Spicy Tamarind Salmon with Coconut Wok Fried Cabbage

Need an go-to healthy dinner packed with flavor? How about one that’s easily weeknightable but also stunning enough to impress a crowd? Tamarind is one of my favorite ingredients and it does double duty here– bringing tartness to the salmon marinade as well as sweetness to the sticky peanut crunch.


  • This recipe can easily be increased to serve a larger crowd, and would be an excellent centerpiece for a post vaccine dinner party. You likely won’t need to double the marinade as it makes a decent amount. 

Serves 2


For the salmon

  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, minced
  • ½ tsp chili flakes
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste or concentrate
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 10-12 oz salmon

For the sticky peanuts

  • 2 tbsp peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp chili crisp, store bought or homemade
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste or concentrate

For the cabbage

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil 
  • ½ large head cabbage, core removed and roughly chopped. 
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lime
  • ½ cup mixed herbs (cilantro, scallions, mint)

First, marinade the salmon

  1. Heat a small saucepan and add 1 tsp coconut oil. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for 1-2 minutes. 
  2. Reduce the heat to low and add the chili flakes and saute for another 30 seconds. 
  3. Add the soy sauce, tamarind, and mirin and simmer until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. It will foam up a bit, which is OK. 
  4. Pour into a small bowl and set aside to cool (or stick in the freezer for 10 minutes). 
  5. Place the salmon on a plate and use a pastry brush (or your fingers) to generously cover the flesh with the marinade. You likely won’t need all of the marinade. Place in the fridge, uncovered, for 1 hour. 

Then, make the sticky peanuts

  1. In a small pan, dry toast the peanuts for 1-2 minutes, stirring regularly to keep them from burning. 
  2. Add the peanuts to a small bowl and combine with 1 tbsp chili crisp and 1 tbsp tamarind paste. Stir to combine and set aside. 

Then, cook the salmon and cabbage

  1. When the salmon has been marinating for 45 minutes, preheat the oven to 450. 
  2. Bake the salmon for about 10 minutes, or until it flakes easily with a fork. For deeper color, broil for 1 minute at the end. 
  3. As soon as you put the salmon in the oven, heat a wok over very high heat until extremely hot. 
  4. Add 2 tbsp of coconut oil and the cabbage. 
  5. Stir fry until all the cabbage is coated in oil. Then, spread the cabbage out over the bottom to lightly char. Stir occasionally until all the cabbage is cooked and charred, about 5-8 minutes. Finish with salt and pepper to taste and the juice of 1 lime. 


  1. Place the cabbage on a serving platter and top with the herbs and cooked salmon. 
  2. Use your hands to disperse the sticky peanuts around the plate (stir beforehand, as the oil may have separated).