Thai style salmon broth
My all time favourite ingredient I developed when I was a Waitrose food buyer was stock. I am so flipping proud of them. It took a year to find a factory that could make stock in the same way a cook does at home and then it took an age to find the right ingredients. We made the fish stock from the obligatory fish bones, but also used lots of lobster and langoustine shells to give it that deep, delicious, shellfish flavour.
And it’s a good fish stock that makes this broth along with the other umami enhancing ingredients; mushrooms and Nam pla fish sauce which create the more-ish savoury flavour.
Thai style salmon broth
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (sunflower oil is good)
2 lemongrass stalks
4cm fresh ginger, peeled and finely sliced
1 lime; zest and all the juice
2 shallots, finely chopped
100g fresh shiitake mushrooms, finely sliced (remove the hard stalks)
1 tablespoon palm sugar (use brown sugar is you don’t have any palm sugar)
4 small bok choy, halved
4-6 salmon fillets (I prefer them without skin)
4 tablespoons Nam pla fish sauce
1 litre fish stock (Waitrose Cooks’ Ingredients fish stock is the best)
10g fresh coriander, finely chopped
10g fresh Thai basil, finely chopped
1 red bird’s eye chilli, very finely sliced
There is a lot of chopping, but once this is done, the cooking part is quick. Place a medium size saucepan on a low heat to warm up while you get the ingredients ready.
Set a bowl by your chopping board for the ingredients. Take off all the lemongrass’s hard outer leaves until you just have the tender middle (you need to take away almost half of its leaves) and slice as finely as you can – put the chopped lemon grass in the bowl.
Finely peel and slice the ginger, zest the limes, chop the shallots, bird’s eye chilli and finely slice the mushrooms – put this all in the bowl with the lemon grass.
Add a tablespoon of oil to the warm saucepan; turn the heat to medium and add all the chopped ingredients from the bowl. Stir and gently fry for 5 minutes. Add the fish stock, water, lime juice, palm sugar and Nam pla fish sauce – bring to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes. Add the halved bok choy to the broth to cook for just 2 minutes and the broth is done.
While the broth is simmering, heat a large frying pan on a medium heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Place the salmon fillets in the pan and fry for 4 minutes. Gently turn the salmon over and fry for another 3 minutes, or until the salmon is done to your liking.
Place the broth into 4 separate bowls, add the salmon and sprinkle with lots of the chopped coriander and Thai basil.
Preparation time 10 minutes, cooking time 20 minutes, 2 adult portions, 2 child portions
I served a bowl of noodles alongside the broth to make this a more substantial meal. The noodles are lightly dressed with finely sliced spring onion, soy sauce, sesame oil and seeds;
250g udon noodles
3 tablespoons dark soya sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
4 spring onions finely sliced
1 tablespoon of sesame seeds to garnish
Prepare the udon noodles to the manufactures’ instructions. The ones I use need to be cooked in simmering water for 10 minutes, drained in a colander and then briefly washed with cold water. The cold water washes away the starch so the noodles do not stick into one big lump. Place the noodles in a bowl; add 3 tablespoons of soya sauce, 2 tablespoons of sesame oil and the chopped spring onion. Mix well together and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
Preparation time 10 minutes, cooking time 20 minutes, 2 adult portions, 1 toddler portion, 1 baby portion