Delicious salmon Asian style (with cucumber ribbon and pickled red cabbage salads)

This dish is easy and versatile enough to use as the star dish for wowing guests, or to have with family and friends for a delicious weekend or weekday meal. The richness of salmon goes so well with the Asian flavours. It’s all about creating balance.

Ingredients

1 side of salmon (pin-boned – ask your fishmonger to do this for you) approximately 1-1.5kgs or buy salmon fillets – one piece per person
3 stalks lemongrass, white part only
1 knob (about 4cm) ginger
4 garlic cloves, crushed
½ cup dark soy sauce (or tamari if you are gluten free) or soy sauce if you don’t have dark soy
1 bunch coriander, leaves, stalks and roots finely chopped
cup honey (basically a good squeeze over the top of the fish)
5 spring onions, finely chopped
4-6 limes, cut in half (1 lime per person)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ bunch coriander, chopped for decoration

Cucumber ribbon salad

2-4 Lebanese cucumbers
1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
A small knob of ginger
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ bunch coriander, chopped for decoration

Pickled red cabbage salad

¼-½ red cabbage, shredded finely
1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
2 teaspoons sesame oil
A small knob of ginger
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ bunch coriander, chopped for decoration

Method

Salmon

If you have a powerful blender, chop the lemongrass roughly and pop into the blender along with the ginger and garlic. Pulse until you have a rough paste. Remove the paste to a bowl. Add the soy sauce (or tamari) and coriander to the paste and stir well. If you don’t have a blender, use a mortar and pestle, bash the lemongrass until fragrant and remove to a bowl. Grate the ginger and add to the bowl, along with the crushed garlic and coriander. Stir to combine. Place the fish into a ceramic or glass dish and cover with the marinade. Pop into the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Pre heat oven to 200˚C and line a large baking tray with baking paper. Place the salmon on the tray and drizzle the honey over the top. Bake in the oven for approximately 10 minutes or until the fish is just cooked but still pink in the centre. You do not want to overcook your fish.

While the fish is baking, get a large non-stick fry pan and put it on a high heat. Once hot, add the brown sugar. When the brown sugar has melted, add the lime halves facing down to caramelise. They are ready when they are a bit soft and have gained some colour.

Take the fish out of the oven and either transfer to a pretty platter or leave on the baking tray. Decorate the fish with the chopped coriander and spring onions. Place the caramelised limes around the fish. Serve with brown or white rice and cucumber ribbon and pickled red cabbage salads.

Cucumber ribbon salad

Using a potato peeler, slice ribbons of cucumber into a pretty bowl. Sprinkle the white and black sesame seeds over the top. In a clean jar add the mirin, brown rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic and ginger. Shake well and pour over the top. Toss the cucumber around using your hands or use two forks. Add the coriander. You can make this salad 2 hours in advance.

Pickled red cabbage salad

Add the finely shredded red cabbage to a pretty bowl. Sprinkle the white and black sesame seeds over the top. In a clean jar add the mirin, brown rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce or tamari, garlic and ginger. Shake well and pour over the top. Toss the red cabbage around using your hands or use two forks. Add the coriander. You can make this salad 2 hours in advance.

Serves 4 - 6
Dairy free
Gluten free (if tamari is used)
Nut free