Salmon Masak Kicap (Salmon in Tamari)

Ingredients for Salmon Kicap

I have largely stopped shopping in our local Sainsbury’s in favour of weekly visits to the Farmers’s Market, weekly veg box deliveries and Waitrose, a few stops up the Tube, when pushed. However, one night I just couldn’t be bothered to get off the Tube early…I just wanted to get home! Plus, ethos aside, there is no denying that Waitrose really is more expensive, even for the basic things.

So I popped into Sainsbury’s and was really excited to discover that they sell wild sockeye salmon for about half the price of Waitrose. I love this bright red salmon. When I lived in Vancouver for a few months, I was lucky enough to be there during the time of the big salmon season – when fishermen have a very small window in which they are allowed to catch these beautiful huge fish with the reddest flesh. What that means is for about 2 weeks of the year, you can get a 3 foot salmon for $10. People stock up their freezers for the year. It’s amazing.

What I found really interesting is the fact that Canadians are horrified by the idea of eating farmed fish. In contrast, generally speaking, the Brits are quite happy eating farmed fish. I’m not very up on the pros and cons of farming vs wild fish, although what little research I have done shows that eating wild fish is better nutritionally. Plus I do think there’s something lovely knowing that what you’re eating once had the entire expanse of the ocean, had their own choice of food, and lived a natural life.

This recipe (my very first on the blog!) is inspired by one of my favourite Malay recipes – Ikan Masak Kicap, or fish cooked in soya sauce. Traditionally it’s made with kicap (pronounced kee-chap) manis – a very thick, very sweet soya sauce – and has a strong ginger-chilli flavour. Instead of kicap manis I use coconut aminos, which is naturally sweet, or a mix of tamari and orange juice.

  • 1 heaped tbsp coconut oil/ghee
  • 1 potato/sweet potato, very thinly sliced
  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • A good sprinkle of togarashi or furikake spice (optional, use any Asian spice rub or just black pepper)
  • 3 fat spring onions, chopped
  • 1 inch of ginger, julienned
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped or minced
  • 1 small red chilli, sliced
  • 3 tbsp coconut aminos or 2 tbsp tamari + juice from 1 orange
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  1. First fry the potatoes. You might have to do this in two batches and you might need to add some more oil for the second batch. Melt the fat in a frying pan on a medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the potato slices one by one. Leave to brown on one side, then flip over to brown on the other. Drain on paper towels.
  2. Keep the frying pan on the heat. You might need to spoon off some of the fat as you want to shallow fry the salmon. Sprinkle the skin of salmon with salt and place it in the hot frying pan to get crisp; press down to get the crust. Sprinkle the togarashi spice (or whatever spice you want to use) on the flesh side of the salmon. Flip the salmon once the skin is crisp and fry until cooked – around 2-3 minutes. Take out of frying pan and keep warm in the oven.
  3. Add chopped spring onions to the pan, stir until wilted, add ginger, stir again. Finally add the garlic and chilli and fry until the mixture smells amazing (be careful, the spring onion and garlic can catch very quickly!), about 2 minutes.
  4. Add a splash of water to the pan and then add the aminos or the tamari and orange juice and allow to bubble up.
  5. Add the salmon back into the frying pan, flesh side down, for a minute to reheat and soak up some of the juices. Squeeze 2 of the lime wedges into the sauce, taste to check seasoning.
  6. Serve on a bed of chopped mixed salad leaves with the sauce spooned on top, the fried potatoes on the side and a wedge of lime.

Serves 2.

 Salmon Kicap

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