Salmon Baggins

This developed from an idea by my fish-cooking hero, Rick Stein, giving an oriental influence to a little seen ingredient called, somewhat ferociously, wolf fish. Since I can’t get wolf fish, I decided to try it with salmon. I also added some extra ingredients to bolster the vegetable content and the Asian influence.


serves: 4
preparation time: 30 mins
cooking time: 1 hr


  • 4 Salmon cutlets
  • 8 raw tiger prawns in the shell (heads optional)
  • 1 pt. fish stock
  • 2 oz unsalted butter
  • 1 Shallot
  • 1 stem Lemon Grass
  • 1 tiny clove of Garlic
  • 4 heads Pak Choy
  • 24 large stems fresh asparagus
  • toasted sesame oil
  • salt and pepper


First finely chop the shallot and sweat it in an ounce of the butter to soften and become translucent. Meanwhile, shell (and decapitate, if appropriate) the prawns and roughly chop these offcuts before adding them to the shallots. Sweat the shells gently for 3-4 minutes to colour and extract some flavour. Now add the fish stock, bring to simmering point and cook for 20-30 minutes. Strain and reserve the stock; discard the bits.

Finely shred the lemon grass and sweat it in the remaining ounce of butter over gentle heat for a few minutes. Add the reserved stock and thinly sliced clove of garlic and simmer gently for another 15 minutes or so. Strain and reserve the stock yet again. (With all the flavour and gentle reduction it’s had, let’s now call it a sauce.)

Quarter the heads of pak choy lengthways and trim (snap) the asparagus stems. Steam these together for about 5 minutes or to your liking. Meanwhile, in a second steamer, steam the salmon cutlets for 4-5 minutes depending on thickness. Keep these and the vegetables warm.

Return the sauce to the heat and bring back to the boil. Cook the prawns in it for 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Place the pak choy in the centre of warm plates and surround it by a ?hexagon? of asparagus stems and two prawns. Drizzle a small amount of toasted sesame oil (careful, it has a strong flavour) over the pak choy. Top the pak choy with a salmon cutlet and moisten all with a little of the sauce.

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