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Oven poached salmon fillet

Succulent fillets of salmon, Congolese style

Oven poached salmon with edamame

Oven poached Tasmanian salmon Congolese style

This incredibly easy recipe was introduced to me some years ago by an old friend who hailed from Brazzaville in the African country of Congo – not to be confused with the Democratic Republic of Congo – and it’s one I’ve made over and over and over again. Although the ingredients I use have evolved over the years, it has stayed fairly true to the original. Its flavours are subtle and the salmon ends up delicate and extremely moist.

Tasmanian salmon is a farmed variety and even though I prefer not to eat farmed fish, this recipe is so good I just crave it from time to time. It’s definitely a fabulous way of cooking salmon, that’s for sure. My second cooking preference for salmon is over coals, but that’s not always an option. While the recipe itself is very simple, the measurements are a little random, so it helps if you understand flavours and their impact on cooking.

For example, I suggest two tablespoons of fish sauce, but if you’re making this for a crowd in a huge baking tray with one huge half salmon, then you’re going to want to use more. The same goes for the chillis – I suggest one per fillet, but if you’re cooking a whole large piece, just use your discretion. Although the chillis are cooked whole and don’t really impact the cooking liquid, if you want to add a boost of chilli to the dish, cut some in half, discard the seeds and place the halves in. There is room to move with this recipe.

Serve it alongside some golden baked potatoes and greens, such as steamed and sauteed edamame, which are young soy beans and really delicious when steamed, podded and sauteed in butter and lemon juice (as pictured), or a fresh green salad.

Salmon-before-cookingBy the way, you’ll note tomatoes in the ingredients list below, but I realised as I was cooking this that I’d forgotten to buy them and so they’ve been left out this time.

I must say that it’s much better with that tomato flavour in the cooking liquid and I won’t forget again.

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