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Spiced Salmon Stir-fry

Marinating the salmon allows all the flavours to develop, and the lime juice tenderizes the fish beautifully, so it needs very little stir-frying be careful not to overcook it.

ingredients

serves 4
4 salmon steaks, about 225 g (8 oz) each
4 whole star anise
1 dried chilli
2 lemon grass stalks, sliced
juice and finely grated rind of 3 limes
30 ml (2 tbsp) clear honey
30 ml (2 tbsp) grapeseed oil
salt and ground black pepper
lime wedges, to garnish

method

1. Remove the middle bone from each steak, using a very sharp filleting knife, to make two strips from each steak.

2. Remove the skin by inserting the knife at the thin end of each piece of salmon. Sprinkle 5 ml (1 tsp) salt on the cutting board to prevent the fish slipping while removing the skin. Slice into pieces, cutting diagonally.

3. Roughly crush the star anise and chilli in a mortar with a pestle. Place the salmon in a non-metallic dish and add the star anise, lemon grass, lime juice and rind and honey. Season well with salt and pepper. Turn the salmon strips to coat. Cover and leave in the refrigerator overnight.

4. Carefully drain the salmon from the marinade, pat dry on kitchen paper and reserve the marinade.

5. Heat a wok, then add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the salmon and stir-fry, stirring constantly until cooked. Increase the heat, pour over the marinade and bring to the boil. Garnish with lime wedges and serve.

Star anise contains the same oil as the more familiar Mediterranean spice, anise or aniseed, but looks completely different. Its star-shaped pods are particularly attractive, so it is often used whole in Chinese cooking for its decorative effect. It is also becoming increasingly popular with western cooks for the same reason. It is an essential ingredient in many classic Chinese recipes and is one of the spices that constitute five-spice powder. The flavour of star anise is very strong and liquorice-tasting with rather deeper undertones than its European counterpart.

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