Seafood Stylings

Sizzling Salmon with Lemongrass & Tamarind

April 5, 2017

Pan-steaming fish over aromatics and then sizzling it with hot garlic oil is an old Cantonese cooking method…..the tamarind, ginger, lemongrass and lime adds Southeast-Asian zing– a lovely thing.  I have had this recipe on a tattered card for more than 25 years with tweaks and notations all marked. I crave this dish. You will too–make extra, you will want it.


Sizzling Salmon with Lemongrass & Tamarind

Sizzling Salmon with Lemongrass & Tamarind


  • Tamarind/Ginger/Lime Marinade Ingredients
  • 4 Tbsp tamari soy sauce
  • juice of two limes
  • 4 Tbsp unsweetened tamarind juice concentrate
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 Tbsp coconut palm sugar (fruitier than regular brown sugar–you can get it at Whole Foods)
  • Steamed/seared Salmon Ingredients
  • 4, 3-ounce to 4-ounce fillets salmon, skin on
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, cut into pieces with sharp kitchen shears
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, unpeeled and cut into 1/4-inch coins
  • The green part of 4 scallions, cut into 4-inch pieces (NOTE: save the bottom two white inches of each scallion for the garnish)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Garlic Oil Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup canola or peanut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and sliced in half
  • Garnish Ingredients
  • 4 scallions, bottom 2 inches only, trimmed of root and slivered


  1. Make marinade: Combine all marinade ingredients in a pint jar. Ahake together. Pour half of the mixture in a wide bowl. Reserve other half.
  2. Marinate fish: Dip the salmon fillet in the marinade that you poured in the wide bowl. Flip over and let rest, skin-side up in the marinade for 10 minutes.
  3. Make garnish: Cut green part of scallions into 4-inch pieces and put in steaming pan. Using a sharp knife, sliver–lengthwise, the bottom two inches of white scallion into find shreds. Reserve these shreds for garnish.
  4. Place the rest of the aromatics (lemongrass and ginger coins) in the steaming pan with the scallions. Add water. Heat to boiling. Remove fish from marinade. Place fillets over the hot aromatics in the steaming pan, skin-side down this time. Cover pan and steam for 5 minutes or until salmon is just done. Remove pan from heat.
  5. Heat oil in a small pan until very hot. Drop garlic in and stir for a scant 5 to 10 seconds. Discard garlic.
  6. Finish dish: Place steamed fish fillets on individual serving plates. Sprinkle with white scallion threads. Pour hot sizzling oil over the scallion-covered fillets. Spoon a few tsps of the reserved marinade over each serving.

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