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Salmon with a light, fragrant broth

With thanks to Jill Dupleix

The Thai flavourings are kept very fresh and light in this healthy, perfumed dish of rich salmon. It’s not a soup a such, just salmon, spinach, mushrooms, etc in a paddling pool of broth.

Serves 4

  • 4 x 150 g fresh salmon fillets
  • 1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, trimmed
  • 2 red shallots, peeled
  • 1 small red chilli
  • 150 g mushrooms, oyster, shitake or button
  • 500 ml chicken stock
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 100 g baby spinach leaves
  • 2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice

Cut the salmon into wide fingers, coat it in the fish sauce and set aside. Peel the lemongrass stalk and finely slice the white part. Finely slice the shallots, chilli and mushrooms. Wash the spinach and drain.

Heat the chicken stock in a saucepan with the lemongrass, shallots, chilli, mushrooms and sugar, and simmer for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, heat the oil in a non stick frypan and sear the salmon skin-side down for most of it’s cooking time, turning once to seal the other side, leaving the inside pink. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the spinach to the hot broth, turning it with tongs as it wilts and removing it before fully cooked. Arrange spinach on four warmed shallow soup bowls, and top with the salmon. Add the fish sauce and lime juice to the broth, and spoon it around the salmon, and serve hot with a bowl of rice that can be added at will.