Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Flaked salmon stir fry

When I think of food and want to recreate a long forgotten taste, hostel food rarely comes up. College food was not bad but the same cannot be said of the food at any of boarding schools. I do not drink tea, in fact I hate it, thanks to one of them. The one pleasant memory of the food in the boarding was the vegetable/mutton puff that were served twice or thrice a week, thankfully store bought.

Similarly minced fish brings a pleasant reminder of my college days and foremost is the taste of the fish poriyal(maybe it was called fish puttu made with sura meen (eel)). It had nothing to do with the hostel food, the delicacy was shared by a roommate during second year of college. Her parents had sent it one weekend which she was generous enough to share. We just could not get enough of it. I remember the curry leaves, onions, green chilies and the soft and buttery fish like it was yesterday. My entire cooking repertoire at this point were potato roast and my own milk chocolate concoction(made with condensed milk, cocoa powder and sugar and heated to solidify) so to have remembered even the ingredients is what perhaps James Beard via Madhur Jaffrey in her memoir 'Climbing Mango Trees' calls taste memory.

It was this tantalizing taste memory beckoning when I laid eyes on the canned Alaskan Wildeye Salmon at Costco a couple of weeks ago. Amazingly simple dish. I have tried it with canned tuna, steamed fresh tilapia and salmon. If you are using canned fish go easy on the salt. With the soft texture of scrambled eggs, these are a delight. The green chilies should be cooked to crisp and make it unnecessary to be picked aside when eating. The curry leaves are a very important ingredient of the recipe, I did not have any(can you believe that?) so did not add them. Thanks mallugirl for pointing that out.

1. 2 fillets of canned salmon broken loose into flakes with your fingers(if using fresh fish steam and then break them loose with your fingers)
2. 1 Onion chopped very fine
3. 8-10 green chillies chopped fine.
4. 3 cloves garlic minced
5. curry leaves 2 sprigs (more the better)
6. seasonings: mustard seeds, cumin and optional fennel seeds

1. In a pan heat oil and add the seasonings, followed by the green chilies and onions and saute till they are brown.
2. If using canned no salt is needed otherwise add salt to the onions and mix
2. Now add the salmon and mix well with the onions, cook for 6-8 minutes till it is heated through but don't let it get to dry.


  1. I have never eaten fish cooked like this except while making fish chops and tikkis. I think this is fantastic!!

  2. U missed the curry leaves or was it intentional? this is my go to recipe for any week night non veg. i add a piece of kudam puli to get rid of the can taste.

  3. fish is something that tastes awesome even when you don't put in too many things. I personally prefer desi style fish curries, but something tells me this stir fry should be absolutely yum!

  4. I ove salmon, though i have never used from tin than fresh, love the idea.

  5. Shaheen, no it was not intentional. I did not have any curry leaves so did not add them but the recipe sure needs them. thanks I will update the post.

    HC, you can do the same recipe with fresh fish, once poached you can use it for this recipe.

  6. So easy and tasty looking ISG! Salmon is my favorite fish hands down. You mentioned eel, which I have had as sushi -- I can only imagine how that rich fish would taste smothered in curry leaves and chiles. You've given me a hankering to taste *that* memory! ;)

  7. hey, that's a really quick meal, Indo! I've seen these cans but wasn't sure what to do with them. now I know. :) Thanks for the wonderful idea!!

  8. Lovely! Sura puttu is my favorite and Amma had fed me enough during the time I feed the kids. Its a great source for lactation! With a peppry rasam and piping hot rice I will be in heaven :)

  9. Nirmala, absolutely. Heaven it will be.

  10. I don't have the can but I have some salmon today which in my freezer dungeon from god knows when. I am going to make this now

  11. Love this stir fry ... only I call it fish kheema. :-) This works great as a stuffing too ISG. :-)

  12. Sora refers to shark if I'm not mistaken and sora puttu is the preparation made with shark meat (atleast as per what I have eaten in my SIl's maternal home!)

    I agree the curry leaves add all the flavour!

  13. D made it yesterday with salmon, lots of green chili, curry leaves et al. It was hot but really good. Thanks

  14. My hubby likes salmon so good one for him.I am sure he is going to like it this way.

  15. Great idea to flake the salmon in the stir fry. This is a quick meal.

  16. Actually we do this kind of dish in different fish, back home(India). We call it 'Sura Puttu' in Tamil...this is much similar to that, I never attempted to scramble salmon so far...this sounds kool, will try soon...

    Thanks for sharing the recipe.


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