Underneath this flaky, golden and beautifully latticed pastry lies a juicy and tender salmon fillet that’s coated in a fragrant layer of Thai red curry paste. It’s comforting, it’s delicate and it’s complex all at the same time. Serve this Asian-inspired salmon en croute with thrice-cooked pomme frites (fries sounds so much better in French!) and some sweet yet savoury bacon plum jam.
2 x 200g (7 oz) skinless salmon fillets
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed, plus extra if needed for latticework
1 egg, lightly whisked
Bacon plum jam
150g (5 oz) smoked speck, diced
3 plums, pitted, diced
1 French shallot, diced
2 tsp white sugar
1 makrut lime leaf
⅓ cup chilli jam
4 x large kipfler potatoes, peeled, washed
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
Preheat the microwave using the convection setting at 200°C for 30 minutes.
For the bacon plum jam, place a small saucepan over low-medium heat. Once hot, add the speck and sauté for around 5 minutes to allow the fat to render down and the speck is crispy and golden.
Add in the diced plum, shallot and white sugar, then scrunch up the makrut lime leaf in your hands to release its aroma, before adding that to the pan too. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking for a further 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, let’s get started on the salmon en croute. Spread the salmon fillets with the curry paste, ensuring they are evenly coated on all sides.
Gently roll out the pastry so it’s half the thickness. Cut a strip of pastry that’s 8cm wider (just over 3”) than the length of a salmon fillet. With a short edge of the strip facing you, put the salmon fillet near the top half of the pastry, leaving a roughly 4cm (1.5”) border at the top and sides. Brush the pastry edges with some of the beaten egg, then fold the bottom half over to cover the fish, trimming off any excess and pressing to seal. Repeat with the other salmon fillet. Transfer to a tray, then pop in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes.
With the remaining pastry, use a lattice roller to create two diamond shape decorations. Chill these immediately for 20 minutes – you want the salmon and the lattice pastry to be nice and cold. Once chilled, brush some egg wash on the top of the salmon parcels, then carefully lower the lattice pastry on top. Trim the excess pastry from the sides and tuck under the salmon parcel. Coat with more egg wash then transfer to the fridge again to chill for a further 20 minutes or until very cold.
In the meantime, for the pomme frites, slice the potatoes into 1cm (about ⅜”) wide long chips. Place them in a large bowl of cold water to wash off any excess starch, then drain and repeat process with clean water. Drain frites and transfer to a dry tea towel.
Fill a wok or frying pan one-third of the way up with the oil and place over a medium heat. Once the oil is warm enough (160°C, wooden spoon bubbles etc), carefully add frites in. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove from oil and transfer to a clean tray lined with some paper towel. Allow to cool for a few minutes before the next cook. Once the oil is back up to frying temperature, add the frites again for a further 1–2 minutes – you’ll notice the colour is changing and there is a light crispiness. Remove from oil and drain on some more clean paper towel. Allow to cool slightly.
Back to the jam. Remove from the heat and stir through the chilli jam. Set aside.
Remove salmon pieces from the fridge and brush with eggwash once more. Transfer to a tray and place in the microwave. Cook on convection mode at 200°C for 20 minutes or until pastry is golden (you can also do this in a regular oven if your microwave doesn’t have a convection setting).
When the salmon is almost ready, reheat the wok of oil again to finish off the pomme frites. For the third and final fry, cook the frites for another 2 minutes or until super crispy and golden. Drain on some clean paper towel and season with salt while warm.
Remove the salmon from the microwave and transfer to a serving plate. Serve with hot pomme frites and bacon plum jam on the side.