Coconut Poached Salmon

Something amazing happened last week. I didn’t buy lunch (and only dinner once) at all! Aren’t you proud of me?!?! I am. It’s quite a feat between my social calendar, general laziness on a work night, sometimes it a struggle to find the time to bring or make food. I have a couple of weekend trips coming up in May (yay!) that I need to self-fund by cutting back in some other places, aka going out to eat. Hi my name is Emily and I’m a planner, by profession and personal attitude.

So along with the berry roasted pork tenderloin I made a saag, which you’ve already heard about, and salmon poached in coconut milk. I had used some of the coconut milk for my saag and wanted to get fancy with the rest of it, and did I ever. I loaded up a poaching liquid with coconut, lime and basil, yielding a flavor akin to a green Thai curry, to make some luscious salmon. I used leftover milk and broth to make a very flavorful rice and steamed snow peas fresh from my dad’s garden. It was a light yet satisfying dish that lasted me a whole three meals.

The dish was really coconutty, but not sweet at all, which actually made the coconut seem a little more tame than when it’s used in sweet applications. And the sharpness of the lime was a great contrast to the creamy smoothness of the milk. I think it would be great with a little lemon grass or ginger thrown in next time. It’s also mild enough, that you could use other fish too. Unfortunately my grocer only had fresh salmon on hand, but I had really been looking for a halibut or other substantial white fish. The whole thing only took maybe 20 min, making this an easy weeknight meal within your reach.

Coconut Poached Salmon* seves 2

  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 lime – to yield one big strip of peel and 2 tsp of juice, and lime wedge for serving
  • 4 basil leaves torn in half
  • 2 salmon filets
  • snow peas, for 2
  • rice, for 2

Bring chicken broth to a boil in a small-ish pan. Let reduce by half, abt 15 min. Reduce heat and add coconut milk, lime peel, lime juice, and basil. Return liquid to low simmer and place salmon skin side up in liquid. Cover and poach 10 min or until opaque and cooked through. Remove salmon, bring liquid to boil and season liquid with salt and pepper to taste (remove basil and lime peel before serving).

Meanwhile cook rice per its instructions substituting leftover chicken broth and some coconut milk for the water. Steam snow peas in separate pot, or place on top of rice for last 5 minutes of cooking/resting for steaming.

Serve salmon, rice and pease in a bowl with poaching sauce. Garnish with basil and additional lime.

*slightly adapted from Rachel Ray, original recipe available here

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