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Olive Oil Poached Salmon with Indian Spices

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Serves four.

Poaching salmon in olive oil gives it a tender, silky texture and a pure flavor. Serve with basmati rice and sautéed spinach or watercress.

CooksClub Members: Watch the Olive Oil Poached Salmon Video Recipe to see how this dish comes together, step by step.

  • 1 large clove garlic
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. cumin seed, toasted and ground
  • 1 tsp. coriander seed, toasted and ground
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 4 to 6 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • Four 3/4- to 1-inch-thick skinless center-cut salmon fillets (6 to 7 oz. each)
  • 4 lemon or lime wedges

Peel and smash the garlic clove and a pinch of salt to a paste, either with a mortar and pestle or by mincing and then mashing it with the side of a chef’s knife. Combine the garlic, garam masala, cumin, coriander, cayenne, and 1 tsp. salt in a small bowl. Add just enough of the oil to turn the spice mixture into a smooth paste, 1 to 2 tsp. Rub the spice paste all over the salmon and let it sit at room temperature for about an hour.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 225°F.

Measure the thickness of the fillets and pour the same depth of oil into a 10-inch straight-sided sauté pan. Heat over low heat until the oil reaches 120°F, 2 to 3 minutes. Put the salmon fillets in the oil in a single layer and immediately transfer the pan to the oven. Poach until a few small whitish droplets rise to the surface of the fillet, 25 minutes. Transfer the salmon to a wire rack to drain for a few minutes. Serve warm with lemon or lime wedges.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 400; Fat (g): 19; Fat Calories (kcal): 170; Saturated Fat (g): 2; Protein (g): 39; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 12; Carbohydrates (g): 2; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3.5; Sodium (mg): 370; Cholesterol (mg): 105; Fiber (g): 1;

Photo: Scott Phillips

I modified this recipe to a version I could make, and my review is based on that. I didn't have cumin or coriander seeds, so I toasted the ground spices in a sauté pan just as you would the seeds. As soon as it started to smoke I took it off and poured it into the bowl. I also didn't poach in the olive oil, instead I grilled (after reading that this step wasn't necessary and used up/wasted quite a bit of olive oil). Overall this was a good, easy recipe. I will definitely make it again. I used all of the paste on a small piece of salmon and it was very salty. Next time around I will cut back on the amount of salt. More can always be added after the fact, but I'm pretty sure it will work with 1/2 tsp.

I modified this recipe to a version I could make, and my review is based on that. I didn't have cumin or coriander seeds, so I toasted the ground spices in a sauté pan just as you would the seeds. As soon as it started to smoke I took it off and poured it into the bowl. I also didn't poach in the olive oil, instead I grilled (after reading that this step wasn't necessary and used up/wasted quite a bit of olive oil). Overall this was a good, easy recipe. I will definitely make it again. I used all of the paste on a small piece of salmon and it was very salty. Next time around I will cut back on the amount of salt. More can always be added after the fact, but I'm pretty sure it will work with 1/2 tsp.

Delicious Salmon, is an understatement. I was impressed with the spice rub remaining on the salmon fillets, even after they baked in the slow oven, fully submerged. I did two fillets, and baked for the recommended 25 minutes. The salmon was succulent and the squeeze of citrus was the perfect addition. The Salmon was fully cooked through, and yet retained a very moist texture. I do believe that the next time, I will experiment with a 20 minute, versus 25 minute slow bake. Keep those recipes a comin' Cheers, Jeff

Olive oil poaching is now my go-to method for cooking salmon. Another plus of the method--no smell of fish cooking in your kitchen! 5 stars for the method; 4 for the recipe as written. I first tried this w/o the Indian spices, just kosher salt, garlic & pepper; thought it was great. Finally got a chance to do the Indian spices, and it just wasn't as delicious as I thought it would be. As for the oil, I carefully strain through a coffee filter, and I re-use until it starts to smell of fish...generally 3-5 uses.

Delicious. I made salmon one night - strained oil as directed and cooked shrimp couple of nights later with same oil. There's just two of us - so I used only two cups of oil in a smaller pan.

I made the olive oil poached salmon this evening and it was fantastic.... so easy to do, the salmon was moist (but not oily like I expected) and flavorful. I have a question though... what is the safest way to get rid of all that used olive oil?

A huge sucess with my friends. It was a shame to waste all that good olive oil though. The taste and texture of the fish was magnificent. Easy to make etc.

I just made this tonight! This was such an easy and amazingly tasty recipe.

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