When winter starts to fade away and spring begins to show its warmer days, there's nothing I love more than fresh Asian flavours and those fresh punchy Thai flavours are definitely some of my favourites when playing in the kitchen.
I have a real 'thing' for coconut at the moment, so creating a flavour-filled coconut rice was the main inspiration for this meal. Everything else just came together as I wandered through the shops, picking fresh produce and matching flavours.
As a source of inspiration, I used the concepts for methods of a tom ka gai (a thai soup) and risotto to put together this recipe as a trial, and it turned out pretty well. The flavours came through and it wasn't too difficult at all.
Have a go and see what you think!
Serves 2 (with a bit of leftover rice ~ hello midnight snacking!)
2 salmon fillets, fresh, pin-boned and skinless
Coriander Coconut Rice
250g jasmine rice, rinsed
4 kaffir lime leaves, 2 thinly sliced and 2 scrunched
1 lemongrass stalk, cut into 4-5cm pieces and bruised
1 green chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
1 bunch of coriander, chopped leaves, reserve 2-3 roots if possible
1/2 bunch of shallots, white/light part, finely sliced - divide into half
2 limes, juiced (if you cannot find kaffir lime leave, use the zest of both limes)
300ml chicken (or vegetable) stock
400ml coconut cream
Ginger Stir Fried Greens
1 bunch of any Chinese vegetable (Chinese broccoli, Buk Choy, Pak Choy, etc), cleaned and chopped to 5cm pieces
3cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated (fine grate)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 lemon, juiced
Fish sauce (to taste)
Red chilli, deseeded and sliced (optional)
Black sesame seeds
Some chopped coriander and sliced shallots (take a little from the rice ingredients)
A note on preparation
Take some time to get everything ready, sliced, cut, chopped, measure... I can't stress the importance of this enough. In all of my recipes, it is always best to spend time prepping all of the ingredients and setting them. Not because they're difficult, but because doing this saves you time later ~ especially if you're cooking for a dinner party. It also helps with being able to clean as you go. Being prepared takes the stress out of timing once you're cooking... and most importantly means you've got time to enjoy it and have a wine while cooking like a pro!
1. Ginger Stir Fry Marinade (STEPS 1 and 7) - combine ALL marinade ingredients and stir together. Add the fish sauce to taste. Set aside near the prepped greens.
2. Coriander Coconut Rice (STEPS 2-5 and 8) - Heat a flat non-stick pan on a medium-high heat and add a dash of vegetable oil. When the oil is heated add the kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, green chilli, coriander root, HALF of the shallots and stir until aromatic.
Before STEP 3, check your pan isn't too dry, you should still see a bit of oil, as it needs to coat the rice (like making a risotto).
3. Add the rice and stir to coat lightly with oil and ensure the aromatics are distributed through the rice.
4. Add 1/3 of the stock at a time, stirring to combine. Wait for it to absorb, stirring occasionally, before adding the next 1/3 and repeat again for the final 1/3.
5. After adding all of the stock, pour all of the coconut cream into the pan and stir to combine. Bring it to a boil, turn the heat DOWN to medium-low and continue to stiry the rice occasionally for 10-15 minutes, or until the rice is ALMOST completely cooked. SET ASIDE - it will continue absorbing liquid/cooking while it rests. NOTE: You need to watch it, as the coconut cream can caramelise (read: BURN) easily. If you feel like it is getting too dry, add an extra dash of stock or water.
6. Seared Salmon (STEP 6) - Heat a flat pan on a medium-high heat and add oil. When the oil is heated, add the salmon and sear it on both sides. Cook it to your liking, although I'd recommend keeping it medium-rare. Once cooked, put it aside on baking paper and season.
7. Ginger Stir Fry Marinade - Heat a wok on high heat. Add the Ginger Stir Fry Marinade, which will bubble quickly. Put the greens in immediately and stir fry for a minute or two making sure to coat all of them in the marinade. These cook really quickly!
8. Coriander Coconut Rice - Fluff the rice with a fork and toss through the second half of the shallots, fresh chopped coriander and the lime juice. If you have additional coconut cream, you could also toss through a small amount at this point too.
SERVE sprinkled with suggested garnishes and ENJOY
A Dry Riesling would be delicious with this meal.
I hope everyone enjoys this as much as we did!
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