Thai Sweet Chili Glazed Salmon

Thai Sweet Chili Glazed Salmon7

I had every intention of making a good curry or vindaloo and set out to go to my local Indian market and round up some spices I needed. Once I got there I saw they had some fresh Bird’s Eye chili peppers. Immediately I thought of another dish like Red Kidney Bean Curry with Lamb, and remembered a recipe I had recently come across and changed my direction yet again. It’s how things work at my house and kitchen. I really start off with an idea for one thing and another creeps in, or an ingredient that is fresh takes me to another flavor or idea.

See how quickly we traveled from India over to Thailand? I roll with it.

The Bird’s Eye Chili pepper originated in Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand and are available worldwide, but here in San Diego I have only found them at my local Indian spice market. They are similar in heat to a habanero and pack a punch. I usually use latex gloves when handling them, because once a itch on my eyelid was not worth the scratch. An hour later my eyelid was still on fire.

Anyways, I had this lovely sockeye salmon I was going to use for Lemon Dill Copper River Salmon Pinwheels and chose to shake it up and made this Thai Sweet Chili Glazed Salmon. It was well worth making this homemade, sweet Thai chili sauce, too. I used it as a marinade first and later baste the oven baked salmon with it. Sweet, heat and healthy salmon made for a perfect dinner. I served it alongside some steamed barley that I had cooked with turmeric, garlic and later stirred in some chopped chives. The young, steamed baby broccoli spears rounded out the meal.

Thai Sweet Chili Glazed Salmon2

I like to get all my ingredients out and make sure my mis en place is set up when doing a recipe for the first time. I followed the directions to the letter, but the sauce really never came to, or was in any danger of ever becoming a paste. So I cut out the amount of water used from the original recipe. Don’t quite know what to say about that, but it still was delicious nonetheless.

Thai Sweet Chili Glazed Salmon3

Heat olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat, add garlic and green onions. Cook until light golden brown about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon from the oil and transfer to a food processor. Leave remaining oil in the pan.

Now the original recipe recommended red pepper flakes, but I wanted to shake it up a little, too and hence used the Bird’s Eye Chili. So, using latex gloves trim the stems off peppers. Add Birds Eye pepper, or red pepper flakes, fish sauce, palm sugar, lime, water and tamarind paste to the food processor and purée until smooth.

Return the paste to the frying pan and stir it into the oil over low heat for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Whisk together your Thai sweet chili paste, soy sauce and grated ginger in a shallow dish until well combined.

Go ahead and dip your finger in there and take a taste, it is heavenly. Add the salmon fillets, skin side up and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Thai Sweet Chili Glazed Salmon4

Look at that beautiful salmon! I mean that rich, ruby red is amazing. I didn’t use salmon steaks cut in half, but portioned mine into six 4 ounce servings.

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