Friday, May 27, 2011

How to Cook Baked Salmon in Thai Red Curry Sauce

This baked salmon is aromatic and delicious. Salmon steaks or fillets are baked for 20 minutes in an easy-to-make Thai red curry sauce that compliments the rich taste of the salmon. But unlike a lot of salmon sauce recipes, this one is lactose-free, calling for coconut milk instead of cream. If you're game, cook or serve this salmon in a banana leaf boat (as pictured here) - "how to" link included with recipe. ENJOY!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
  • SERVES 2-4
  • 2-4 salmon steaks (or substitute salmon fillets), portioning 1 per person
  • garnish: fresh coriander OR basil, spring onion, and fresh chili
  • optional: banana leaf boats (see link below for "how to make banana leaf boats")
  • RED CURRY SAUCE for Salmon:
  • 1/4 cup shallots or purple onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 red chili, de-seeded and sliced (OR 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper) - reduce for milder fish
  • 1 thumb-size piece galangal OR ginger, sliced
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, snipped with scissors into small pieces - discard stem (buy them frozen at Asian/Chinese stores)
  • 1 cup good-quality coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar (brown if you have it)
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves and stems
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly-squeezed lime juice
For instructions on how to make banana leaf boats (in which to cook or serve your salmon), see: How to Make Banana Leaf Boats (with pictures).
  1. Rinse your salmon steaks (or fillets) and set aside to dry while you make the red curry sauce.
  2. Place all ingredients for "Red Curry Sauce for Salmon" in a food processor or chopper (if using a mini chopper, just add as much coconut milk as you can, adding the rest later). A blender can also be used.
  3. Blitz the ingredients well to create a fragrant red curry sauce.
  4. Pour about 1/4 of the sauce into the bottom of a covered casserole-type dish for baking. Now add the salmon steaks, turning them over several times to cover. Pour a little more sauce over each steak.
  5. Cover the casserole dish with a lid or foil and bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the thickness of your steaks (fillets may only require 15 minutes). Salmon is cooked when inner flesh is no longer translucent when pulled apart with a fork.
  6. If Cooking Salmon in Banana Leaf: This salmon can be wrapped up in banana leaf (like individual packets) or cooked in banana leaf boats (as pictured). Be sure to place the packets or boats inside a casserole dish (or something to catch the drippings), as banana leaves are porous and the sauce will leak somewhat.
  7. Serve with a little spring onion and fresh chili, fresh coriander and/or basil leaves. Any leftover sauce can be briefly heated up and served as a side sauce. ENJOY!
Serving Tips:If serving this dish to company, you can either bake the salmon in a casserole dish or in banana leaf. But because banana leaves loose their color and texture when cooked, for nicer presentation, I recommend transferring the cooked salmon to a fresh boat before serving, spooning a little of the sauce over the fish and then adding the toppings for a professional finish. ENJOY!

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