Cooking with Tamarind – Part 1: Baked Salmon with Thai Herb ‘Crust’ (by EetPaleo)

Paleo salmon with tamarind crust

As part of the Paleo Pen Pals ingredient swap community on Facebook, I was hooked up for this month’s swap with another awesome paleo blogger from the Netherlands: Marinka from EetPaleo (EatPaleo)! I just love her blog and her recipes! Marinka also was so kind to write a guest post about her swap right here on Paleolland :-) Welcome Marinka!

This month, Sjanett was my Paleo Pen Pal. A fun initiative in which 2 people are assigned to send each other a Paleo ingredient the other person is supposed to create a recipe with. Since we live pretty close to each other we decided to exchange our ingredients in person, which of course is much more fun. We ended up having some tea and chatting in a local cafeteria before returning home with our ingredients.

Sjanett really did a good job finding me an ingredient I wasn’t used to cooking with: tamarind paste. She’d even printed out some info from Mark’s Daily Apple stating that tamarind, in fact, is suited for a paleo/primal diet. After all: tamarind is a tropical fruit.

As far as I knew, tamarind could be used in curries. And that really was all I knew about it.

I spent the evening after our exchange brainstorming about the recipe I was going to cook with my tamarind and ended up thinking of 2 different kinds of dishes: a baked salmon fillet with a Thai herb ‘crust’ and tamarind truffles.
My verdict? Tamarind is awesome! It really adds a surprising flavor to a dish, especially in Asian cuisine, but it pairs perfectly well with chocolate too (but you’ll have to wait for part 2 to find that out ;-))

tamarind paste


Baked Salmon with Thai Herb ‘Crust’
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • 2 salmon fillets (approx. 300g)
  • 1 small onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 sprig lemongrass, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cm piece of ginger root, peeled
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 red chili pepper (optional; for those who like to spice things up)
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. (390 F)
  2. Start by making the herb crust: combine the onion, garlic, lemongrass, ginger and tamarind in the smallest bowl of a food processor (or use a hand blender instead). Process into a coarse paste.
  3. If you’re having trouble processing the paste; add 1 tbsp of water, this should help.
  4. Put the salmon fillets in an oven dish and spread the herb paste on top.
  5. Bake for approx. 12-15 minutes until done, depending on the thickness of your fillets.
  6. Serve with veggies of your choice and enjoy!

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