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Coconut salmon loaf: the stovetop version

November 30, 2011

Ever since I made the baked version of my coconut salmon loaf, I’ve been dying to make it again. The big problem was, I became way too lazy afterward to wait for it to bake and caramelize for 1 hour.

The solution came to me when I was making my salmon patties. They seemed to caramelize pretty fast when there was a bunch of oil on the pan. Couldn’t I technically use the coconut milk for that caramelization?

After hunting for the ingredients in my fridge, freezer, and cabinet, I cut them all nicely and set them up easily so that I could easily access them during cooking. The organic red bell peppers were purchased in bulk about a month ago, and I froze them after giving them a quick chop, in order to keep them fresh. Otherwise it would have taken them three days to go bad in my fridge.

The cooking fat I used this time was olive oil. It has a pretty mild taste, which doesn’t lend at all to strong-tasting foods like coconut and salmon. However, coconut oil would work really nicely as a cooking fat, although I feel the butter would be slightly overwhelming considering the amount of coconut in the dish.

At this point of the cooking, the coconut starts to get really sticky onto the salmon, and the bottom begins to brown up pretty nicely. I like to flip it every once in a while to get more browning on all the sides.

My bowl actually held half of what was on the pan, amounting to the size of my fist, which is a pretty small serving. I would suggest serving it over some sort of copious amount of vegetable to spread out the richness of the mixture. The best vegetable would probably be spaghetti squash, since the salmon mixture would almost be a perfect seafood alfredo substitute for normal pasta and regular alfredo sauce. Haven’t tried it yet, but it looks promising!

1 Tbsp cooking fat
1 16 oz can salmon
1/2 large onion
1/2-1 red bell pepper
200mL coconut cream (or 3/4 of a 16 oz can coconut milk works)
1/2 lime/lemon
1 Tbsp dill
pepper to taste (usually a dash or two)

(1) Chop up onion and bell pepper. Juice the lime/lemon into a small bowl if not easily juiced into the mixture later on.
(2) Heat up the cooking fat on medium-high, and add onions and salmon when hot. Make sure to break up the salmon in smaller pieces when in the pan.
(3) When the onions turn translucent or starts browning, add bell peppers. Cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.
(4) Add coconut cream and stir to incorporate. When the coconut mixture starts to visibly boil, turn down the heat to medium, and add the lime juice, dill, and pepper as needed. Stir to incorporate.
(5) Continue cooking, about 5-10 minutes. Upon hearing the faint sounds of crackling, or the bottom of the mixture browning, rearrange it so that more of the un-browned parts of the mixture are at the bottom. Continue cooking for about 2 minutes.
(6) For more browning, the previous step (5) could be repeated. Depending on the person’s taste, more or less, or even no browning could be used. Pay attention to the sound of crackling, or watch to see if the mixture is visibly lacking liquids and bubbling feebly under the medium heat.
(7) After cooking, serve warm.


Dai Dai

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