Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Recipe of the Day: Tamarind & Chive Salmon

Growing up in a Southeast Asia country means having a sweet, sour and spicy palate. Whether in a condiment, appetizer, main dish or sometimes dessert, these tastes can be present as a combination or individually. I personally prefer the sour taste to the sweet and recently started to enjoy spiciness of the dried red chillis.

The plastic jar of Concentrated tamarind has been by the fridge door since Easter when I used just a few teaspoons in the Mutton Rendang (Dried coconut Mutton Curry). If I was the only one, I would have finish it by the 2nd day I bought it. Of course, there are other food critics in this household of mine whose palates and appetites must be supplied with variations everyday or else I will lose my Kitchen Goddess title to Curry's sushi chef and Missy E's Mr. Domino Pizza!!!

The spring weather brought us a surprise as there were chives growing! First I thought it was weed grass and didn't give it another look. Then Curry utilised his annual green thumb to sow and clean the dirt patch and he asked me for my culinary opinion. The appearance looked like scallion but with more thinner stalks and leaves, I thought it was chive. A further report from my hubby gardener confirmed there was a mini blueish flower sprouting too on some of the stalks. As my herbs have always been the usual scallion/green onion leaves and cilantro, I searched for answers as not to poison my family for I was excited to use it over the stovetop! According to the data in Wikipedia, it was chive and I have no idea on how it grew on our patch. Possibly the evil squirrel and chipmunk that feeds on Curry's early seedlings of everything that he plants since we moved here had stolen some from the neighbors and decided to repay us for all they have taken! And Wikipedia further stated that Chives is a deterent to pests in the garden.... no wonder they grow without any trouble from Curry's garden nemesis.

There are not many variations in cooking fish, and so I made up this recipe 5 years ago when I was hitting my 30s and decided to consume more fish, especially salmon which contains enough Omega 3 to last me another decade before I have to change my diet again. It is a very simple simmered dish but the taste is so good, especially when it is piping hot and the sour gravy just keeps me wanting more and I can eat this dish all day long from breakfast to supper!!! The chives was not overpowering and added a tinge of green to the appetizing orange salmon and brownish gravy. As Missy E has not encountered her first hot spicy taste yet, I omitted the fresh red chillis which can be added by those yearning something similar to Thai dishes.


2 large fillet of salmon or firm flesh fish (each sliced to 3 to 4 smaller parts)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 small shallots, minced
4 slices of ginger
3 leaves of chives, chopped to small bits, including the white part
4 to 5 tbsp of concentrated tamarind paste
3 cups of water
1 tbsp cornstarch with 5 tbsp water added

1)Heat oil in pot and fry the minced garlic, shallots, ginger and chives for 3 minutes.
2)Add in the tamarind paste and mix for 2 minutes.
3)Add in the salmon, piece by piece and coat the mixed paste evenly on each piece and let sit for 2 minutes with high heat.
4)Add in water and lower the heat to medium and close pot lid to let it simmer for 12 to 15 minutes. Add in the cornstarch mixture and stir. Add in salt to taste.
5)Serve hot and garnish with chives. Best served with rice.

Serves: 3 to 4 persons

1 comment:

Agnes said...

Jie!!! The Food Blog already been abandoned for days!!!! *sigh*