20 cloves garlic, peeled
small bunch coriander leaves
knob of fresh ginger, lightly crushed
4-5 lime leaves
1 tbsp grated lime zest
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp red chilli powder
½ tbsp garam masala
½ tbsp salt
50ml/2fl oz vegetable oil
1 tbsp gram (chickpea) flour
100g/3½oz plain yoghurt
knob of butter (optional)
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp red chilli powder
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp rice flour
4 small soft shell crabs
vegetable oil, for deep frying
3 tbsp vegetable oil or coconut oil
1½ tsp mustard seeds
10 curry leaves, chopped
1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
½ tsp chopped green chilli
100g/3½oz onion, chopped
300g/10½oz white crabmeat, flaked
1 tsp ground turmeric
¾ tsp salt
3 tbsp coconut milk
1 tsp chopped coriander leaves
First make the kumquat chutney. Heat all the kumquat chutney ingredients together and cook to a thick consistency, stirring from time to time. Allow to cool.
Next make the plum chutney. Heat all the plum chutney ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes or until the plums are soft. Pass through a fine sieve. (This makes more than you need but the remainder can be kept in the fridge for up to three months.)
To make the salmon marinade, blend together the garlic, coriander, ginger, lime leaves, lime zest and juice, the spices and salt to make a fine paste.
Heat the oil in a pan. Add the gram flour and cook, stirring, to make a roux. Allow to cool, then mix the spice paste and roux with the yoghurt.
For the mousse, add the cubes of salmon to the spice mix, turning them to coat all over, then leave to marinate for one hour.
To prepare the soft shell crabs, mix together the spices, herbs, lime juice and rice flour in a bowl, then marinate the crab for 30 minutes.
While the salmon and crabs are marinating, make the crab salad. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan and sauté the mustard seeds until they pop. Add the curry leaves and sauté, then stir in the ginger and green chilli. Add the chopped onion and sauté until translucent. Add the crabmeat with the turmeric and salt and sauté for two minutes, then mix in the coconut milk, coriander leaves and grated coconut. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
If you want to smoke the salmon before cooking it, you can use a special smoker, if you have one, or fashion a makeshift smoker with a wok or saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Line with two layers of foil. Put the salmon in the bowl and set a small metal bowl of burning charcoal in the middle. Drop a knob of butter on the charcoal and put on the lid so no smoke can escape. Leave to smoke for 30-40 minutes. Remove the charcoal bowl and discard. (CAUTION: smoking generates a great deal of smoke. Open the windows and get as much ventilation as you can. Open the lid outdoors if possible.)
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 or the grill to high.
Cook the salmon in the oven or under the grill for 10-15 minutes, basting once or twice with butter to keep the fish moist. Allow to cool to room temperature. Remove the skin from the salmon and break up the flesh with a fork.
To finish the salmon mousse, whisk together the remaining ingredients, then lightly mix in the salmon. Chill until required.
Just before serving, cook the soft shell crabs. Heat the oil in a deep heavy wok. The oil is ready when a breadcrumb that is dropped in sizzles gently in it. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.) Deep fry the crabs until crisp and golden brown on both sides. Remove and drain on kitchen towel.
To serve, place a quenelle of salmon mousse, a neat mound of crab salad and a crisp soft shell crab in a line on each plate. Drizzle the warm plum chutney on the plate and spoon the kumquat chutney near the salad. Garnish the plate with mustard cress and plums.
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