Grilled Salmon with Chili-Lime Sauce (Plah Sah-mohn Pao)
September, 2005

Serves 6 / Thais eat lots and lots of fish. Salmon is not traditionally Thai, but I use it here because its flavor fits right in with Thai seasonings. You can also use catfish, tilapia, or other firm fish. Try the sauce with anything steamed, fried, or grilled.

3 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and stems
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
1 1/2 pounds salmon fillets (or tuna, snapper, cod, catfish, or tilapia)
Sauce (optional)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh hot green chili, such as jalapeño
1 teaspoon finely chopped cilantro

1. For the marinade, combine garlic, cilantro leaves and stems, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, salt, pepper, and oil in a food processor or blender and grind to a fairly smooth paste. (Or grind in a mortar with pestle, combining solid ingredients and then stirring in liquid ingredients.) Transfer to a medium bowl or large zip-top bag and add fish fillets, turning gently to season well. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes, or refrigerate for up to 1 day.
2. For the sauce, combine fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, and garlic in a small bowl, stirring to dissolve sugar. Sprinkle with chili and cilantro and set aside.
3. Coat a grill rack with cooking spray and preheat, or lightly oil a shallow baking pan and preheat oven to 425°. Remove fish from marinade and cook until done, turning once, about 5 minutes per side (longer for thicker fillets). Arrange on a serving platter, along with a small bowl of sauce, if using, to spoon over fish. Serve hot or warm.

PER SERVING: 286 cal, 52% fat cal, 16g fat, 3g sat fat, 75mg chol, 25g protein, 9g carb, 0g fiber, 624mg sodium