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Salmon with Coconut and Dill Sauce

When I first read the original version of this recipe in the NYT, I thought, “Well, that’s an odd combination! And it is a lot of steps.” Salmon with coconut AND fresh dill for my palate just seemed wrong. But we were having friends over for dinner, and in spite of the number of steps, it seemed straightforward and easy. I could do the prep earlier in the day and throw it in the oven once the guests arrived. And I wanted to have fish.

I had to remove the tomato from the original recipe because of food sensitivity, and that got my brain spinning.  So, in my version, I added red onion and garlic ginger paste. I substituted white balsamic vinegar for sherry vinegar. Finally, I also added some cream sherry since I did not have sherry vinegar.   My additions and changes worked great, and I will definitely make this again.

To show just how good this turned out, our dinner guests made it the very next night for dinner when that had guests. That is how good it is.

Salmon with Coconut and Dill Sauce Recipe.


6 to 8 servings

  • One Salmon fillet (at least 2 pounds, and I prefer skin off)
  • Olive oil  to coat fish plus 1 Tablespoon for Sauce
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • One 14-ounce can of unsweetened coconut cream
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • Two tablespoons of white balsamic vinegar
  • One tablespoon of cream sherry
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Two tablespoons of Ginger Garlic Paste*  ( or 2 cloves garlic and 3/4 inch peeled fresh ginger pulverized in mortar and pestle)
  • 1 1/2 lemons zested plus 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 3/4 cups chopped fresh dill 
  • 12 ounces green beans, trimmed
  • Three ears of fresh corn on the cob, cooked in the husk in the microwave for 5 minutes
     or 2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/2 large red onion sliced as thin as possible to maintain rings


  • Preheat over to 450°

  • Boil a large pot of water. Once it is a raging boil, throw in green beans and turn off the heat. Leave in water until al dente. (Check after 3-4 minutes) Remove from water and rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Set aside.

  • At the same time, cook your corn on the cob still in the husk in your microwave wave for 5 minutes. Remove from microwave and allow to cool until you can handle it. Remove hush and silk (it should all slide right off).  Remove kernels from the cob. Set aside.

  • In a medium bowl, combine the coconut cream, brown sugar, vinegar, sherry, Dijon mustard, one tablespoon olive oil,  garlic and ginger paste, one teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Zest the lemons right into the bowl and squeeze in 3 tablespoons of juice. Stir in half of the dill.
  • Lay out enough aluminum foil over your full sheet pan to create one piece twice as wide as the sheet pan. You may need to attach two sheets along the long edge by folding them together to create one large sheet wide enough (to make an envelope, ultimately).

Prepare the Salmon

  • Rinse your filet with water on both sides, then pat the fish dry with paper towels and place it on the foil.

  • Drizzle with olive oil and brush to coat both sides and sprinkle lightly with salt. Scatter sliced onion rings atop the filet.

  • Pour two-thirds of the dressing over the fish and set the remaining portion aside. Wrap the fish in the foil by turning up the sides and crimping them together to form a packet. 
  • Place the salmon in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Open the envelope to check the salmon for doneness – At this point, the salmon should be about 135° at the thickest part of the filet.  While the packet is open –  add the green beans and corn on top of the salmon and place back in the oven for about 8-10 minutes. The final temperature for the salmon should be 145°.

  • Carefully transfer the fish packet to a large serving platter, open it wide, and add the remaining sauce and balance of fresh dill.

  • Serve immediately.

  • You can also allow it to cool and serve at room temperature or chilled. It is delicious at every temperature.

* Ginger Garlic Paste can be purchased at most Asian markets. Or substitute two large garlic cloves and about 3/4 inch of fresh ginger. Pulverize in a mortar and pestle.


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