Salmon Steaks in Coconut Milk with Star Anise, Fresh Chilli and Ginger

This luscious, aromatic dish is extremely simple to prepare. Salmon, normally associated with the Northern cuisines of its habitat, nevertheless goes well with more exotic flavours from the Far East. If you prefer, you can use any other fish steaks. Serve with basmati rice and a green vegetable.


  • 4 thick salmon steaks
  • 1 medium-sized yellow pepper
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 2.5 cm/1 in piece fresh ginger
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 4 whole and 1 broken-up star anise
  • 400 ml/14 fl oz tin coconut milk
  • juice of 2 limes
  • handful fresh coriander leaves
  • sea salt


Place the fish steaks in a fairly shallow ovenproof dish with a lid, into which they fit quite closely. Cut the pepper in half lengthways, discard the seeds and stem and slice across as thinly as you can — use a food processor for extra thinness. Cut the chilli in half lengthways under running water, discard the seeds and stem, and slice as finely as possible across the flesh. Peel the ginger and garlic and cut into small, very thin slices. Scatter the chilli, ginger and garlic all over and around the fish and then place the sliced pepper evenly over the top. Put a whole star anise on each steak and the broken pieces in between. Empty the coconut milk into a bowl, add a good sprinkling of sea salt and gradually stir in the lime juice. Pour gently over and around the fish.

Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/gas mark 2. Cover the dish and place in the oven for about 50 minutes, until the fish is just cooked. If you are using salmon, insert a small, sharp knife into the centre of one of the steaks to test it — if the flesh is a slightly darker pink in the centre, it is perfectly cooked. Remove from the oven. Chop the coriander leaves roughly and scatter them on top of the fish.