As we get closer to Christmas, this whole roasted salmon is a wonderful alternative to the usual turkey, beef & gammon and of course if you don’t eat meat, the perfect table centrepiece! Of course, it really is perfect for any occasion!
I love making this for parties, a huge piece of fish, kept intact, always a makes a statement at any table & as I have many friends who do not eat meat, it is the perfect recipe! What makes this whole roasted salmon different, is the herbs & spices used. Ordinarily, I don’t mess with salmon as I believe it needs no adornment but the spices here does take this piece de resistance to another new level!
You can roast the whole salmon just on its own or on a bed of potatoes as I’ve done here. For an entirely different slant, cook the salmon on a thin layer of cooked sticky rice or ordinary rice.
Get your fishmonger to gut and clean the fish for you. If you can’t stand the head, get him to cut it off!
Now, you are going to need one big roasting tin for this, depending on the size of your fish. Don’t worry about the head and tail sitting awkwardly. If you’re making this at Christmas, get one of those disposable large turkey roasting pans made of foil.
Ingredients (serves 8-10 people, more as a buffet)
1 whole salmon (with head & tail intact if it doesn’t put you off)
4 large potatoes, sliced thinly & parboiled for 10 minutes
2 leeks, sliced into half inch slices, parboiled 10 minutes
2 limes, sliced thinly, in rounds
2 lime leaves, torn
half a handful fresh coriander
small amount of vegetable oil
Marinade, grind to a paste
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
2 stalks lemongrass
half a handful coriander
1 red chilli (more or less to taste)
1 tsp salt
Preheat the oven at 220˚C/Fan 200˚C.
1. Grind all the relevant ingredients into a fine paste, adding a little water if you need it.
2. Rinse & dry the salmon and cut about 4-5 slashes on both sides, depending on the size of the fish.
3. Oil the roasting dish and arrange the potatoes around the base of the dish, single layer or overlapping, it doesn’t matter.
4. Scatter the leeks on the potatoes and sprinkle some salt all over, followed by half the lime slices.
5. Rub the marinade all over the salmon, making sure to get in the slits well and coat the cavity thoroughly.
6. Place the salmon diagonally on the potatoes, don’t worry about overhang of head and tail.
7. Stuff the cavity with the lime leaves and the rest of the coriander leaves and lime slices.
8. Roast on 220˚C for 20 minutes, then lower the heat to 180˚C and cook for another 45 minutes or so, depending on the size of the fish.
9. To taste for doneness, slide a butter knife into the thickest part of the fish, take it out and place the knife on your hand, between your thumb and forefinger. If the knife feels hot, the fish is done. Seriously.
10. Take it to the table and let everyone help themselves. Scatter with some fresh coriander & a squeeze or two of lime juice will go perfectly.