Salmon with Thai Rice Salad

Rich broiled salmon rests atop a lean vegetable-and-rice salad to make a beautifully balanced meal. The Asian dressing includes big-impact flavors--fish sauce, lime juice, and cayenne--but very little oil.

Yield: 4
Recipe from Food & Wine

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice (from about 2 limes)
  • 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc mam)
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 3 carrots, grated
  • 4 scallions including green tops, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons chopped cilantro or fresh parsley
  • 2 pounds skinless center-cut salmon fillet, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

Preparation

  1. 1. Stir the rice into a medium pot of boiling, salted water and cook until just done, about 10 minutes. Drain. Rinse with cold water and drain thoroughly.
  2. 2. In a large glass or stainless-steel bowl, combine the lime juice, fish sauce, 1 tablespoon of the oil, the sugar, and cayenne. Let sit for about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice, cucumber, carrots, scallions, and cilantro.
  3. 3. Heat the broiler. Oil a broiler pan or baking sheet. Coat the salmon with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Put the salmon on the pan. Broil until just barely done (the fish should still be translucent in the center), about 5 minutes for a 1-inch-thick fillet. Put the rice salad on plates and top with the salmon.
  4. Wine Recommendation: Rieslings are among the most versatile of white wines and one of the few that work well with salads. With this Thai-inspired dish, try a simple kabinett from Germany's Mosel region.
  5. Notes: Asian fish sauce is available at Asian markets and many supermarkets.
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