Wanting a recipe to use up some leftover tamarind concentrate in the fridge that I used to make chutney, I found this recipe for Salmon Fillets with a Tamarind Sauce from Fresh by Michele Cranston. Tamarind is the pod of a tree, native to Africa and now grown mostly in India, SE Asia, the Pacific Islands, Mexico and other warm climates. It is a souring agent, used in a variety of sweet and savory dishes to add a tangy note. You can find it in various forms; fresh, paste, water, or concentrate in many ethnic grocery stores. In keeping with the tropical vibe, I made some coconut-lime rice to serve it over for an easy summer dinner.
Salmon Fillets with a Tamarind Sauce
Fresh, Michele Cranston
60 ml (1/4 cup) tamarind water
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp honey
4 x 140g (5 oz) salmon fillets, skin removed
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
coriander (cilantro) leaves
Put the tamarind water, fish sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce, and honey into a large glass or plastic bowl and stir together. Rinse the salmon fillets in cold water and pat them dry with paper towels, then add them to the tamarind mixture. Cover and marinate for an hour or overnight in the fridge.
Heat a nonstick pan over a high heat and sear the fillets, shaking off any excess marinade before you put them in the pan. When the fillets begin to brown, flip them over and reduce the heat.
Pour the remaining marinade into the pan and sprinkle the tops of the fillets with the sesame seeds. Simmer the fillets for 5-8 minutes or until they are just cooked through and the marinade has reduced to a thick sauce. Serve with rice, coriander leaves and lime wedges.
Notes/Results: Very Good. The tamarind makes it lightly tangy and the salmon was very moist. I used a nice wild sockeye salmon fillet and marinating the fish overnight in the tamarind sauce gave it lots of flavor. My tamarind is a concentrate so I mixed it with some water to thin it out a bit. For the rice I used Lotus Foods Kalijira Rice, which is a miniature long grain rice, like a smaller basmati, that comes from Bangladesh. It cooks in about 10 minutes and has a great, texture. After cooking the rice, I added some fresh coconut flakes and pieces, the zest of a lime and some sesame seeds. With a light salad, this was a quick, simple dinner, ready in about 20 minutes. A keeper recipe and a great way to work in some healthy Omega-3s.