I grew up in a very meat-eating family where beef, lamb and chicken almost always took center stage. This trend followed me into adult life, mostly because I had no idea how to cook fish.
I’ve been trying to incorporate a bit more fish into my diet for awhile now, but my default tends to be sushi, more specifically raw salmon. In my opinion, really good salmon is a bit wasted when you cook it.
Sushi-grade salmon (and even regular salmon) is quite pricey in Australia so now I’m making more of an effort to learn to cook salmon well and make it interesting.
This is a recipe I found in my favorite book of curries. I made it with the sauce, but for a REALLY simple meal (or if you are avoiding coconut milk), it doesn’t need the sauce. Warning, it’s a bit intense, so if you prefer things milder, I’d cut the amount of garlic in half.
I serve this dish with yellow daal and sautéed spinach. Leftovers make a great lunch for the next day.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- Cayenne pepper to taste
- 6 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 lb boneless, skinless salmon fillet
- 1 T macadamia nut oil
Optional Ingredients (if you decide to make it more of a curry)
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut milk
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Cayenne pepper to taste
- Mix the salt, turmeric and garlic together in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the top of salmon fillets and gently press it into the salmon so it coats it. Cover the fish, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to sink in.
- In a large skillet, add the oil and heat to a medium temperature. Once sufficiently warm, add the salmon with the spice covered-side down. Sear the salmon for about 2 minutes until it gets a nice crust. Turn the salmon over and cook for 2 minutes.
- If you’re making the sauce, you’ll want to mix the coconut milk, pepper (and additional cayenne pepper, if you like things hot) while you are searing the fish. Stir, and pour over the fish once you’ve seared the other side of the salmon. Using a spatula, gently lift the fish so that some of the sauce gets under it and releases some of the browned bits of garlic and spices.
- Reduce the heat to medium low. Cover the skillet and continue cooking for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Fish is ready when it’s barely starting to flake.
- If the sauce isn’t think enough for your liking, remove the fish so you don’t overcook it, and then turn up the heat to medium and allow to simmer until it reduces more.
Note: If you’re planning on serving the salmon without the sauce, once you’ve turned the salmon, cook for another 5 minutes until the fish is barely starting to flake.