Taste and stats make Salmon a great choice

Geetha Nair – 

Coming from South East Asia where there is an abundance of seafood, one of the things I truly miss is the variety of fish available at the markets there.

Since moving to Auckland, I have dabbled with much disappointment the fillet of fish you get from the local supermarket.

The fillets of thinly sliced fish are most certainly not suited for our eastern recipes.

However, one type of fish I have grown to appreciate here and enjoy cooking is Salmon. It is not a common fish in Asia and what is rarely available is not fresh and delicious as what you get here.

Salmon is today a very popular food worldwide.

It is classified as an oily fish and so is devoured only in small portions.

Salmon is healthy because of the high levels of protein, Omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin D in it.

Omega 3 fatty acids have been linked to lower blood pressure and reducing the risk of blood clots and so is considered an excellent source of ‘good cholesterol.’

With its delicate and sweet pink flesh, Salmon is easy and quick to cook and is very delicious once you acquire the taste for it.

If the western recipes have not converted you to a Salmon lover, then surely the following flavoursome eastern recipes below will.

I would like to share an India-inspired Salmon recipe – Grilled Salmon with a Spicy Tomato Gravy, served with Cauliflower Rice and a fresh salad such as Apple and Fennel Slaw.

Another recipe is an Asia-style Grilled Salmon with Hoisin Sauce, served with Gai Lan and Steamed Rice. Experiment and enjoy!

Grilled Salmon with Spicy Tomato Gravy served with Cauliflower Rice and Fennel and Apple Slaw Web

Grilled Salmon with Spicy Tomato Gravy

4 fillets of Salmon – rinse and pat dry with paper towel
1 large red onion – peeled
4-5 cloves of garlic – peeled
1-inch piece ginger – peeled
2 fresh red chillies
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp cumin powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp coriander powder
Salt to taste
1 tbsp fenugreek (methi) leaves
2-3 tbsp tomato paste
1-2 tsp sugar
½ cup of light cream
Olive/Vegetable Oil


  1. Remove any fine bones if any from Salmon fillets.
  2. Smear some olive oil on the fillets before putting them skin side up on a grease paper lined baking tray.
  3. Grill on high for about 10 minutes until cooked and skin is brown and crispy. Set aside.
  4. Blend the onion, ginger, garlic and fresh chillies into a fine paste.
  5. Heat a wok with some oil in it and fry the blended paste.
  6. When the mixture is brown and the oil is released, add the chilli, cumin, coriander and turmeric powder and mix well.
  7. Add salt to taste.
  8. When the mixture is fragrant, add the tomato paste and then sugar to balance off the sourness of the tomato. Mix well.
  9. Add the cream and enough water (about one cup) to make a thick gravy.
  10. Mix well and add the methi leaves and allow the gravy to come to the boil.
  11. Taste and adjust seasoning of gravy before turning off the flame.
  12. Place the grilled Salmon fillets on a serving platter and pour the gravy over the fish.

Serve with Cauliflower Rice and a fresh salad such as Fennel and Apple Slaw.

Cauliflower Rice

1 head of Cauliflower
Salt to taste
Chopped fresh herbs (optional)

  1. Use a food processor to blitz the cauliflower into little pieces which resemble rice.
  2. Place the chopped cauliflower into a saucepan with a sprinkling of water.
  3. Cover and steam for a minute or two as cauliflower cooks very quickly with very little water.
  4. Add salt and stir through some chopped fresh herbs if you like. Otherwise leave it plain.
  5. Serve warm as a refreshing, light alternative to calorie laden rice.

Asian Style Salmon with Hoisin SauceAsian Style Grilled Salmon with Hoisin Sauce served with Gai Lan and Rice Web

4 fillets of Salmon – rinse and pat dry with paper towel
3 tbsp Hoisin Sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
Dash of sesame oil
Salt & Pepper
2 fresh red chillies
4 cloves garlic – peeled
1-inch piece ginger – peeled
1 bunch of spring onions – sliced
Olive oil


  1. Remove fine bones if any from Salmon fillets and place them on a large deep plate.
  2. Finely chop the red chillies, garlic and ginger and put into a bowl.
  3. Add the hoisin sauce, light and dark soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper into the bowl and mix well.
  4. Smear the mixture all over the fish and set aside for half hour to marinate.
  5. Pour some olive oil on the marinated Salmon fillets and place them skin side up on a grease paper lined baking tray.
  6. Grill on high for about 10-15 minutes until cooked and the skin is brown and crispy.
  7. Serve while warm with greens such as steamed Gai Lan and steamed Jasmine rice.

Steamed Gai Lan

2 bunches of Gai Lan (or Bak Choy if Gai Lan not available)
2-3 cloves of garlic – peeled and chopped fine
Salt to taste
Vegetable Oil


  1. Wash and slice the stem diagonally so it cooks through quick. Slice the leaves as well.
  2. Heat some oil in a wok and fry the chopped garlic until fragrant.
  3. Toss in the sliced Gai Lan and mix well.
  4. Add salt to taste.
  5. Add a quarter cup of water and cover the wok and steam for about 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. The greens should be firm yet cooked through.
  7. Take off the flame and serve hot.


Disclaimers: Geetha Nair and Indian Newslink absolve themselves of any responsibility relating to the ingredients, cooking methods and other matters relating to ‘Geet’s Kitchen’ column. Some ingredients may not be available and may cause allergy in some people. Caution must therefore be exercised and Geetha Nair and Indian Newslink will not be responsible to any health issues in this connection. Please consult your General Practitioner, Nutritionist or such others you may be consulting in connection with your dietary requirements.

Notes and Legends: 1. Quantities of sugar and salt are recommendations; please add or reduce to suit individual requirements 2. Tsp: Teaspoon Tbsp: Tablespoon


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