Tamarind is a wonderful fruit that’s commonly used in Asian cooking. Many might not know this but this pod-like fruit is also a great source of vitamins B & C, calcium and potassium. I like that it imparts a very unique and aromatic sweet/sour/sharp flavour to dishes that somewhat cannot be replaced by the common lemon or vinegar. In this recipe, I had baked salmon belly in the oven till crispy and then topped with a tamarind sauce that really lifted the natural flavour of the fish. You can also use white fish fillets like snapper or sea bass and then pan-fry or deep-fry them till golden brown – almost like a Chinese restaurant-standard fish dish that you can make to impress your guests at any family meal. Enjoy!
Baked Salmon Belly Recipe
Ingredients (serves 2)
200g salmon belly fillet with skin on, sliced into big chunks
1 sprig coriander (stems & leaves)
1 bulb garlic, peeled
3 red chillies
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tbsp toasted black sesame seeds
tamarind juice (mix 1 tbsp tamarind with 1/2 cup water)
1 tbsp granulated palm sugar
1 tsp fish sauce
1. Using a food processor, blend coriander, garlic and chillies into a smooth paste.
2. Heat oil in pan and saute spice paste till fragrant.
3. Add tamarind sauce, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer till sauce slightly thickens. Set aside.
4. Preheat oven to 200 deg C with fan (or 220 without). Line a baking tray with aluminium foil and lightly grease with cooking spray.
5. Bake the salmon belly slices (skin side up) in the middle shelf of oven for about 20-25 minutes or till skin turns golden brown and crispy.
6. Spoon the tamarind sauce over the fish slices and garnish with sesame seeds.