PERSIAN SALMON KEBABS
Celebrating one of my favourite spices and an ingredient synonymous with Persian cuisine – Saffron. These Persian-style salmon kebabs take inspiration from the fried Mahi typically eaten during Persian New Year and the many wonderful kebab dishes with which Persian cuisine is often associated. Flavoured with saffron, garlic, green chilli and a host of fresh herbs, these skewers make for the perfect summer feast and a wonderful alternative when barbecuing. Whether enjoyed barbecued under the sun or cooked in the oven in colder months, try serving these kebabs with Sabzi Polos – a traditional Persian herbed rice eaten alongside the fried Mahi during New Year.
500g Salmon, skinned
Generous Pinch of Salt & Pepper
Pinch of Saffron Threads, about ¼ tsp, finely ground
25ml Hot Water,
1 Small White Onion, about 40g
2 Garlic Cloves,
Juice of 1 Lime,
1 Green Chilli,
1 Small Bunch of Parsley, about 10g
1 Small Bunch of Coriander, about 10g
½ tsp. Ground Turmeric,
½ tsp. Ground Coriander,
Coriander, a few leaves
- Place the ground saffron into a small bowl and add the hot water and allow to bloom for 5 minutes.
- Into a food processor or the cup of an immersion blender, place all of the marinade ingredients except the fresh herbs. Blitz until you achieve a smooth bright yellow marinade. There should be enough moisture in the onion to give enough liquid to the marinade but if necessary, add a splash of water to loosen.
TIP – I have found using the immersion blender is the best way to achieve a really smooth and consistent marinade.
- Finely chop the fresh herbs and mix these into the marinade.
MARINATING THE SALMON
- Cut the salmon into 3cm thick chunks. Season the salmon chunks generously with salt and pepper, making sure that the salmon is evenly seasoned. Place the salmon into a bowl or zip-lock bag and add the marinade, ensuring the salmon chunks are suitably covered.
TIP – Re-sealable zip-lock bags work extremely well for this and will allow the salmon to be more easily manipulated and coated in the marinade.
- Leave the salmon to marinate for 15-20 minutes.
COOKING THE SALMON KEBABS
- Preheat the oven to 220Cº or its highest setting.
- Thread the salmon chunks onto skewers, trying to leave a little space in between each piece. Balance the skewers over a deep-sided roasting tray so that the salmon is suspended over the tray.
TIP – If you do not have skewers or a deep enough baking tray you can place the salmon over a wire rack or even a griddle pan – the aim is to have as much air circulating around the pieces as possible.
If using skewers, using two per kebab will make for easier turning and more stable cooking.
- Place the salmon kebabs into the oven and cook for 8-10 minutes, turning over halfway through until cooked-through and just starting to char.
TIP – These can also be cooked on a barbecue, again for 10-12 minutes, turning over halfway through until cooked-through and just starting to char.
- Serve the salmon kebabs with garlic yoghurt and herbed rice.