I created this salmon recipe with my husband in mind…he doesn’t really like fish (what?!?). Besides being absolutely delicious, oily fish contain specific Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) which are vital for brain function, for kids when they grow up and also for adults through their lives. So I come up with a fragrant sauce to cover the salmon with, inspired from my travels to Thailand as well as Jaime’s laksa recipe.
You might raise an eyebrow at the amount of ingredients going into this dish…however, these are ingredients I use often in my recipes and I have in my pantry.I would encourage you to have the same as they are great to just build a recipe whenever you don’t have a recipe in mind.
WHY IS THIS GOOD AT DINNER TIME
Dinner time is a time to unwind, with your body preparing for sleep. So the last thing your body needs is a large portion of food with all macros combined. Animal protein and raw food is the most difficult to digest. During the week I tend to have bowls of nutritious soups as cooked vegetables are the easiest for your body to break down and also the food is already pureed (lazy meal). To make an animal protein more digestable, poaching is a much better method because liquid carries heat rather than fat. In this case because the fish is already oily you don’t need to add any additional oil to gently cook in the oven. Also combining with complex fibrous carbodydrates like veggies and contain less of simple carbodydrates like glucose and fructose which helps with blood sugar levels and therefore weight control. Also, don’t hold back at the amount of veggies you put onto your place. Veggies should always make the majority of your plate, while the animal protein should be around 15% of your plate.
- Salmon – Rich in Omega 3 fatty acids family (EPA and DHA) which are essential for proper brain function, control blood cholesterol, improve immune function, reduces inflammation and maintain water balance;
- Garlic – Allicin and diallyl sulphides are the main beneficial ingredients with antibacterial and antifungal properties;
- Ginger – Fights colds and flu. It also protects and heals the gut;
- Turmeric – Contains curcumin (an antioxidant) thought to help reduce inflammation;
- Chilli – Capsaicin helps remove toxins and reduces hunger, boosts metabolism;
- Coriander – Detoxifying, antibacterial & immune enhancing oils;
- Spring greens – High in vitamin C, vit K which helps the blood coagulate, and Ca. Combining spring greens with a source of protein ensures it gets absorbed;
- Asparagus – Contains inulin, a prebiotic which encourages healthy gut flora. Aspartic acid neutralises excess ammonia which could otherwise result in feeling drained (boosts energy).
A word on coconut:
Coconut is a very debated fruit (it is a fruit not a nut, similar to peaches). All recognised health organisations advise against consumption due to the high saturated content. Coconut contains high proportion of lauric acid (a medium chain fatty acid) which can also be found in breast milk, palm kernel oil, certain nuts and in small amounts in cow’s and goat’s milk. It was believed that lauric acid mainly increases the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) (or the “good” cholesterol) (source: Mensink RP, Zock PL, Kester AD, Katan MB, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2oo3) . The same study also concluded that the effects of the lauric acid on heart disease are uncertain. The reason behind this is there are multiple factors affecting heart disease which cannot be studied in isolation. For this recipe I recommend using light coconut milk so you don’t get the same fat intake as normal coconut milk and in this way you are controlling what you are eating. Also, this recipe also contains half of can of light coconut milk so per portion you don’t get that much.
Salmon Thai stylePrint Recipe
- 4 salmon fillets
- ¼ of lime per person
- 1 tsp fish sauce per person
- For the sauce:
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 5 cm ginger root
- 1 chilli
- 5cm turmeric root (or 2 tsp turmeric powder)
- 3 spring onions
- 4 kaffir lime leaves
- Small bunch of coriander (10g)
- 2 tbps olive oil
- 1 tbps soy sauce
- 400g (1 can) chopped tomatoes
- 200g (1/2 a can) light coconut milk
- To serve with:
- Bunch of asparagus
- 4 spring greens
Preheat the oven at 180 degrees. Make the sauce: Place garlic, ginger (don’t bother peeling it), chilli (take the top out), turmeric, spring onions, kaffir lime leaves, coriander, olive oil and soy sauce in a food processor with an S blade. Blitz until a smooth paste.
Place the salmon fillets on a tray and bake at 180 degrees foe 20 min.
Heat a deep pan and when hot pour the paste in and fry a min or so until it slightly changes in colour. Add chopped tomatoes and coconut milk and bring to simmer and cook for 20 min or until the salmon has cooked.
Steam the greens. Wash the spring greens and asparagus. Slice the spring greens in 5 cm thick slices and leave the end where the leaves become a bit too thick. Don’t throw the end away but keep them in the fridge to cook the vegan broth. Break the asparagus close to the end (it will break where it’s most freshest). Cut at an angle to create some nice shards. Put the steamer on a pan of simmering water. If you don’t have a steamer just use a colander with a lid on top. Start with the asparagus first. After 2 min put the spring greens. These will take another 2 min to cook.
Place one fillet of salmon onto a warm plate. Pour a ladle of sauce on top of salmon. Add 1 tsp of fish sauce and serve with ¼ of lime and a generous side of veggies. Veggies should always make the majority of your plate.
Instead of salmon you can try wonderful tofu and just place it in the sauce 5-10 min before the sauce is ready to get infused with all the flavours. Another great method of cooking the salmon is just to poach it in the wonderful sauce. So just slide the fillets 5 min into the sauce cooking and cook for further 20min. If you have any leftover sauce you can always freeze it or use it straight away to give flavour to cooked quinoa or lentils or even beans.