November 18th, 2019

Chef Mark Allison's Column

We love curries in our house. Curries work with just about anything, meat, vegetables, Tofu, fruit, beans, nuts and seeds. Even fish, and one of our favorites is wild Alaskan salmon curry. I was very lucky to live in Alaska back in 1998/9 while on a Fulbright teacher exchange program. Even luckier to meet and become friends with one of the best guys I have ever met Jim Hollis,

who is still one of my closet friends to this day. This guy is amazing, not only as a great friend, but he also beat cancer last year. Now living between Alaska and Florida I get to see Jim two to three times a year, big bonus, he always drops off about 20lb of wild Alaska salmon that he has caught at his fish camp on the Kenai River.

The term "salmon" refers to a variety of species that are all "anadromous" fish, which means they are born in fresh water rivers and streams, migrate to the ocean to mature and spend most of their adult life, and then return to the streams and rivers in which they were born to spawn (reproduce) and then die. Six types of salmon are consumed in the United States including: Atlantic, Chinook, Chum, Coho, Pink, and Sockeye Salmon. Of these, five species (Chinook, Chum, Coho, Pink and Sockeye) are harvested from wild fisheries in the Pacific Ocean and one type, Atlantic salmon, is primarily farmed raised.

Why choose wild Alaskan salmon as opposed to farm raised? Wild Alaskan salmon is the healthiest salmon available. The regulated safe fishing practices used to capture the salmon and the wild, natural diet they consume render it healthy for the palate and the environment. The calorie and fat content in wild salmon is lower compared with farmed salmon.

Wild Salmon Curry
Serves 4
Ingredients:
3 tablespoons sesame oil
2 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 lemongrass stalk, remove the outside one or two layers, finely chop the tender middle stalk
2 green onions, roughly chopped
2 cup mixed shiitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (depending on how spicy you like your curry)
2x 14oz can full fat coconut milk
2 tablespoons fish sauce
4x 6oz skinless wild salmon filets
2 cups roughly chopped bok choy
1 lime and juice and zest of
1 tablespoon freshly chopped basil
1 tablespoon freshly chopped mint
1 tablespoon cashews nuts
To serve 4 cups steamed brown rice

How to make:
Take a large skillet or wok and place over a medium heat. Add the oil, when hot add the shallots, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and green onions. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, until they are fragrant and beginning to lightly brown in color.

Add the mushrooms and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Add the curry paste and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Pour in the coconut milk and fish sauce. Stir to combine, bring the sauce to a boil, and carefully add the salmon filets and chopped bok choy. Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until the salmon is cooked to your desired doneness.

Remove from the heat and stir in the lime zest and juice, basil and mint.
To serve, divide the rice among four warm bowls, spoon over the curry and top with the cashews. Enjoy.

Enjoy,
Chef Mark .

Copyright © 2018, 2019 Mark Allison