Fish, rice, and veggies is always a go-to well balanced meal but this recipe for Coconut Lemongrass Salmon takes it up a notch with a flavorful coconut milk & lemongrass broth and earthy shiitake mushrooms. Every step is also simple and straightforward, making it an easy way to impress your tastebuds - or your friends and family! All you need to know how to do is cook some rice, sauté veggies, roast your fish with olive oil and salt and pepper, and heat up two ingredients to make the broth.
A note on salmon - good salmon makes a world of difference. I picked up my salmon from the fish counter at the Boston Public Market (disclaimer: this year-round local market might be my favorite thing about Boston). It's sushi grade fish, so the flavor is so fresh compared to salmon that has been previously frozen and re-thawed at the typical grocery store seafood counter. I'm not saying you have to buy your salmon straight from the source (though it's worth it if you can), but I definitely recommend thinking twice about where you're buying your fish. The next best thing after fresh, never-frozen fish is high quality frozen fish. Subscribe to the blog for a future post that goes in-depth about buying frozen seafood, but for now, know that most seafood at the grocery store has been previously frozen and arrives thawed and waterlogged with less taste to your own kitchen. Buying fish that remained frozen or was never frozen in the first place are your two best bets.
Serving a piece of perfectly baked salmon over the coconut lemongrass infused rice adds a burst of flavor to the caramelized onions, buttery shiitake mushrooms, and crunchy greens. The impressive presentation (and taste!) of this dish hides the simple steps required to make it happen.
Coconut Lemongrass Salmon
Makes 1 serving
Other Recipes With These Ingredients: Coconut milk: Chickpea Chicken Curry // Bok choy/kale/swiss chard, red onion, mushrooms: all good ingredients in stir fry // Rice: If you make rice, use it in a stir fry the next night with some veggies & an egg!
Serving Suggestion: Serve over rice (basmati or jasmine would be some good suggestions!)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes or less (depends on size of salmon filet)
Total Time: 25 minutes
- 1 serving of salmon (3-6 oz., depending on your appetite)
- 1 - 15.5 oz. can of coconut milk
- 1-2 tablespoons lemongrass paste Substitute: fresh lemongrass. See Grocery Guide for more info on the paste - it's one of my secrets to cooking with herbs and spices.
- 1/2 red onion
- 1 bunch bok choy Substitute: swiss chard or kale (I used kale this time!)
- 1 cup mushrooms (Any kind will work - I used shiitake in this recipe, but the white mushrooms you buy at the grocery store will work too! Again, see the Grocery Guide if you want more info.)
- Optional: rice of your choosing (serving suggestion)
Not Vegetarian or Vegan-Friendly
PREP THE SALMON (& RICE, IF YOU WANT)
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2. If you're serving your salmon over rice, get the rice going. Learn How to Cook Rice.
3. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on your salmon and rub it in. Season with salt & pepper. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until done. If you have a meat thermometer (and you should, because it's one of my Five Kitchen Essentials), salmon should be cooked to 145°F. If you don't, no worries! Salmon is done when it is opaque (not translucent like raw fish) and flakes with a fork - learn how to known when your fish is done.
SAUTÉ YOUR VEGGIES
4. Turn your stovetop to medium heat. Add a bit of butter (1-2 tablespoons, depending on how much you're feeling like treating yourself) to a saucepan. You can use a bit of olive oil here too, but I just love the flavor butter gives to the sautéed veggies.
5. While the butter is melting, chop up your onion and bok choy and rinse your mushrooms. Your onion should be in thin slices.
6. Add the mushrooms & onion to the pan. Sauté until veggies become soft and translucent, around 5 minutes.
7. Add chopped bok choy, kale, or swiss chard. (Don't add it too early, because you don't want it to over-wilt!) Sauté for 1-2 minutes.
8. Take the veggies out of the pan and set aside.
PREP THE BROTH
9. If you're not making rice, add 1/2 of the 15.5oz. can of coconut milk to the pan you were just cooking the veggies in. If you are making rice, add 1 - 15.5 oz. can of coconut milk to the pan you were just cooking the veggies in. Add 1-2 tablespoons of lemongrass paste to the pan and mix in (to taste - add more or less if you prefer).
10. Let the coconut milk and lemongrass mixture cook and become fragrant while the salmon finishes cooking.
11. When the rice is ready and your salmon is almost done, pour half of your coconut milk lemongrass broth into the rice to let it absorb and flavor the rice. Add the veggies to the other half of the broth left behind in the pan.
12. Now get ready to plate! If you are making rice, add a scoop to the bottom of your bowl or plate (a wide bowl/deep plate works best for this dish because of the broth). Place your salmon onto the plate/bowl (potentially on top of the rice if you're having it).
13. Spoon the broth and veggies over the top of the salmon. Feel free to add all of the broth - it makes the whole dish more flavorful!
Lunch Tomorrow, Storing, & Extra Ingredients
LUNCH TOMORROW - This is just a recipe for one serving, but if you were to buy two portions of salmon, it would be easy to up your veggies and rice and have leftovers for lunch! The salmon, veggies, and rice soak up the broth a bit and taste delicious!
STORING - Store in an airtight container in the fridge and eat as soon as possible afterwards, ideally the next day (for lunch or dinner) since you don't want fish sitting in your fridge too long - it starts to smell just a little too fishy.
EXTRA INGREDIENTS - You might have some extra veggies leftover from this recipe, depending on the quantities you buy in your grocery store. They're great for throwing into a stir fry with some of that extra rice - with some soy sauce and an egg, maybe! If you have extra coconut milk check out my Chickpea Chicken Curry recipe.