Weeknight Cooking

Salmon Kedgeree

October  4, 2010

Salmon Kedgeree

- Jenny

Many days when I am sitting at my desk charged with thinking about suspension bills, my mind wanders to other things. Why does my family own so many washcloths shaped like farm animals? Am I too old to wear a shirt fashioned from synthetic feathers? What should I do with all this leftover salmon?

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The last question vexes me often, as I am always long on lovely, expensive salmon, due to the incipient pescetarian’s love of the fish. The bottom line is that no matter how delicious any fish recipe is, its re-heated version is usually not that great.

Enter Salmon Kedgeree. This is about as weeknight friendly as a recipe can get, because it involves left over protein, spices and stuff that you probably have laying around (and ingredients that you can skip and not be worse for the wear), and one pot, unless you are making fresh rice, which I did.

Here is the drill: get home, say hello to whomever happens to be waiting for you, and mix up a gin rickey while you put up some rice. (deensiebat wants you to use long grain; I chose basmati.) Then you move in a linear fashion along with the recipe, chopping up your onion, garlic and ginger while your mustard seeds pop, and grabbing the various other things it calls for, too.

If you don’t have turmeric, or cilantro, you will survive. I think even a cook strangely remiss in garlic ownership can make this dish, the only thing you really cannot live without are the mustard seeds, which give this dish its special nutty flavor, and obviously the curry paste.

If you have a curry paste you like, go ahead and use it, but making your own is fast and simple and may yield a better result, as will making sure your rice has some moisture left, otherwise the only thing that can really go wrong with this dish might, which is that it can be a tad dry (add a little broth if needed).

There are so many flavors at work here, and given the match of a healthy blast of salmon, this may be your perfect Monday night meal. Or you can have it for breakfast, as is apparently a tradition in England, even though the dish, which always consists of flaked fish, originates in India. Best case scenario: make it on Tuesday. That way you can eat it while watching Glee.

Salmon Kedgeree

By deensiebat

Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil (or ghee, if you've got it)
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1-2 tablespoon Indian-style jarred curry paste, such as Patak's (if you don't have this, you can substitute 1-1 1/2 Tbsp curry powder (depending on your taste and the spiciness of your curry), mixed with a splash of oil and 1/2 tsp tomato paste)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, julienned or grated
  • ~5 cups cooked long-grain white rice (yeah, my picture has overcooked short-grain brown rice, but long grain white would be better)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • salt
  • 1 pound cooked salmon, flaked into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 bunch spinach, washed, dried and roughly chopped (optional)
  • 1 bunch cilantro, washed, dried and roughly chopped
1. Heat the oil or ghee over a medium-high flame in a heavy pan. When the oil is rippley-but-not-smoking, add the mustard seeds and cover. The seeds will sputter and pop.
2. When the popping has subsided, add the turmeric and curry paste or powder (start with the smaller amount). Let the seasonings toast for a few seconds, then add the onion, garlic and ginger. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium and saute, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent (~5 minutes).
3. When the onion is cooked, add the rice and stir gently but thoroughly to combine. Add the lemon juice and salt to taste, and more curry paste if desired. When it's seasoned to taste, add the salmon, spinach (if using), and ~ 3/4 of the cilantro, and stir gently to combine. Cook until the fish is warmed through and the spinach has wilted. Garnish with remaining cilantro and serve (yogurt and chutney make nice accompaniments)
By day, Jennifer Steinhauer, aka Jenny, covers Congress for The New York Times. By night, she is an obsessive cook.
Jennifer Steinhauer
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jellygood October 11, 2010
I echo cheese1227's comment with my own plaintive cry for eggs! In the UK it's not really a kedgeree without eggs. We also tend to use poached smoked haddock - the undyed variety - which sadly I haven't been able to find anyway in NYC.
jellygood October 11, 2010
* Ooops meant to type anywhere - not anyway.
Jestei October 20, 2010
ok. this is good to know. next time i make this i will throw in eggs.
Tamio888 October 11, 2010
Who has a pound of leftover salmon? This looks great, but, I'll probably downsize it for lunches.
Still in HK, (where Top Gear rules). Can't wait to get home to try it.
Jestei October 20, 2010
you can buy extra if you dont mind a two salmon night situation
The E. October 10, 2010
I can't wait to try this! My mouth was already watering from the photo and as I read through the recipe the craving only escalated! Yum!
Jestei October 20, 2010
i hope it came out well
Kelsey B. October 4, 2010
Finally, an idea for leftover salmon! I always make too much and have a bunch leftover, this is clearly on the menu the next time that happens. Two Questions: I've always been warned not to buy fish on Monday, so do I buy it Sunday, cook it Monday and make this Tuesday? Also, is Glee good? I've never seen it...
Jestei October 5, 2010
i buy fish at the farmer's market on sunday and it is very fresh.i think you need to go by your purveyor. as for glee -- i have mixed feelings but it is the number one show chez moi.
deensiebat October 4, 2010
Oh I'm so glad you made and liked this! I just bought and roasted a 3.5 lb salmon last night, and when we finished dinner my boyfriend mentioned this dish as a possibility for the leftovers. For reals. Evidently we have some sort of karmic culinary connection.
Jestei October 4, 2010
excellent! i look forward to trying your other dishes!
deensiebat October 4, 2010
Let me know if you like any of the other dishes -- I've got scads more on my blog as well. And I look forward to following your further election coverage...
Loves F. October 4, 2010
I absolutely NEVER have problems finishing off salmon... but this does look and sound delish! Especially with that gin rickey =).
Jestei October 4, 2010
and you and deensibat seem neighbors!
cheese1227 October 4, 2010
Ohh, where are the eggs?
Jestei October 4, 2010
does it usually have eggs?
cheese1227 October 4, 2010
The ones I'd get in higher end pubs around England would. A nice 3 minute egg was the norm, so that the yolk would spill out and help bring the whole dish together.
drbabs October 4, 2010
I love one-pot dishes, using leftovers well, and Glee. Thanks!
Jestei October 4, 2010
let me know how it comes out!
healthierkitchen October 4, 2010
thanks Jenny. I saved this recipe so long ago and forgot about it. Always have leftover salmon.
Jestei October 4, 2010
let me know if you add any tricks!
mariaraynal October 4, 2010
Smart, satisfying recipe -- I love one-skillet dishes like these. And, if I happened to have some roasted grape tomatoes in the fridge, which I often do, I'd throw them in as well.
Jestei October 4, 2010
that's an awesome idea i think i will do that too.
mrslarkin October 4, 2010
Yummy. Now I know what to do with the salmon in the fridge. This is a Glee-less household, so we'll eat this while watching Top Gear reruns instead.
Jestei October 4, 2010
Viva Top Gear!
mrslarkin October 4, 2010
Made this tonight! Very very yummy. The lemon really brightens the whole thing up - don't skip it. I used a couple good handfuls of baby spinach. Really good. Thanks Jenny and deensiebat!