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Poached Salmon made exotic with a simple, amazing Coconut Lime Sauce!! Tastes like a Thai coconut curry sauce – but it’s quick and easy. The trick is to caramelise garlic, ginger and lemongrass with a smidge of sugar before adding the coconut milk. It’s incredible what a difference it makes!

Sure, it doesn’t have quite the same depth of flavour – but it requires a fraction of the time and ingredients. I think even those with sophisticated South East Asian palettes will still be mighty impressed with the flavour of we manage to get in this so quickly and with so few ingredients!

Here the tips to make this delicious recipe :
  • Sear the salmon first. Just lightly – to add colour and flavour to the salmon as well as leaving behind tasty brown bits in the skillet (it’s called fond!) that adds flavour into the sauce. This is a cooking fundamental – never waste those precious golden bits from searing things!
  • Caramelise the aromatics (garlic, ginger, lemongrass) with a touch of sugar. It’s amazing how much more flavour that adds to an otherwise simple sauce!
Poached Salmon in Coconut Lime Sauce Recipe
Poached Salmon in a coconut lime sauce that tastes like a Thai coconut curry - except it's super quick and easy to make! Even though the salmon is poached, it's well worth searing lightly to brown for the extra flavour on both the salmon and in the sauce.

  • 4 salmon fillets , 180g/6oz each preferably skinless (Note 1)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp oil , separated
  • 2 garlic cloves , finely grated
  • 2 tsp ginger , finely grated
  • 1 lemongrass , peeled, finely grated (Note 2)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp chilli garlic paste or other chilli paste, adjust to taste (Note 3)
  • 400 g/14oz coconut milk (Note 2)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 2 tsp lime zest (1 lime)
  • Lime juice , to taste
  • Garnish/serving:
  • Fresh coriander/cilantro leaves , finely chopped (recommended)
  • Finely sliced large red chillies (optional)
  • Vermicelli noodles , soaked per packet, or rice
  • Steamed Asian greens
  1. Sprinkle both sides of salmon with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a non stick pan or well seasoned skillet over medium high heat. Add salmon, skin side up, and sear for just 1 1/2 minutes until golden. Turn salmon and cook the other side just for 1 minute, then remove onto a plate (should still be raw inside).
  3. Turn heat down to medium low and allow skillet to cool.
  4. Heat remaining 1 tbsp oil. Add garlic, ginger and lemongrass. Cook until garlic is light golden ~ 1 minute.
  5. Add sugar and cook for 20 seconds until it becomes a caramel (see video). Then stir in chilli paste.
  6. Add coconut milk and stir, scraping the bottom of the skillet to dissolve any bits stuck on the base into the sauce.
  7. Stir in fish sauce, increase heat to medium. Simmer for 2 minutes.
  8. Place salmon into the sauce, lower heat and simmer gently for 4 minutes, or until just cooked.
  9. Remove salmon, stir in lime zest and juice to taste. Adjust salt to taste with fish sauce.
  10. Serve salmon over noodles or rice. Spoon over sauce, garnish with coriander and chili if using.
  • Salmon - Skinless is better for this dish because it's not a crispy skin salmon recipe. But skin on is ok too.
  • Lemongrass - peel reedy outer layers and just use the bottom 12cm/5" of the stalk, the part that's white and very pale green that can be grated. 
  • Lemongrass paste can be used instead - stir in 1 tbsp once the coconut milk is added.
  • Chilli Paste - Any chilli paste is fine here. Even sriracha or other Asiany hot sauce. This is to add spiciness and adds colour to the sauce.
  • Low fat coconut milk can be used but the sauce won't have as good a coconut flavour and will be a bit thinner.
  • Variations - This recipe works great with any fish, prawns/shrimp, chicken (thighs or breast halved horizontally or bite size pieces).
  • Nutrition assumes all sauce is used. Remember - all those Omega 3 fatty acids in salmon are good for you! Good for your brain, heart and joints!
Nutrition Facts
Poached Salmon in Coconut Lime Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 502Calories from Fat 342
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 38g58%
Saturated Fat 22g110%
Cholesterol 82mg27%
Sodium 435mg18%
Potassium 1017mg29%
Total Carbohydrates 9g3%
Dietary Fiber 2g8%
Sugars 6g
Protein 32g64%
Vitamin A1.2%
Vitamin C3.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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