Asian-Spiced Kedgeree

Nigella Lawson gives an Anglo-Indian classic a new twist with gentle, fleshy salmon and sharp Thai seasoning
By Nigella Lawson
Asian-Spiced Kedgeree
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

Main

  • 500 ml cold water, for poaching the fish
  • 2 lime leaves, torn into pieces
  • 4 salmon, (approx 3cm thick) preferably organic, skinned (about 750g in total)
  • 45 g unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 onions, finely chopped
  • 0.5 tsp ground coriander
  • 0.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 0.5 tsp turmeric
  • 225 g basmati rice
  • 3 eggs, hard boiled and quartered
  • 3 tbsp coriander, chopped, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 limes, juice and zest, plus more lime segments to serve
  • 1 dashes of fish sauce

Tips and Suggestions

Kedgeree started off life, in India, as a dish of lentils and rice and then, translated into the kitchens of what could be called the Anglo-Indian Ascendancy, became an eggy, golden pile of rice punctuated with slabby chunks of smoked haddock. When I was a child it still remained as a comforting brunch dish still part of the homely repertoire of the normal English cook. Here, I've fiddled with it some more, replacing the earthier Indian flavours with the sharper ones of Thailand and SouthEast Asia and trading the strident tones of the smoked haddock in for gentle, fleshy salmon, beautifully coral against the turmeric-stained gold of the rice.

This is one of those rare dishes that manages to be comforting and light at the same time. And - should you have leftovers, which I wouldn't bank on - it's heavenly eaten, as all leftovers demand to be, standing up, straight from the fridge.

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas 7. This is just because the easiest way to poach the salmon for this is to do it in the oven.


2. Pour the water into a roasting dish, add the lime leaves and then the salmon. Cover the dish with foil, put in the oven and cook for about 15 minutes, by which time the salmon should be cooked till tender.


3. Remove the dish from the oven and drain the liquid off into a jug. Keep the fish warm, just by replacing the foil on the dish.


4. Melt the butter in a wide heavy saucepan that has a tight-fitting lid, and add the oil to stop the butter burning.


5. Soften the onion in the pan and add the spices, then keep cooking till the onion is slightly translucent and suffused with the soft perfume of the spices.


6. Add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon so that it's all well coated. There's not enough onion to give a heavy coating: just make sure the rice is fragrantly slicked.


7. Pour in the reserved liquid from the jug - about 500ml - and stir before covering with a lid and cooking gently for about 15 minutes. If your stove is vociferous you may need a heat-diffuser.


8. At the end of the cooking time, when the rice is tender and has lost all chalkiness, turn off the heat, remove the lid, cover with a tea towel and then replace the lid. This will help absorb any extra moisture from the rice. It also is the best way to let the rice stand without getting claggy or cold, which is useful when you've got a few friends and a few dishes to keep your eye on.


9. Just before you want to eat, drain off any extra liquid that's collected in the dish with the salmon, then flake the fish with a fork. Add to it the rice, eggs, coriander, lime juice and a drop or two of fish sauce. Stir gently to mix - I use a couple of wooden paddles or spatulas - and taste to see if you want any more lime juice or fish sauce.


10. Sprinkle over the zest from the two juiced halves of the lime and serve. I love it served just as it is in the roasting dish, but if you want to, and I often do (consistency is a requirement of a recipe but not a cook) decant into a large plate surrounded with lime segments before you add the lime zest, then add the zest and a small handful of freshly chopped coriander.

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