Thai Coconut Salmon Head Soup
By Andrew Zimmern
This gorgeous Thai-style coconut milk soup is ideally suited for using up your salmon scraps, like the salmon head.
Salmon Head Soup
- 1 Verlasso salmon head and collars (you can also use trim and belly pieces)
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons chile-tamarind paste (nam phrik pao)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons golden brown sugar
- 2 Makrut lime leaves
- 1 large stalk lemon grass, trimmed and sliced into 1-inch pieces
- One 2-inch piece of galangal, sliced lengthwise
- One 2-inch piece of ginger, sliced lengthwise
- Two 14-ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 Thai chiles, split lengthwise, plus more for garnish
- 3/4 pound mixed mushrooms, such as oyster mushrooms, enoki mushrooms or straw mushrooms
- 2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- Cilantro sprigs for garnish
Split and rinse the salmon head. Remove and reserve the collars and any trim pieces you want to use.
In a large stock pot, bring the chicken broth to a simmer. Add the chile-tamarind paste, brown sugar, lime leaves, lemon grass pieces, galangal and ginger. Stir to incorporate the paste and dissolve the sugar. Next, add the salmon collars, trim pieces and coconut milk. Add the split chiles and mushrooms. Bring to a simmer, then cook for 5 minutes.
Stir in the fish sauce and fresh lime juice. Cook for another minute, and then ladle the soup into individual serving bowls, garnishing with cilantro and sliced chiles.