Spicy roast salmon and turmeric rice

Take a weeknight staple up a couple of notches by doing little more than rifling through your spice rack.


This is an wonderfully easy way to take a weeknight staple up a notch by doing little more than rifling through your spice rack. I take simple pleasure in the little bit of measuring and mixing it takes to get this together – I’m not doing much, but enough to make it satisfying cooking, a level of activity that's perfectly manageable in the course of the working week.

A few spoonfuls of spices are transformed into a paste with the help of a little lemon juice, and all you need to do is run the salmon pieces through it. Roasting, rather than frying, adds to this recipe’s relaxed vibe.

My rice of choice here, as it is so often for fork-friendly (read: couch-friendly) dinners, is sushi rice. The short, desirably sticky grains, given a vibrant blast of colour and earthy flavour with turmeric, make a perfect bed for the fish.

The timing works nicely, too – and this is from someone who is not a great multitasker. Get the rice going first, get your oven up to temperature and the fish can roast while the rice has its rest. In fact, there's even enough time to casually steam a vegetable to go with this – bok choy or baby broccolini would be great choices – without falling into a paroxysm of stress from cooking three things at once.

Spicy roast salmon and turmeric rice


Serves 2.

½ cup sushi rice
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 salmon fillets
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 clove garlic
1 lemon
1 teaspoon chilli flakes

To make the turmeric rice, rinse the rice in a strainer under cold running water until the water runs clear. Place in a saucepan and pour over ¾ cup of cold water. Bring to a boil and stir in the turmeric. Turn the heat down to a low simmer, put on a lid and leave to cook for 12 minutes. Remove from the heat, keep covered and leave for 10 minutes.

Set your oven to 220°C (425°F).

Measure the cumin, coriander and paprika into a shallow dish. Grate or crush in the garlic. Stir in lemon juice, a teaspoon at a time, until it becomes a thick, brushable paste.

Put the salmon fillets in the dish and brush or spoon the spice mix over to coat well on all sides.

Transfer the salmon to a baking sheet and sprinkle with chilli flakes. Roast for 8 minutes.

Fluff the rice with a fork, divide between two plates and top with the salmon.