I feel like I’ve been living under a rock for so many months. How did I not see that they sell lemongrass in my local supermarket!? I have this bad habit at the supermarket of walking around like a donkey, always going through the same aisles looking at the same produce and ingredients. It might make my grocery shopping experience much quicker and easier, but I miss out on so many goodies that I never even knew were carried at a major supermarket chain in Switzerland — such as lemongrass. Lemongrass will always remind me of our honeymoon in Thailand, where I’d have lemongrass tea with breakfast every morning and indulge in Thai dishes infused with its flavor for dinner. I’ve been substituting lemongrass with lemon or lime for months since I thought that I could only find it at Asian speciality stores, but nothing beats the scent and flavor that it brings to a dish. After buying a couple of stalks of lemongrass at the supermarket, I tried two Asian-inspired recipes last week — a Vietnamese lemongrass chicken and this tender and moist ginger lemongrass salmon that was definitely one of the culinary highlights of the past couple of days.
Lemongrass is a fragrant stalky plant typically found in Thai cooking, from curries and soups to steamed fish and poultry dishes. It can be used in your recipes either as whole, sliced or pounded into a paste. Whether you use it whole, sliced or pounded, it is important to chop off the bottom part of the stalk and peel off any tough outer leaves, as the pale yellow bottom layers are easier to slice and contain the most taste. To release even more aroma during the cooking process, smash the ends of the stalk with a rolling pin. Lemongrass is very fibrous, therefore it is best when pounded into a paste either by using a pestle and mortar or in your food processor. If your recipe requires you to cook it with a sauce for above 15 minutes, it should be soft enough to eat and will be much less fibrous.
I chose to slice lemongrass and cook it with a soy sauce marinade to render it softer, all while infusing salmon fillets with its incredibly powerful aroma. The majority of the marinade is made up of soy sauce, but you’ll also find hints of lime, fish sauce and ginger, which when combined, create a fish dish that will make you feel as if you’re eating dinner on some exotic beach in Thailand. The salmon fillets should marinate in the sauce for at least 30 minutes, but are even better when left for 3 to 4 hours.
I wish I would have known sooner that lemongrass can be found so easily, even more so now that I know that lemongrass can be frozen and used whenever desired. I can’t wait to try many more recipes including my favorite aromatic plant, but in the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy this dish as much as we did.
- 500g salmon fillets, without skin
- 5 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- Juice from ½ lime
- 2 lemongrass stalks, tough outer layer removed, thinly chopped
- A handful of fresh coriander, chopped
- Place salmon fillets in a Pyrex.
- Combine soy sauce, fish sauce, grated ginger, lime juice and lemongrass in a bowl. Pour the marinade over the fish and marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes. Keep covered in the fridge until ready to cook.
- Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Top the fish with the coriander and cook for 20 minutes until it easily flakes with a fork. Serve immediately.
How did your ginger lemongrass salmon come out? Share photos of your recipe on Instagram by tagging #savormania