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Salmon with Indian Spices, poached in oil Recipe
by John Spottiswood

Salmon with Indian Spices, poached in oil

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!

Rating: 4.2/5
Avg. 4.2/5 16 votes
Prep time: United States American
Cook time: Servings: 4

Wine and Drink Pairings: Chardonnay


  • 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.