If you ride around on bikes, especially if you do so on a daily basis through the depths of a Scandinavian winter, then sooner rather than later you are going to fall off.
There’s a moment, between your realisation that the back end’s started to drift and the actual instant that you meet the asphalt, when time almost seems to stop, and in this curiously elongated, Zen-like, eye of the storm fraction of a second, you are almost instinctively aware that things are Bad, and, once time speeds up again, about to get painfully Worse.
I had such a moment yesterday, in our local supermarket.
Don’t fret, mes amis, I wasn’t bombing around the aisles on my mountain bike towing a shopping trolley. I was on foot, and trying to buy fish.
I had promised to cook fish that evening. The menu was set in stone. I was geared up for fish.
The options available were i) fish, or ii) hunger.
Yet when he got there (the supermarket’s fresh fish counter), the cupboard (ice-shelf) was bare.
Well, when I say “bare”, I actually mean “a few pitiful scraps of what might once have been cod, that a half-starved feral cat would have turned its nose up at. “
I stared in disbelief at the near empty display for what felt like 15 minutes. I was pulled back to the here and now by the fresh fish counter person asking me if I needed any help.
I was about to respond with a sarcastic little inquiry along the lines of “I don’t suppose you’ve got a trawler and a willing crew out back, do you..?”, but thought better of it.
Frozen fish was out of the question, too – it was already way past 6 pm, and so it wouldn’t de-frost in time.
Time to play the cook’s “Get out of jail free” card. Time to visit the chilled foods cabinet.
Here, amongst the jars of fishballs, and the glow-in-the-dark chemical spill sauces, I found my saviour, the evening’s salvation – two 200g packets of hot smoked salmon, two wonderful lumps of fishy goodness, graced by heat, smoke, pepper, lemon juice, and nothing more.
By the time I’d walked home, I knew what I was going to do with them….
Thai Green Salmon and Pineapple Curry
- 400g hot smoked salmon
- 1 pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into bite sized cubes
- 5 spring onions (scallions), finely sliced
- 3 tbsp Thai green curry paste – see Notes
- 5 or 6 fresh kaffir lime leaves – see Notes
- 2 stalks lemon grass, cut into thirds and bruised
- 1 400ml tin coconut milk
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp fish sauce – see Notes
- 2 tsp coconut sugar
- coconut oil
- Remove the skin from the smoked salmon. Cut into large pieces, and set aside.
- Heat about 4 tbsp of coconut oil in a non-stick wok over medium heat.
- Add the spring onions. Stir fry for 3 minutes.
- Add the green curry paste. Stir fry for 2 minutes.
- Add the coconut milk, and stir well. Add the kaffir lime leaves and lemon grass. Stir well, and bring to a low simmer. Cover, and then simmer for about 5 minutes or so.
- Add the pineapple, cover, and simmer for a further 10 minutes.
- Add the smoked fish, and simmer just long enough to warm the fish through, 2 minutes or so at most.
- Remove the wok from the heat. Serve with a side of cauliflower rice.
- To make the dish truly Paleo, get hold of fish sauce that contains fish, water, and salt. You’re probably best looking in an Asian store for genuine Thai fish sauce. I currently use Thanh Ha Phu Quoc.
- Similarly, your green curry paste shouldn’t come full of sugar and other associated nasties. I currently use Mae Ploy brand, which contains green chilli, lemon grass, garlic, salt, galangal, shrimp paste (shrimp and salt), kaffir lime peel, coriander seed, pepper, cumin, and turmeric.
- If you can’t find fresh kaffir lime leaves, use dried.