ve paired sardines with brie...

…and mackerel with tomatoes and cucumbers.  They both took about three minutes to make, because all the fish are available in tins or pouches.

In addition to boosting my omega-3 levels, Nordic breakfasts are a little memento of the amazing experiences I had visiting Norway.  I can safely say I will not be wearing a wool coat and scarf in Hawaii, so the seafood breakfasts are the best reminder I’ve got.

For more fish tips and to follow Jennifer -

@JenniferMcG_RD Oahu
Seafood-loving dietitian for the National Fisheries Institute. From Texas, lucky enough to live on Oahu.

Has anyone else ever had fish for breakfast?


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  1. Nothing more than a tuna sandwich an odd day or two, but this looks delicious!

  2. Sardines for breakfast...I love the idea.

  3. Sounds very healthy! i love fish, I usually have scrambled eggs and smoked salmon if I'm going to have fish for breakfast :)

  4. Never had fish for breakfast seriously . A tuna sandwich once in a while but fish in this form would be wonderful...
    And i hate cereal too , savory protein rich breakfast i love ...

  5. I've never had fish for breakfast but this sounds great and protein packed dish..thanks for sharing this idea!

  6. I'd eat a Nordic breakfast, for sure. They all sound great to me...and already I love Lox w/ cream cheese and bagels and onions and capers and lemons (oh my!), so why not!? Although, I'd love to be in Norway eating said breakfast even more so.

  7. Saw some lovely sardines in Whole Foods the other day...the only time I've ever eaten them is on a visit to Portugal. Not sure I'd like them for breakfast though!

  8. Crikey, now you've made me hungry for kippers on toast (also a childhood favourite of mine) AND sardines with brie! I love that combo...
    Robyn x

  9. I love the idea of fish for breakfast; I'm going to try it tomorrow. I know there's some sardines in the pantry . .

  10. A great way to boost that breakfast!

  11. Awesome guest post! In Cayman, almost all traditional breakfasts have fish because you just can't get away from it here. Heh, even the MacDonalds (not McDonalds) has Salt Fish and Ackee on the breakfast menu. Must give brie and sardines a little exploration of my own. Well done!

  12. Wonderful guest posting! I never do think of fish for breakfast (well, there is the occasional bagels and lox). I love it paired with a small wedge of creamy brie. There's a little bit of everything on this plate.

  13. This looks right up my sardine loving alley! The cheese slices next to them look very nice...

  14. What an interesting post! My husband has canned mackerel most every morning; wonder if he would care to add brie to his repas.

  15. Looks healthy and delicious breakfast. Nice guest post.

  16. I would not hesitate to have fish fro the problem is try to convince my husband to do the same :-) Hope you have a great week ahead Rebecca!

  17. Marnely oh hope you try it
    Peackins oh me too
    Angie :-)
    Xinmei love the salmon and eggs idea
    Sangeeta :-)
    Suman my pleasure
    Girlichef can I have one of your bagels for my breakie!
    Barbara oh go on !
    Robyn :-)
    rosemary oh thats neat enjoy
    belinda :-) for sure
    parsley sage oh thats cool love learning about Cayman from you
    Claudia thanks
    chef E :-)
    Rita your hubby is smart
    swathi thanks
    Juliana he can eat something else he he

  18. This looks like a very healthy way to start the day. I can't say I've ever had fish for breakfast but I'd definitely give it a try.
    Great post!

  19. I love fish for breakfast. It's funny you should associate fishy breakfasts with a place that is other than Hawaii. I'll elaborate- when I got married on Maui, we stayed there for 3 1/2 weeks eating nothing but poki, lilikoi, and leftover wedding cake. Well, a few other things, but mostly that. I always think of poki as one of my favorite breakfast foods. I still love smoked trout for breakfast and I think some of your other suggestions look delicious too. Can't wait to try.

  20. I remember reading about kippers in all of my Agatha Christie novels and wondering how they tasted; I might reserve this for lunch though, at breakfast, fish looks a little too much for me!

  21. Being Scandinavian, I was raised with herring and sardines so would love all of it but probably not for breakfast. I could make it my dinner in a heartbeat.

    Wonderful guest post!

  22. Koreans often have fish for breakfast!! Including soups made with dried anchovies. :) So this looks quite good to me, Rebecca.

  23. Kim good on ya
    Sabrina oh I missed eating this in Hawaii sob
    taste of beirut he he now u know
    susan thanks so much
    Kay oh Korean breakie sounds great

  24. How interesting, I have had smoked fish for breakfast or brunch before but I do love sardines. Wonderful :)


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