Salmon with Crab and Vegetables in a Foil Packet

James Carrier

Notes: For the Kapalua Wine and Food Festival, chef Christian Hugo Jorgensen of the Westin Maui framed a party-size salmon fillet with tropical leaves. He used fresh ti leaves, which are readily available in Hawaii and sometimes at mainland florist shops. But frozen banana leaves, sold in Asian markets, are a good substitute; you can also omit the leaves altogether. If assembling through step 4 up to 4 hours before baking, chill packet.

Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings
Recipe from Sunset

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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 352
  • Calories from fat: 59%
  • Protein: 30g
  • Fat: 23g
  • Saturated fat: 4.1g
  • Carbohydrate: 3g
  • Fiber: 0.7g
  • Sodium: 349mg
  • Cholesterol: 102mg

Ingredients

  • 1 piece (12 by 18 in.) frozen banana leaf (optional; see notes)
  • 1 whole salmon fillet (2 1/2 lb.)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves or 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano leaves or 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 6 ounces shelled cooked crab
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 yellow crookneck squash (8 oz. total)
  • 1 red bell pepper (8 oz.)
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine or water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • About 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper

Preparation

  1. 1. Center an 18- by 28-inch piece of foil (or overlap two 12-inch-wide pieces) in a 14- by 17-inch baking pan. Rinse banana leaf and pat dry; center lengthwise on foil. Rinse fish and pat dry; rub your fingers over the flesh to find any bones, pull out with tweezers, and discard. Center fillet lengthwise, skin down, on leaf.
  2. 2. Mix the cilantro, thyme, and oregano. In a bowl, mix half the herb mixture with crab, mayonnaise, and mustard. Spread evenly over salmon. Rinse and dry bowl.
  3. 3. Rinse squash and bell pepper. Trim and discard stems from squash; stem and seed pepper. Cut vegetables into matchstick-size strips (about 3 in. long). Put vegetables, wine, olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and rest of herbs in bowl and mix to coat.
  4. 4. Spread vegetable mixture over crab layer. Bring long sides of foil together over fish, wrapping banana leaf partially around fish, then fold in ends to seal.
  5. 5. Bake in a 450° regular or convection oven until fish reaches 140° in center of thickest part (insert thermometer through foil and vegetable and crab layers to test), 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer packet to a platter and unwrap to serve; or, if desired, with two wide spatulas, carefully transfer leaf and fish from foil to platter. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cut fish into portions; slip a spatula between skin and fillet and lift off portions, leaving skin behind.
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