Thai-Style Spicy Salmon Marinade
Made in a similar fashion to the Scandinavian specialty, gravlax, this is a wonderful way of preparing salmon. start the preparation two to five days before you intend to eat it.
SERVES 4 TO 6
tail piece of 1 salmon, about 675g/1 1/2 lb, cleaned and prepared
20ml/4 tsp coarse sea salt
20mI/4 tsp granulated sugar
2.5cm/1in piece fresh root ginger, grated (shredded)
2 lemongrass stalks
4 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped or shredded
grated (shredded) rind of 1 kaffir lime
1 fresh red chili, seeded and finely chopped
5ml/1 tsp black peppercorns, coarsely crushed
30m1/2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (cilantro), plus sprigs to garnish
wedges of kaffir lime, to garnish For the dressing
150mI/1/4 pint/ 3/4 cup mayonnaise
juice of 1/2 lime
10ml/2 tsp chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
1. Ask your fishmonger to scale the fish and remove the skin, splitting the fish lengthways to remove it from the backbone in 2 matching fillets. Use tweezers to remove all the bones from the salmon.
2. In a bowl, mix together the salt, sugar, and ginger. Remove the outer leaves from the lemon grass and slice the inner portion finely. Add to the bowl, with the lime leaves, lime rind, chili, peppercorns, and coriander.
3. Place one-quarter of the spice mixture in a shallow dish. Place one salmon fillet, skin-side down, on top of the spices. Spread two-thirds of the remaining mixture over the flesh then place the remaining fillet on top, flesh-side down. Arrange the rest of the spice mixture over the fish.
4. Cover the fish with foil, then place a board on top. Add some weights, such as clean cans of food. Chill for 2-5 days, turning the fish each day in the spicy marinade to ensure that the flavor permeates all parts of the fish.
5. Make the dressing by mixing the mayonnaise, lime juice and chopped coriander in a bowl.
6. Scrape the spices off the fish. Slice it as thinly as possible. Serve with the lime dressing, garnished with fresh coriander and wedges of kaffir lime.
Kaffir lime leaves and the rind of the fruit are very aromatic and a distinctive feature of Thai cooking. They should be available from Asian food stores. If not, substitute ordinary limes.