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Bali-spiced grilled salmon

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Bali-spiced grilled salmon


Balinese spice paste (basa genep)

  • 6 whole cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 shallot, peeled
  • 2 large red chillis, deseeded
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns, toasted
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, toasted
  • 1 tblsp dried laos (see Cook’s Tips)
  • 3 tblsp fresh turmeric, grated or 1 Tblsp ground dried turmeric
  • 2 tblsp grated ginger
  • 2-3 candlenuts or macadamia nuts
  • ½ tsp sesame seeds, toasted
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ tsp fish paste, toasted (see Cook’s Tips), optional


  • 1 large side fresh salmon, about 1.2-1.4 kg


Balinese spice paste (basa genep)

  1. Grind the garlic, shallots, chillis, all the spices and flavourings, nuts and seeds into a fine paste in a mortar and pestle or mini food processor, add sufficient water (and fish paste, if using) to make a thick paste. Cover and refrigerate.


  1. Using tweezers, remove the pin bones from the salmon (or ask your fishmonger to do it for you).
  2. Spread 3-4 tblsp of the spice paste over the flesh side of the salmon. Cover with cling film. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Fan grill the salmon on a foil-lined baking tray at 230°C for about 10 minutes or until the salmon is golden, and medium rare on the inside. Cooking time depends on the thickness of the salmon. Do not overcook the salmon as it becomes dry to eat. Serve warm or at room temperature with an asparagus and mango salad (see recipe in ecook), and extra lime wedges to squeeze.

Cooks Tips

· Store the remaining basa genep spice paste in a covered airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

· Laos is the dried, powdered form of galangal, and is available at Asian supermarkets.

· Fish paste requires cooking before being used to ensure the flavours are mellow and not overpoweringly pungent

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