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Recipes | Tropical Thai Salmon

Tropical Thai Salmon

This healthful and elegant dish is perfect when you’re looking to impress. The rich salmon is heart-healthy and full of omega-3’s while the brown rice adds a heartiness and richness with added coconut milk. I love using many different colored papayas for this recipe - everything from red to bright yellow gives a dramatic presentation. This recipe won first place in the First Annual Bastyr Cooking Competition. Enjoy!

Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 2-3 hours to marinate, 1 hour 25 minutes to cook

1 pound wild-caught King salmon
1 Tb olive oil

3 tablespoons fresh minced ginger
1/2 cup wheat-free low-sodium soy sauce
2-3 cloves fresh garlic
1 dried chili (about 2 in. long)
1/2 cup Trader Joe's Thai Spiced Peanuts
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

Coconut Rice:
2 cups short-grain brown rice
3 cups water
15 ounce can ‘lite’ coconut milk
1/2-3/4 cup regular coconut milk
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons brown rice syrup
2 stalks lemongrass, bruised with the blunt edge of a knife

2 cups diced red Caribbean papaya
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Cilantro oil garnish:
3/4 cup cilantro
1/2 cup olive oil


  1. Cut salmon into four equal pieces. Blend all ingredients for marinade in food processor. Place salmon and marinade into shallow baking dish and marinate for 2-3 hours.
  2. Place water and lite coconut milk into large pot and bring to boil with the rice. Once boiling, reduce heat and cover to simmer– do not stir! Check rice after about 50 minutes cooking time. While rice cooks, make salsa and cilantro oil garnish. When rice reaches optimal tenderness, uncover pot and stir to allow remaining liquid to reduce. Add the regular coconut milk, lemongrass, rice syrup and fish sauce. Stir and cook until a creamy risotto-like texture results. Remove the lemongrass and turn off the heat. Keep covered on the stove until salmon has been cooked.
  3. Put papaya, lime juice and ½ cup chopped cilantro into a bowl and stir until papaya is well-coated. Set aside. Put ½ cup olive oil and ¾ cup cilantro into a blender and blend until completely smooth. Strain through cheesecloth or a fine strainer to remove most of the remaining cilantro. Oil should be cloudy and green with extremely fine cilantro in suspension. Set aside.
  4. Heat a skillet with 1 tablespoon olive oil and bring to high heat. Remove the salmon from the marinade, leaving the peanut mixture as a light coating on the filets. Fry both sides of the salmon, leaving the middle just barely raw and pink. Remove each piece from the skillet and place on a plate, set aside.
  5. To assemble dish, place ¾ cup rice on the center of each plate, then place a filet of salmon on the rice. Top with salsa and drizzle a few teaspoons of the cilantro oil on the plate and salmon. Garnish with extra cilantro and lemongrass, if desired.

Copyright 2007, C. Weiss, Original Recipe

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