This salmon recipe is dynamite! I mean literally smoking, explosively hot! I got this from James Peterson's Fish and Shellfish and in the preface to the recipe he recommends a stronger flavored fish so as to stand up to the bold flavors. The basis of the sauce is red curry paste and coconut milk. It also has some peanut butter and basil, mint and cilantro. The combination of herbs make this dish. And weird, I had all three fresh and available this night. That's why I decided to make it.
After coating the salmon with the sauce, the fillet is wrapped in foil (or a banana leaf (next time, I going to try this)) and steamed. There aren't any vegetables in the packet but I was thinking you could probably add some to make it a complete meal. Maybe some sliced bok choy and red pepper under the salmon... some sprigs of cilantro and a slice of lime... Serve with steamed rice.
Thai Steamed Salmon Fillet Packets
For 6 servings: (I made 1/3 recipe, for two)
2 1/2 lbs. of center-cut salmon fillet, skin and pin bones removed
3 T homemade or jarred red curry paste
3 T finely chopped fresh basil
3 T finely chopped fresh mint
2 T finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 T creamy peanut butter
3 T unsweetened coconut milk (I used light)
1 T thai fish sauce
salt and pepper
2 cups water
six 12-inch banana leaves
Making the salmon packets:
Work the curry paste, herbs, peanut butter, coconut milk and fish sauce into a paste. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spread the banana leaf (I used heavy-duty foil) squares on a work surface and spread some of the paste mixture on each leaf. Set a piece of salmon on top and spread the top of the salmon with more of the paste. Think ahead to be sure to distribute the paste among each of the packets. Fold the leaves over so they completely wrap the salmon. If they don't hold together, tie loosely with cooking twine.
Bring the water to a boil in the bottom of a steamer and steam the packets for about 8 minutes per inch of thickness of the salmon squares.
When the packets are done - you may have to sneak into one and cut into the fish to judge doneness. Arrange them in hot soup plates. Serve immediately.