Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Recipe: West Indian Curry with Wild Salmon

gotta, gotta try this....

found this on a blog created by someone i met through an old college buddy's wife...

not that you would know this by this "fish" recipe below, but you should check her site/blog "cheriepicked.com" particularly if you are into vegan and vegetarian cooking. me? not so much... but i am trying to learn to cook in a more "environmentally ethical" way and to add more veggies into my diet. so far, so good...

regarding the fish in this dish... i'm sure the author would insist on never using "farmed" fish or fish that is not from a "sustainable" population...

West Indian Curry

March 4th, 2009
from "Cheriepicked.com"

West Indian Curry

I follow a primarily vegan diet but also enjoy sustainable, environmentally sound, naturally raised, happily sourced fish, meat and dairy on occasion. I have always supported folks running small family operations that treat the land, the oceans and their inhabitants with respect. In addition to being in sync with my personal ethics, these foods taste just astoundingly better than those produced by factory farms.

On my last jaunt to the farmers market I picked up some wild caught salmon and shrimp, stoked on the idea of incorporating it into a curry. Visiting with the fishermen always triggers a desire in me to learn to fly fish. Me- outfitted in a pair of waders thigh deep in a glittering river..that scene pops into my head every damn time. I suppose I should get my shit together and pursue lessons at some point soon.

I love curry and the richness of this one really compliments the fish. You can use a white fish instead of salmon if you’d rather- sea bass or halibut or even a seafood medley to mix in instead of a solid piece. Check whats local to where you live and make sure what you choose is wild caught and not farm raised. Also go with a small fishery with high standards..or better yet be a bad ass and do it right by catching your own. If you’re vegan, this dish is great with deep fried tofu as an alternative. The curry is creamy and has a lovely combination of spices. One of those spices being an all time favorite of mine- cardamom. I eat it over brown rice (of course) and usually drink a dry white Gewurtztraminer with it.

***I like a little touch of sweetness with this recipe. So what I do is about 5 minutes before the sauce is done- as its simmering- I add about half a cup of diced pineapple. I mix it in and let it cook just a couple minutes until the fruit chunks are heated through. This is an optional step but I highly recommend it…its the perfect finishing touch and really rounds out all the flavors well.

Spice Paste

4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cumin


2 tsp oil
2 Tbsp minced shallot
1 Tbsp minced ginger
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup coconut milk

Fish (*or deep fried tofu)

coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper
1 lemon, juiced
4 fish fillets (6 oz each) skin intact (use salmon, halibut, sea bass)
3/4 pound of shrimp (optional)

olive oil spray


fresh chopped cilantro

coarsely chopped roasted peanuts


  1. Grind ingredients for the paste together in a small bowl using the back of a spoon. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add shallots and ginger. Stir- cook 1 minute. Next add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes and spice paste. Cook and stir for a couple minutes until very fragrant. Add the coconut milk. Stir well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer to allow the sauce to thicken. At this point you may add shrimp to the sauce if you wish.
  3. If using deep fried tofu- add into curry sauce and stir until cooked through. Then add lemon juice and 1 Tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Simmer for a minute or so. Serve atop brown rice garnished with cilantro and peanuts.
  4. If using fillets- preheat oven to 500 degrees. Place fish fillets on a baking sheet skin side down. Rub fillets with lemon juice, salt and pepper and brush or spray each piece with olive oil. Cook 10 minutes or so until opaque in the center and cooked through. Using a spatula remove the fish leaving the skin on the baking sheet. Place atop a bed of brown rice and spoon the curry sauce over it. Garnish with cilantro and peanuts.

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