How to Cook Food that’s Good for the Student Brain

Fish is pretty much the best food you can have to build brain power as a student. Plus, fish is incredibly easy to cook. So if you need to stock up on some brain power, consider these recipes Most of the time, you can wrap the fish in foil and whack it in the oven, leaving it to cook while you study or unwind.

Spiced Tilapia

Like other freshwater fish, tilapia doesn’t have a strong fishy taste, but takes on the flavour of whatever you cook it with. So you’re going to add some cumin to give it a really warming, aromatic flavour.

When you buy tilapia, ask your fishmonger to clean (gut) it and (if it freaks you out a bit) take the head off.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 1

1 tilapia, gutted

1 lime

Olive oil

Sweet chilli dipping sauce

Ground cumin

75 millilitres of hot vegetable stock

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.

  2. Cut a piece of kitchen foil big enough to wrap the fish in. Fold up the edges so that when you put the stock in it doesn’t spill out and place on a baking tray.

  3. Wash the fish out under a trickle of cold water and then score slits in each side of the fish.

  4. Cut the lime into slices and place inside the fish.

  5. Mix one teaspoon of olive oil with two teaspoons of the sweet chilli dipping sauce and a pinch of ground cumin. Spoon the mixture over both sides of the tilapia, rubbing some of it into the slits.

  6. Place the fish on the foil and pour in the hot vegetable stock.

  7. Seal up the foil parcel and place the baking tray in the oven. Bake for around 25 to 30 minutes or until the fish is cooked. To check, open up the parcel and pull a bit of the flesh away from the fish with a fork. If it comes off easily and the juices run clear, the fish is cooked. If not, cook for 5 minutes longer.

  8. Use a fish slice or spatula to lift the tilapia from the kitchen foil and onto a plate. Serve with some vegetables or rice.

Per serving: Calories 326 (From Fat 79); Fat 8.8g (Saturated 2.3g); Cholesterol Trace; Sodium 475mg; Carbohydrate 20.3g (Dietary Fibre 4.3g); Protein 41.4g.

Lemon and Chilli Haddock

Here’s another recipe that adds a bit of a spicy kick to fish, although this time the taste is a bit more powerful! Haddock is a perfect replacement for cod, whose levels are falling due to over-fishing.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 1

1 slice of bread (brown or white), grated into breadcrumbs (or gently whizzed in a food processor)

Zest of 1 lemon (grate a lemon to get the lemon zest)

Pinch of dried chilli flakes or chopped fresh chilli

1 fillet of haddock (you choose the size depending on how hungry you are)

2 spoonfuls of mayonnaise

Lemon juice

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.

  2. Mix the breadcrumbs, lemon zest and chillies in a bowl.

  3. Rinse the haddock fillet underneath a trickle of cold water and dry with a kitchen roll or just gently shake off the excess water.

  4. Spoon a layer of mayonnaise over the top of the haddock and then sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the mayonnaise. Don’t pile on the breadcrumbs too thickly; you just need a light coating.

  5. Place on a baking tray and pop in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the fish is cooked.

  6. Squeeze over some lemon juice and serve with some roast vegetables or whatever else you fancy.

Per serving: Calories 447 (From Fat 221); Fat 24.6g (Saturated 3.7g); Cholesterol Trace; Sodium 424mg; Carbohydrate 15.7g (Dietary Fibre 0.6g); Protein 40.7g.

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