Salamoun Bil Arak Arak – Poached Salmon – Joudie Kalla

Salmon is not typically used back home, but seeing as it is readily accessible elsewhere, this recipe works well with the fattiness of the fish. I made this for a client who loves Middle Eastern food but wanted to use salmon instead of white fish, and it worked beautifully. The arak and lemon against the fatty fish is perfect, and the dill really brings out the flavour of it all.

Serves 6–8

  • 1 tbsp English mustard 75g fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp arak
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 tsp pink peppercorns 1 whole side skinless
  • salmon fillet, approx. 900g

For the rice

  • 50g butter, melted
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds grated zest of 1 lemon 1 tsp salt
  • 200g basmati rice

Combine the mustard, dill, arak, lemon juice and peppercorns in a bowl. Add the fish and leave to marinate for about 20 minutes in the fridge before slicing into 6–8 pieces.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC Fan (220ºC/425ºF/Gas 7). Prepare the rice by melting the butter in a frying pan and caramelizing the onions for about 10–12 minutes. Add the coriander seeds, lemon zest, salt and rice and mix well. Add enough water to cover by a knuckle’s worth and cook over medium heat for about 15–20 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, place the salmon pieces in a small baking tray and cover with water, then place in the oven and cook for about 12–15 minutes, depending on how pink you like your fish. You can cook it for longer if you like.

When the rice and fish have finished cooking, place a portion of rice on to each serving plate and serve one piece of salmon per person.

Images and recipes from Baladi by Joudie Kalla, Murdoch Books, RRP $49.99 Photography by Jamie Orlando Smith

Baladi – Joudie Kalla

Baladi takes us on a journey through Palestinian cuisine. Draw up a chair at her table and enjoy these stories and recipes from Joudie Kalla and her loves of this bright and cultural food.

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