Thai Coconut Salmon Curry
Summertime is here and it’s a time we like to focus on meals that are easy to pull together but look extravagant. We love this recipe because it is tasty yet healthy, makes use of ingredients currently in season and most of it comes together in just one pan.
Salmon season is here! It’s our favorite fish due to it’s low mercury content, sustainability and health benefits. It’s important to only choose wild caught seafood. Fresh is always best, but keep in mind that fresh fish at supermarkets still has to navigate many steps to get to the stores where it sits for days until purchased.
For our fresh seafood, we turn to West Coast Seafood who sells at the Old Town Newhall Farmers Market. With 42 years in the seafood business, they have established contacts in the seafood industry, often dealing with fishermen directly. They bring a wide variety of fresh seafood from around the world to Santa Clarita each week including multiple kinds of sushi-grade fish. What they bring in is often brought to our market in 24-48 hours. The quality is amazing.
For salmon, selection varies weekly. Some weeks they may have up to six different kinds of salmon. This includes different types and salmon from specific regions. Last year some of the salmon they brought in were from the Copper River in Alaska, white salmon from the Alaskan panhandle, Chinook from the Columbia River in Oregon, California King salmon and Coho salmon from Nome, Alaska (line caught by native Inuit).
This recipe makes use of salmon but is flexible to allow you to use many different kinds of vegetables. While spinach or swiss chard work well, you can use diced summer squash. If you feel like adding summer tomatoes or mushrooms, go for it!
Again, we turn to the Newhall Farmers Market to source veggies for our dish. This year, the market welcomed many new farmers including Sunrise Organic Farm. They grow amazing produce organically year round in Santa Barbara County. Almost all of what they grow is picked on Fridays, iced down and in Santa Clarita at our market Saturday morning. You cannot get better or fresher produce.
For this dish we kept it simple and used fresh shredded summer squash. We also used sesame seeds on the fish. We served with rice because it is quick and easy to make in our rice cooker. When serving, we garnished with fresh basil. It all comes together very quickly and packs amazing taste that will impress even picky eaters.
4 Wild salmon fillets
1 Chopped red bell pepper
2 T Olive oil
1 T Butter
1 Chopped small white or yellow onion
4 minced garlic cloves
1 t grated fresh ginger (optional)
2 Cups Unsweetened coconut milk
½ Cup Vegetable broth
3 T Thai red curry paste
½ Cup fresh diced tomatoes
1 T Peanut butter
2 T Fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper
½ t each ground coriander, paprika, ground cumin
1 T Fish sauce (optional)
Red pepper flakes
Fresh basil leaves
One bunch (about 4 servings) fresh spinach,
bok choi, Swiss chard or any fresh vegetables
1 basket mushrooms
Pat salmon fillets dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium high heat (we love our #12 cast iron pan for this). Sear the salmon about 3-4 minutes per side and then remove from pan and set aside. It is OK if the skin on the salmon comes off. Simply remove skin remnants from pan and discard.
Reduce heat to low and add onion, garlic, ginger, mushrooms and red bell pepper to pan. If you are using any thicker vegetables like diced squash add them to the pan at this time. Stir everything occasionally and allow to cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in fresh tomatoes and curry paste. Cook for 1 additional minute. Add coriander, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper to taste and stir.
Add vegetable broth and stir. Bring to a boil. Add remaining vegetables if you have not already (such as spinach). Add fish sauce and peanut butter and stir. Pour in coconut milk and bring mixture to a simmer.
Add salmon back to the pan making sure the salmon is resting on the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with the lemon juice. Allow to cook over low heat until the salmon is cooked. This could be as short as 3-5 minutes depending on heat level. Do not overcook the salmon. We like to cook until an instant read thermometer reads 120 degrees in the center of the salmon. At this temperature the fish is very moist, tender and flaky.
Remove from heat when done. Stir in some fresh chopped basil if desired. We like to serve this with rice, spooning the vegetables and sauce over the rice, placing the salmon next to it and garnishing with a fresh basil leaf.
The Old Town Newhall Farmers Market is a certified farmers market bringing Santa Clarita true farm direct produce and the finest food products available in Santa Clarita. It operates year round, every Saturday from 8:30am until 1:00pm. It is located in the parking lot of the Old Town Newhall Library at 24500 Main Street in Newhall. They can be found on Facebook, Instagram or at www.newhallfarmersmarket.com.
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