Fooling Frank: Recipe for Indian Style Salmon

Accidental Locavore Indian SalmonOne of the ongoing challenges the Accidental Locavore faces, is how to disguise that really-good-for-you super-food, salmon, so that my husband will eat it. Raw (salmon tartare), or smoked, he’s there in a heartbeat; it’s all the cooked versions he eschews. If I’m going to stick to my once-a-week fish resolution, it’s got to be a part of it. So, how about disguising it as something he usually loves — Indian food! This is from a class the Locavore took with Madhur Jaffrey and serves 2. It’s easy and quick, but best if you can give the fish some marinating time. If you like more heat, feel free to add more cayenne and mustard powder. I served it with basmati rice and broccoli roasted with garlic and curry powder.

For the rub:

  • 3/4 pound salmon fillet, skinned (you can do this or have the fishmonger do it) and cut into 1×2″ chunks
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For cooking the fish:

  • 1 tablespoon ground mustard 
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds (brown or black)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 fresh chilies (bird’s eye if you have them, I used serranos), slit lengthwise

Rub the cut salmon with the salt, turmeric, and cayenne. Put in a small dish, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 10 hours. Put the mustard powder, cayenne, turmeric and salt in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon water and mix thoroughly. Add another 7 tablespoons of water and mix. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a medium sauté pan over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. As soon as they begin to pop (a few seconds), add the cumin and fennel seeds. Stir to combine, pour in the mustard mix and the chilies. Stir and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the salmon in one layer. Simmer gently for about 3 minutes a side, spooning the sauce over the fish as it cooks. Serve and enjoy!

My verdict: This is a really simple and delicious way to cook salmon. Spooning the sauce over it as it cooks keeps the fish moist and tender. I’m going to turn up the heat the next time I make it, probably by simply cutting the chilies in half. I may toss some cilantro on top as a garnish too.

Frank’s verdict: “Not bad for cooked salmon”. He might have felt cheated because I told him we were having Indian food for dinner, but he did have seconds, finishing off the few pieces that were left.



1 thought on “Fooling Frank: Recipe for Indian Style Salmon”

  1. the subtle mention of your once-a-week fish resolution was really wonderful — a useful reminder to a lot of us about our good intentions — thanks!

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