Thai red curry paste
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
1⁄2 tsp black peppercorns
6 long red chillies, deseeded and roughly chopped
4 bird’s eye chillies, deseeded and roughly chopped
1 lemongrass, pale section only, sliced
5cm piece galangal or ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
6 cloves garlic
2 Asian eschallots or 1 small brown onion, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp roasted belacan (shrimp paste)
4 coriander roots
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp vegetable oil
400ml coconut milk
3 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
1 bird’s eye chilli, finely sliced, plus extra, to garnish
2-3 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp shaved palm sugar or brown sugar
4 x 180g salmon portions, skinned and deboned
1-2 tbsp lime juice
Steamed rice, Asian greens, lime wedges, and coriander, to serve,
To make curry paste. Place cumin seeds, coriander and peppercorns into a small frying pan. Roast over a medium heat for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Place into a small bowl and allow to cool slightly.
Place all curry paste ingredients into a small food processor bowl, along with roasted spices. Process until very smooth, scraping down the sides. Add vegetable oil to help with processing. Season with salt.
To prepare curry, heat oil in a medium, deep frying pan over a moderate heat. Cook 3 tablespoons of the curry paste for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant, then add coconut milk, kaffir lime leaves, chilli, fish sauce and palm sugar. Bring to a gentle simmer, then reduce heat. Leave to cook for 4-5 minutes.
Add salmon portions, cover slightly with a lid or piece of foil. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until salmon is medium-rare. Remove from the heat, then stir in lime juice. Season with freshly ground pepper. Serve salmon with steamed rice and steamed Asian greens. Garnish with coriander.
If you have the time to make a fresh paste, it’s well worth it, although it can take a bit of patience to chop and to blend into a smooth paste. If time is short, substitute with a ready -made red curry paste.