• Salmon with Indian Spices, poached in oil

    16 votes
    Salmon with Indian Spices, poached in oil
    Prep: 10 min Cook: 30 min Servings: 4
    by John Spottiswood
    300 recipes
    I love salmon and am always looking for creative ways to make it. This is the first time I've tried it with Indian spices and poached in oil (adapted from a recipe in Fine Cooking). Honestly, I thought it was just fabulous. The spices and the cooking method combined made it one of the best salmon dishes I have had. It is amazingly moist and flavorful. This is going to become one of our staples. Definitely give it a try!


    • 1 large garlic clove
    • Kosher salt
    • 1 tsp garam masala
    • 1 tsp ground cumin
    • 1 tsp ground coriander
    • 1/4 tsp cayenne
    • 1/2 - 1 cup vegetable oil (I used about 2/3 canola, 1/3 olive)
    • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds salmon fillets
    • 4 lemon or lime wedges


    1. Peel and smash the garlic clove and mix in a pinch of salt. Combine the garlic, garam masala, cumin, coriander, cayenne, and 1 tsp salt in a small bowl. Add a small amount of oil, just enough to make the mixture into a smooth paste (1-2 tsp). Rub the spice mixture all over the salmon and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour or so.
    2. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 225.
    3. If you have a straight sided baking or saute pan that will just fit the fish, then heat the oil in this pan for 3-4 minutes. Then place the salmon in the pan and place the pan in the oven and poach in the oil for about 25 minutes or until a few small white droplets form on the surface of the fillet. I didn't have a proper sized pan, so I took a larger baking pan and folded a sheet of heavy aluminum foil to create a container with edges about 1 inch high in which to place the salmon and the oil. I created the container so that it left minimal space around the salmon so I wouldn't have to use too much oil to poach it. (the original recipe called for 6 cups of extra virgin olive oil for poaching--OUCH!! By making the container a tight fit, I got away with less than a cup of oil and just 1/3 of that was EVOO).
    4. Serve warm with lemon and lime wedges. We served over the lentil & rice dish shown below. Regular rice with a side of greens would complement this nicely too.

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    • Nancy Miyasaki
      Nancy Miyasaki
      This is one of the best salmon dishes we have tried in a long time. Super easy to make and the cook method really seals in the juices.
      • Mary Shaldibina
        Mary Shaldibina
        Very tasty salmon, I loved it!
        • Shirley
          Excellent! This is Indian indeed. I would also add lemon juice in the marinade itself. It provides that extra punch.
          • ValleyWriter
            6 cups of oil?! YIKES! Glad you were able to healthy it up - it looks delish!
            • Swapna Chandran Dinesh
              Swapna Chandran Dinesh
              I make our fish nearly the same way... but i just use a tsp of oil in a non-stick pan.. i add the lime juice in the marinade and a few drops of oil... so you can cook with very little oil..

              • The Distracted Housewife
                The Distracted Housewife
                Looks lovely - but one question, how coarse is kosher salt? I have a lot of US cookbooks and have always wondered how best to substitute for kosher salt with UK ingredients... Cath x
                • Jennifer Jevons
                  Jennifer Jevons
                  looks great! definitely going to try this recipe out.
                  • Patricia Turo
                    Patricia Turo
                    I love wild salmon but can't get use to the flavor of farmed salmon. I adore Indian spices and this recipe sounds great. I have all these spices and am going to try this recipe. Thanks!
                    • Lucy Fitzpatrick
                      Lucy Fitzpatrick
                      It was very yummy.! :) I just didn't know what to have with it?. :)


                      • Roxanne Daniels
                        Roxanne Daniels
                        I am putting this on my menu for next sounds absolutely delicious!
                        • John Spottiswood
                          John Spottiswood
                          I hope you really like it Roxanne. It'a a winner!
                        • jessica warner
                          jessica warner
                          Delish! Thanks, John.
                          • John Spottiswood
                            John Spottiswood
                            Right...and I think the fact that the fish is oily (with good Omega 3), means that most of the cooking oil does not absorb. It just sort of seals in the fish's natural oils. I don't know this for sure, but it makes sense and we did pour off a lot of the added oil. can comfort yourself with the possibility, like a placebo, even if it isn't true!
                            • Sharmila
                              Sounds wonderful ... with the Indian masalas am sure this will be perfectly spicy. Good idea to use a reduced amount of oil ... I think even a lesser amount would have worked too. But if it is olive oil, guess we can indulge. :-)

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