Maybe it's from all the baking frenzy of Easter, but I'm not in the mood to spend much time on cooking right now. But, I do want to eat something delicious. This dish from Dancing Shrimp, a wonderful cookbook by Kasma Loha-Unchit, is fast and easy to prepare--but the flavors are BIG! It has lots of chilies in it, but that can be adjusted up or down, according to a person's taste. I like the addition of handfuls of whole basil leaves in the dish. They taste wonderful, and look good too. And as always, I wonder how on earth I managed to live so long without using fish sauce? That's so wrong.
Someone asked me if you have to use a wok. No, you don't. Use a non-stick skillet instead. However, it may be a little more difficult to toss the salmon chunks around quickly, so be careful not to cook them too long. I prefer to under cook them, so that the center is slightly rare. I actually used less than the one pound of salmon called for in the recipe, since I was cooking for only two people. So, I had a bit more of the sauce in the dish, which was a bonus. Adjust the chilies to your taste! Then enjoy.
Wok Tossed Salmon with Chilies and Basil (from Dancing Shrimp)
2 Tbs. peanut oil
4 garlic cloves finely diced
2-3 shallots, thinly sliced
1 lb. salmon fillets, cut into 1 inch chunks
3-6 Thai chilies, sliced thin
2 jalapeno or Fresno peppers (preferably red) cut lengthwise into slivers
2 fresh kaffir lime leaves finely slivered, optional
2 tsp. black soy sauce
1 cup fresh Thai or sweet basil basil
2 Tbs. fish sauce, to taste
2 dashes white ground pepper
Heat a well seasoned wok over high heat until smoking hot. Swirl in oil to coat the wok surface and wait 20 to 30 seconds for oil to heat, then add the garlic and shallots. Saute 20-30 seconds to flavor oil, then toss in salmon chunks. Sir fry 30 seconds until outer surface changes color. Stir in chilies and lime leaves and sprinkle black soy sauce over the mixture. Stir and 30 seconds later add the basil and fish sauce. Continue to stir fry until the basil is wilted and the fish is cooked to your liking. Sprinkle with white pepper and transfer to a serving dish. Serves 3to 4 with jasmine rice and other dishes in a family meal.