About a month ago, I visited my friends Vathana and Sam in Monroe, CT . While I was there, Vathana told me that their refrigerator is not working and they had to use up all the food in the freezer compartment. She suggested to use the salmon first, so I decided to cook Thai food using the salmon with red chili paste. Fortunately, we had every ingredient required in her kitchen. This is a very easy dish to make and I hope you will give it a try…
3½ pounds skinless salmon fillet, cut into 2½ inch wide pieces
3 tablespoons canola/vegetable/corn oil
2½ tablespoons ginger, peeled and finely chopped
4½ tablespoons fish sauce
2¼ tablespoons brown sugar
1¼ fresh lime, squeezed juice, no seeds
3 whole bird’s eye Thai chili (optional)
6 pieces kaffir leaves, divide: 2 leaves cut finely and keep the rest as whole
4¼ tablespoons fresh cilantro, cleaned and finely chopped
Heat a nonstick frying pan with canola/vegetable/corn oil over medium high heat. Add the ginger and fry until fragrant; add the salmon fillets and lightly brown on both sides.
Remove the pan-fried fillets to a dish and set aside.
Return the frying pan to the heat and add red curry paste, finely cut kaffir leaves, brown sugar, fish sauce, lime juice and bird’s eye chilies (optional) and stir fry until well combined and fragrant. Add 3 tablespoons coconut milk and stir to combine until a smooth paste. Add the pan-fried salmon and coat well with the red curry paste mixture and cook for 1 minute.
Gradually stir in the coconut milk into the salmon mixture and gently stir the liquid to combine. Add the whole kaffir leaves and reduce the heat to medium; bring to a boil or until the salmon is cooked. Remove and serve with steamed white Jasmine rice.