Salmon: the 2014 edition

GRAHAM HAWKES
Last updated 14:51 17/06/2014
Kedgeree with salmon
Kedgeree with salmon.

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I thought with all those "enthusiastic to bite" young salmon lounging around Bluff Harbour, it might be time to look at a different way of preparing and presenting the wonderful flesh of one of our primary seafood delights.

With the suggested 10,000 fish running free, there will certainly will be plenty to poach or bake whole, fillet and smoke or boil, pan fry, char-grill or whatever way you enjoy - or try something different.

We could assume, now that they will not have the regular "feed times" they would have, had they stayed at home, it should not be too difficult to hook the odd one or three.

These salmon are chinook, perhaps better known as king salmon. They will have started their swimming in some of the cleanest rivers in the world, certainly in New Zealand - the Clutha and the Waitaki - with origins from the snow feeding glaciers of the Southern Alps. It is natural for the young fish to go exploring once the opportunity arises, although logic tells me with continuous food available (food without hormones, steroids or antibiotics), home base wouldn't be too bad.

Anyway, for those who have had a bit of luck and landed some of the yummy salmon from one of the world's southernmost aquaculture areas, let's look at an alternate way of presenting salmon, as a breakfast - brunch - lunch or dinner or even supper dish.

It is said to have originated around 1340 and enjoyed by many British colonials who spent time in India during the Victorian times who, on returning to the UK made kedgeree the trendy breakfast dish of the era.

An interesting aside - the dish was created as a way of using up leftovers from the night before's dinner - rice, curry, flaked fish, parsley, boiled eggs, sometimes butter and cream or even sultanas.

We won't worry about leftovers - let's make a fresh kedgeree.

KEDGEREE

NEED TO KNOW

Main ingredient Salmon
Type of dish Seafood
Course Main course
Cooking time 30 min - 1 hour
Serves/makes 4
Special options Wheat-free

4 salmon steaks, skinless and boneless
1 litre of water
1 lemon, chopped up
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 stalks parsley
250g rice (basmati is good)
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
50g butter
50ml olive oil
2 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
4 boiled eggs, chopped
Handful of fresh coriander
Juice of 1 lime

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1. Place the fish fillets in a heavy-based pan adding the water, a good grind of freshly ground black pepper and sea salt and parsley stalks.

2. Place on the stove and slowly bring to the boil. As soon as it begins to boil place a cover on the top of the pan and take the pan off the heat. Allow to sit, giving the fish time to cook.

Now for the rice:

1. Melt the butter and olive oil in a heavy- based pan that is ovenproof with a tight fitting lid.

2. Bring to a medium temperature and saute the onion until it softens.

3. Add 1 tsp coriander, cumin and turmeric and allow to sweat for 2-3 minutes.

4. Now add the rice and mix with the seasonings, before adding 500ml of the cooking liquid from the poached salmon.

5. Bring to the boil, cover with a tight fitting lid and place in an oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 16 minutes (or continue cooking on the stove without removing the lid until all the liquid has evaporated, again about 16 minutes).

6. Take a serving dish and flake the salmon using two forks.

7. Once the rice is cooked simply mix with a fork then tip onto the serving plate.

8. Now add four chopped boiled eggs, a generous handful of fresh coriander roughly chopped, the juice of a lime and the fish sauce.

9. Once again mix with two forks and it is ready to serve.

Bon appetit!

- The Southland Times

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