Baked Salmon in Curry Sauce
The rich taste of salmon marries well with the intense flavors of Thai cuisine. Although you can easily use a packaged Thai curry paste or sauce from the store for this recipe, you will nearly always get better results by making your own from scratch. The red curry sauce featured here is quick and easy to whip up, plus you get to choose your own level of chili spiciness.
2 to 4 salmon steaks
1 banana leaf (optional)
1/2 cup fresh coriander
1 cup good-quality coconut milk
1 shallot, diced
3 cloves garlic
1 red chili
, minced or 1 to 2 teaspoon Thai chili sauce or 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon grated galangal or ginger
4 kaffir lime leaves, cut into thin strips
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder
1 tablespoon palm sugar or 1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves and stems
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
Place all sauce ingredients together in a food processor, chopper, or blender. Blitz to create a fragrant red curry sauce. Set aside.
If you have a banana leaf, use it to line a baking dish for the salmon (a casserole-type baking dish works well).
The leaf may extend beyond the boundaries of the dish -- this is fine. The salmon can also be made without the banana leaf -- simply grease the bottom of the dish with a little oil.
Rinse and pat dry the salmon. Pour about 1/4 of the sauce into the bottom of your lined or unlined baking dish.
Add the salmon steaks, turning them over several times in the sauce. Finally, drizzle a little more sauce over each steak. If using banana leaf, gently fold the sides of the leaf over the fish to cover it.
Cover the baking dish with a lid or foil and bake at 350°F for 20-30 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fish.
Remove salmon from oven and check it by inserting a fork at the thickest part and gently pulling back. Salmon is cooked when inner flesh is no longer translucent.
Before serving, taste test the fish and sauce, adding a little more fish sauce (instead of salt) until desired flavor is acheived.
Briefly heat up the leftover sauce and serve on the side along with Thai jasmine-scented rice. Top the dish with a generous sprinkling of fresh coriander and enjoy.