This recipe is all about the quality of the salmon. It is simple, but there are nice layers of flavor in the sauce and fennel that keep you wanting to go back for another bite.
Swap option: Ocean trout, black bass or cod can be used instead of salmon.
- Four 6-ounce salmon filets
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
- 1 tablespoon thinly sliced garlic
- 1 cup thinly sliced ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin, lightly toasted coarsely ground
- 1 teaspoon coriander seed, lightly toasted and ground
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed, lightly toasted coarsely ground
- 1 cup lemongrass, smashed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 jalapeño, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 cups coconut milk
- 3 cups water
- 2 cups fennel, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 1/2 cup mint
- 1/2 cup tarragon
- 1/2 cup dill
- 1/2 cup chives
- 1½ cups ice water
- 1/2 green Thai chili, with seeds
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 fennel hearts, outer leaves removed, cut in 1/8s
- 4¼ cups water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 stem basil, bottom 1/3 removed
For the salmon:
1. Season the fish with salt and pepper.
2. Heat a sauté pan with a drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat.
3. And the salmon to the pan skin side down and cook until deep golden and cooked to medium-rare doneness.
For the curry:
1. Combine the olive oil, shallots, garlic and ginger in a medium size pot on medium high heat and sauté until deep golden.
2. Add the cumin, coriander seed, fennel seed, lemongrass and jalapeño and sauté until fragrant. Then add the coconut milk, water and sliced fennel. Simmer for 10 minuets with a lid cover the pot. Strain the liquid and reserve.
3. Season the strained liquid gradually with the salt. Taste and adjust as needed.
For the herb puree:
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil.
2. Add all of the herbs in the boiling water for 10-20 seconds.
3. Remove herbs from the boiling water and put into ice water until cold.
4. Once cold, remove the herbs and squeeze dry using a kitchen towel or paper towels.
5. Combine herbs, ice water, Thai chili and salt in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth.
For the fennel:
1. Place all ingredients in a medium size pot and bring to a simmer.
2. Put a lid on the pot and cook until the fennel is tender. About 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of the fennel.
3. Reserve in the cooking liquid until ready to serve.
Plate the salmon with the poached fennel and drizzle with the curry and herb puree.