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Red Chili-Rubbed Salmon


    3 large dried red chili peppers
    1 1/2 cups lightly packed light brown sugar
    1 tablespoon lime juice
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 teaspoon dried oregano, or 1 TB fresh
    1 tablespoon salt
    3 pounds salmon fillet, cut into 6 pieces
    2 limes, thinly sliced
    1 tablespoon canola oil
    fresh cilantro sprigs for garnish

    1. Soak the chili peppers in enough warm water to cover them for 30 minutes, until soft. When the peppers are soft, remove the stems and seeds. Place the chilies, brown sugar, lime juice, garlic, oregano and salt in a blender, and purée until you have a paste-like consistency. If the mixture is too thick, add a little of the soaking liquid, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.

    2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

    3. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the salmon fillets skin side down side by side, touching, so it looks like one whole side of salmon. Spread the purée evenly over the tops of the salmon to completely cover the fillets.

    4. Lay 2 overlapping slices of lime on each portion of the salmon, lining up the lime slices so they make a strip down the center of the "whole" fillet. Lightly brush the lime slices with the canola oil. Bake the salmon uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes, until the salmon is golden brown and fully cooked through.

    5. Carefully remove the salmon fillets to a serving platter, re-creating the "whole" shape. Serve hot from the oven, at room temperature or chilled. Garnish with fresh cilantro sprigs.

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