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Salmon with Passionfruit and Curry Spice

Salmon with Passionfruit and Curry Spice

Recipe from 'A River Rules My Kitchen', a cookbook by Tony Smith. 

Food Styling and Photography by Deborah Aspray. 


This dish came from my years in Whanganui where I was keen to come up with new dishes that used local products. Passionfruit grows well there. One of the earlier 'cottage' industries I had a great relationship with was developed by Gay Pederson, who supplied frozen pure pulp to many parts of the country year-round. I was shown by a local lady how to simply preserve passionfruit in bottles by mixing the raw passionfruit pulp with an equal amount of sugar. 


Serves 4


4 x 160g salmon fillets 

2 shallots, finely diced

a small walnut-sized piece of fresh ginger, finely diced

1 clove garlic, finely diced

1/2 teaspoon ground fenugreek

1 level teaspoon whole cumin seeds

1 teaspoon olive oil 

1/4 cup Riesling

a pinch of saffron

3 whole passionfruits, sieved

1/2 Granny Smith apple, finely diced

3 tablespoons fresh cream 

10g butter

pulp from 1 extra passionfruit



Fry the shallots, ginger, garlic, fenugreek and cumin in the olive oil. Add the wine and saffron, let it reduce a little, then add the passionfruit and apple. Simmer for 10 minutes, then add the cream, and reduce it to a nice consistency. Swirl in the butter to finish, then strain through a sieve, pushing the solids to extract all the flavour.

Grill the salmon fillets, skin side up, or pan-fry them gently in a little olive oil. Spoon over a good tablespoon of the sauce and spoon over a little more passionfruit pulp to garnish. 

As an alternative, make a salsa by dry-roasting the spices in a pan and then grind in a mortar and pestle. Dice the apple and 1 shallot really finely. Add the spices, as well as 1 teaspoon grated ginger, passionfruit, and a little olive oil. Mix well and serve with the salmon. 

Serve with rice, or potatoes as pictured. 






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