This Thai-inspired recipe is fuss-free and very tasty. Ginger is a particularly fragrant ingredient and lends a clean, fresh flavour to both the salmon and the rice. The bulk of the work is chopping the ingredients and making the black bean sauce. You can even prepare the sauce ahead of time and marinate the salmon in a covered baking dish for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. Then all you need to do is pop the salmon in the oven and make the coconut rice whilst the salmon is baking.
Ingredients for the salmon in black bean sauce:
4 salmon fillets (or a side of salmon big enough for 4 servings – this is what I did here)
4 tbsp Chinese black bean sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 tsp gingerroot, finely chopped
2 tsp sherry
2 tsp liquid honey
2 tsp white rice vinegar
Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C for fan-assisted ovens) / 400°F.
Place the side of salmon in a baking dish. If you are using fillets, arrange them in a single layer.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the black bean sauce, soy sauce, chopped ginger, sherry, honey and white rice vinegar.
Pour the sauce mixture evenly over the top of the salmon.
If marinating the salmon, cover the baking dish and put in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. I would recommend marinating the salmon for at least 30 minutes but this is not a requirement. You can bake the salmon as soon as you pour the black bean sauce over it.
Bake for approximately 20 to 25 minutes. As this can vary, keep checking the salmon. It will be ready when it is opaque and the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
Ingredients for the coconut rice:
1 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp gingerroot, finely chopped
4 to 6 spring onions, chopped
1 cup jasmine or long-grain white rice
1 cup coconut milk (you can use reduced-fat, if you prefer)
1 cup water
A pinch of salt
A handful of fresh coriander, chopped (optional)
To save time, the garlic, ginger, spring onions and coriander (if using) can be chopped when you are preparing the black bean sauce ingredients, if not marinating the salmon for a long period.
Heat a little bit of water (approx. 2 tbsp) in a saucepan for a few seconds. Then add the garlic, ginger and half of the chopped spring onions (keep the other half for the end). Cook over medium heat, stirring, for 2 minutes. This will release the flavours.
Make sure to shake the can of coconut milk, then open it and give the coconut milk a stir. You can use the same measuring cup for the rice, coconut milk and water.
The following needs to be done very quickly: add the rice to the saucepan, then immediately pour the 1 cup of coconut milk into the saucepan and stir briefly. Add 1 cup of water and stir.
Increase the heat to bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. The rice will slowly cook and all the liquid will absorb. Don’t be tempted to keep lifting the lid but do check at the 15 minute mark. Do not stir the rice when checking.
When rice is cooked, remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
Sprinkle with salt, then fluff with a fork. Stir in the remaining chopped spring onions and coriander (if using).
The salmon should be finished baking just before the rice is ready. Slice the salmon (if not using fillets) and serve immediately, along with the coconut rice.
Makes 4 servings. Enjoy! (Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave).
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