Archive for the ‘Salmon’ Category

* Thai-Style Salmon Cakes with Kaffir Aioli and Cucumber Pineapple Achar

Posted on March 16th, 2012 by Linda. Filed under Appetizer, Cilantro, Cuisine, Kaffir lime leaves, Rau Ram, Salmon, Snack, Thai.

This salmon cake is made the way one makes a succulent crabcake, but uses Thai flavors.  Poaching the salmon in wine eliminates the fishiness, and the cream adds moisture to the otherwise leaner, but more flavorful sockeye salmon.

Chef’s tip: To remove the skin off the salmon, lay a half fillet of salmon on a cutting board.  From the tail end, about 2 inches from the end, cut halfway into the fish, making sure not to cut all the way to the skin.  Next grab the small end with your left hand, and holding the knife with your right, position knife at a 45 degree angle to the skin and start pulling the fish with your left hand while the knife slices through the fish between the flesh and skin.  To remove any bones, turn a stainless steel bowl upside down and place the fish fillet over the top of the inverted bowl skin down.  Run your finger along the middle of the fish to feel any bones and remove with a fish pin.

Salmon cakes:6 cups water

3 inches galangal, sliced into rounds
6 pieces kaffir leaves, torn
1 cup white wine
2 Tablespoons kosher salt
3 lbs boneless skinless sockeye salmon filet, bones removed

2 Tablespoons canola / grapeseed oil
1 large yellow onion, finely minced
1 red chili, deseeded, minced
1 1/2 Tablespoons Thai red curry
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup heavy cream

3 cups panko breadcrumbs (more if needed)
1 Tablespoon rau ram leaves, finely chiffonade into fine ribbons
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
3 Tablespoons fish sauce
1 lime, juice
Zest from 2 limes
3 eggs, beaten

2 cups bread crumb for breading
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Canola oil for frying

1.     Combine water and galangal and torn kaffir, in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat and let simmer for 15 minutes. Remove galangal and kaffir.  Add wine and salt.  Bring to a boil.  Add salmon, cover and remove from heat. Let salmon poach in the hot liquid for 10 minutes. Using a metal perforated spatula, transfer salmon to baking sheet and let cool.
2.     Break salmon into small pieces, ensure any removing bones are removed, and transfer pieces in a large bowl.  Chill.
3.     In a small saute pan, heat olive oil and sweat the onions till translucent, about 10 minutes.  Stir in chili, curry paste and salt and pepper. Add cream and cook till mixture is thick. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.
4.     Stir together onion mixture with salmon.  Add breadcrumbs,, rauram, cilantro, green onions, fish sauce, lime juice, zest and eggs.  You may need additional breadcrumbs in order to create a mix that isn’t too wet and will hold together in a cake form. Stir ingredients until just combined and refrigerate for 1/2 hour.  Test for seasoning.
5.     Place additional bread crumbs and salt on a breading pan. Using a large ice cream scoop to scoop, gently pack salmon into golf size balls.  Roll each ball gently in the bread crumbs.  Transfer into a round 2.5 inch pastry cutter and gently flatten to make a thick patty.  Remove from cuter.  Transfer patty to a parchment paper–lined baking sheet.
6.     Coat a non stick frying pan with oil over medium heat.   Gently add the salmon cakes, fry until golden, flipping once with a spatula, until golden brown. Transfer cakes to a cookie sheet.  When ready to serve, bake 5 minutes at 350F until hot throughout.
7.     Serve with kaffir aioli and cucumber pineapple achar.

Makes 40 pieces

Kaffir Aoili

2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup canola oil
2 clove garlic, finely minced
2 Tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 Tablespoon kaffir leaves, veins removed, finely chiffonade into fine ribbons
2 Tablespoons coriander leaves, minced
2 Tablespoons warm water

To make the Kaffir Aioli

8.     In a medium bowl, whisk the yolks, mustard and 1 Tablespoon olive oil together until an emulsion is formed.
9.     Combine the olive oil and the canola oil in a measuring cup with a pouring spout.  While whisking the egg emulsion, add the oil mixture in a steady, THIN stream, almost to the point of droplets.  Make sure not to add the oil too quickly – add enough to the emulsion and make sure it is blended smoothly before adding more oil.  Continue to add the oil in a steady stream, whisking, until all of the oil has been added.
10.  Add finely mashed garlic and lime juice and salt.  Stir in the chopped kaffir, and coriander,.
11.  Add enough warm water to the aioli until a smooth, ketchup-like consistency is formed.

Makes 1 cup


Cucumber Pineapple Achar:

3 Japanese / Persian cucumbers, halved then thinly slice
1 cup pineapple cubes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 red chili, seeded very thinly sliced, to taste (use Thai birds eye chili, if preferred)
1 Tablespoon ginger, peeled, thinly julienned
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon fish sauce
2 Tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped


To make the Cucumber Pineapple Archar

12.  Toss together the cucumber, pineapples, shallot, chile and ginger in a non reactive glass bowl
13.  In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar and fish sauce and heat till the sugar is dissolved.
14.  Pour the vinaigrette over the cucumber pineapple mixture and toss to coat.  Let sit for 10 minutes for the flavors to come together.
15.  Stir in cilantro just before serving.

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* Cha Ca — Salmon in Tumeric and Dill Oil

Posted on September 10th, 2008 by Linda. Filed under Cilantro, Cuisine, Dill, Entree, Fish, Fish sauce, Galangal, Green onions, Herbs, Mint, Pork, Rau Ram, Salmon, Street Foods, Tumeric, Vietnamese.

This picture was taken eons ago on my first gen digital camera…before I got my VR lens and my D70.  But the memory of that meal at Cha Ca La Vong in Hanoi is still as vivid as ever.  You climb this steep stairs, or more aptly called, a ladder, to get to the second floor of this nondescript shop lot in the old town of Hanoi.  As immediately as you sit down, a charcoal stove appears, together with a variety of Asian herbs and a simmering pan of bright orange tumeric oil.  This was the most simple and memorable meal I had in Hanoi.  I was heady with the smell of turmeric, dill, rau ram and all the wonderful Vietnamese herbs and the sweet smell of fried fresh fish.  Or was it the carbon monoxide from the numerous charcoal stoves in the room that was making me giddy?  I have tried to reproduce the recipe based on that memorable meal sans charcoal.

Chef’s tip: Make sure you have everything mise-en-place before you start cooking. The cooking itself literally takes minutes.  Traditionally, the freshwater snakehead fish is used.  Catfish or tilapia is a good substitute.  I like it with the more fatty salmon.

And here’s an updated picture 10 years later.

3 inches of galangal – Thai ginger
2 Tablespoons water
2 Tablespoon fish sauce
3 Tablespoon tumeric powder
1 Tablespoon rice wine
1 Tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon grapeseed/ safflower oil

1 ½ lb fresh salmon (tilapia or catfish works well, too)

1 (4 oz) package of thin rice vermicelli, cooked and drained

8 approx. 2”X4” pieces of butter/green lettuce leaf, ribs removed
12 sprigs mint, chiffonade
1 bulb of fennel, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
½ bunch cilantro, tear into smaller sprigs
½ bunch of green onions, julienned, separate white from green
1 cup Rau Ram – polygonum (Vietnamese Mint), chiffonade
1 cup Fresh basil, chiffonade

1 lb dill, stemmed, cut into 3 inch strip
1 ½ cups of grapeseed/ safflower oil

Nuac Mam:
1 red chile, diced finely / 1 tablespoon Sri Racha sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 Tablespoons sugar
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
4 Tablespoons water
2 Tablespoons fish sauce

½ cup roasted peanuts
2 limes, cut into wedges

Preparing the Fish:
1.    Grate galangal and mix with 2 tablespoons warm water, squeeze juice and discard solids.
2.    Whisk together marinade ingredients with galangal juice
3.    Cut salmon into 1 inch cubes and marinate fish for at least a half hour.
Preparing the vegetables and rice vermicelli:
4.    Bring a pot of water to boil.  Drop rice vermicelli in, bring to boil again. Cover for 15 minutes.  Drain and fluff.  Place in the middle of a large platter.
5.    Wash and clean all vegetables, spin to dry.
6.    Sliced fennel and onion finely. Place onions in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes.  Drain.
7.    Chiffonade herbs except dill. Set herbs and vegetables around the rice noodles on the platter.
Cooking the fish:
8.    Heat a cast iron pan or a wok on high heat
9.    Add oil and cook salmon till golden brown.
10.    Add the dill, cook for 1 minute.
11.    Toss in white part green onions.
12.    Ladle salmon over the rice noodles, sprinkle with ground peanuts.
Just before serving, toss together to mix in herbs and vegetables.
Preparing the nuoc mam dipping sauce:
13. Blend together all nuoc mam ingredients.
To serve:
14.    Serve with nuoc mam, cut lime and freshly cracked black pepper on the side.

Serves: 6

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* Salmon Tandoori Panini

Posted on September 7th, 2008 by Linda. Filed under Appetizer, Bread, Fish, Fusion, Garam masala, Indian, Paneer, Salmon.

Mini little scrumptious paninis. And a recipe to make your own garam masala, too.

Chef’s tip: Store the garam masala in a tightly closed jar in a cool place for up to 6 months.


Garam masala:
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 cardamon pod, seeds only
1 piece clove
1 small piece star anise
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cayenne
2 teaspoons kosher salt

6 oz salmon fillet, skinned
2 teaspoons canola oil

5 tablespoons greek yogurt, drained
1 small shallot, thinly sliced, and soaked in water
2 oz paneer (substitute with Cotija cheese)

1 baguette
Olive oil

Preparing the Garam Masala
1.    Toast the cumin, coriander, fennel seeds, cardamom, clove, star anise and black pepper over medium heat until fragrant, shaking the skillet often, about 2 minutes
2.    Using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, grind whole spices. Mix together ground spices with cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne, and salt
Preparing the fish
3.    Preheat oven 400F
4.    Coat the salmon with the spice rub.
5.    Lightly coat a large ovenproof skillet with oil, and place over medium heat.
6.    When the skillet starts to smoke, place salmon pieces into the pan.  Sear salmon until spices are golden and toasted, about 2 minutes each side, flipping once. Immediately transfer the pan to the hot and roast for another 5 minutes.
7.    Remove fish and mash with yogurt.  Add more salt if needed.
Preparing the Panini
8.    Thinly slice paneer /cheese.
9.    Thinly slice shallots and soak in water for 10 minutes, drain and pat dry
10.    Slice baguette into ¼ inch thick rounds, brush one side with olive oil.  Place on a baking tray, oiled side down.
11.    Smear on salmon paste, top with a thin slice of shallot, cheese and another slice of bread.  Brush the top with olive oil.
12.    Heat a Panini grill or a grill pan.  Place Panini on grill, press lightly till golden marks are created and cheese is melted.

Makes 12 paninis

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