Smoked Masala Salmon with Mango Coconut Sauce

14 04 2010

Freshly Smoked Wild Salmon with Masala Spice

As long as I’ve been going to Japan, my written Japanese really should be better. Every year I make a resolution that it will get so, but that’s as successful as my yearly diet resolution. The end result is that often a meal in Japan relies on pointing out a picture in a menu, or from a plastic copy in the front window. That generates some surprises. I got a similar surprise when some colleagues came back from India bearing the spice requests I had put in before they left. The only thing I could read on the packet was Fish Masala. Fortunately for me that’s all I needed. A fantastic fresh wild salmon filet was available at the local fishmongers. A little seasoning and the bright red promise of spicy intrigue was applied. Smoked slowly over fruitwood on the grill the end result several hours later was juicy moist and succulent spiced salmon.

The result was really fascinating. I have had salmon just about every way I could imagine, including a curried version, but this was different. It had the traditional curry flavor to it, but the salmon was exuding just the faintest sort of sweet notes in the background. This masala also had a pronounced heat at the back end, not overpowering but definitely there. The salmon was asking for a dancing partner, and no way was I ruining this beauty with some Kate Gosselin Harpy of a sauce. No, no, no- this piquant piscine pal needed a mellow subtly sweet somewhat exotic dancing partner. The result? You be the judge. I found the couple perfectly matched and quite deliciously dancing with my palate.

  • 1 large salmon filet
  • Fish masala (enough to coat the filet + 1 tsp)
  • Fruitwood for smoking (the fish)
  • 2 Tbs chopped shallot
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs finely grated fresh ginger
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 mango, chopped
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Pat the salmon filet dry. Season lightly with salt and pepper and lightly coat the exposed filet with the fish masala. Smoke over fruitwood until the filet is done (that will depend on the size of the filet). While the fish smokes, make the sauce. In a medium saucepan heat the oil and butter. Add the shallots and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, masala and ginger and cook 1 more minute. Add the lemon juice, mango and wine. Cook until reduced by about 1/3 and the mango has become very soft. Using an immersion blender (or in batches in a regular blender or food processor) puree the mixture. Add the coconut milk and bring back to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the cilantro and serve with the fish.

Smoked Salmon with Mango Coconut Sauce




8 responses

14 04 2010

oh love what you did with this we marinate salmon in fish masala all the time with ginger garlic and curry leaves and pan fry it, we went to Japan a few years back love those pictures!

15 04 2010

Agreed. It is a yummy way to vary serving fish

15 04 2010

Man I love smoked salmon and this rocks. Rebecca is right there is this fish masala I was turned onto working in the restaurant here in NJ, totally a great spice mix… Japanese food intimidates me a bit, but boy are they into their food! There is this Japanese area here in North Jersey that is so cool to visit- I oh and ah at all the goodies their!

btw we are putting a link up on PIWC to your site!

Chef E

15 04 2010
Kevin Millis

Hey… that really looks like a winner!

Super thanks!

16 04 2010

This is amazing! I love the idea of the coconut sauce with the mango in it; I am not that crazy about salmon (think it is overrated) but with these spices and the smoking and the sauce over it, heavenly and I’d forget I am eating salmon!

16 04 2010

Thanks-The wine adds acidity so it is not cloying. I hope this might get you to like the salmon;-)

10 07 2010

I found beautifull mangos on sale $1 each I bought a dozen and have been trying different recipes .I did a mango cucumber salad two days ago.I stumbled onto your recipe last night .Dug up fresh ginger in my yard along with fresh cilantro.Went shopping for the other ingredients .I made one change after going in the fish market.There was a couple beautifull fresh Ahi fillets next to the salmon.The ahi is smoking as i type.Cant wait for dinner Thanks

10 07 2010

@Dave: Thanks-please let me know how it turns out. Where are you that you can get fresh ginger like that!

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