food to glow

feel good food that's good for you

turmeric and lime salmonEvery week, twice a week, I post new recipes. I have done this for about three and a half years, and I don’t think I have ever had a tweaky post of a past recipe. But, confession time: this is a re-working of an old post. A freshening up of a family favourite.

Sometimes dishes are too good to let them languish in the twisted labyrinth of one’s archives. This is such a recipe. But with a small change that makes a big difference: fresh turmeric.

turmeric rootI do use fresh turmeric, especially for making up juices, smoothies, popping into suitable rice and noodle dishes, baking and sometimes in my golden turmeric milk remedy. It also does a much better job than dried of adding a bright saffron pop to dishes – but without the saffron expense.

However, in the 15 years or so of making this recipe I never thought to use fresh turmeric. I don’t know why either. I love changing things up, but I guess because it is such a fixture on our family menu I just got into a rut. And how glad am I to have had that little lightbulb moment last week. The taste difference between fresh and dried is really quite something. Both are great but here I can really taste the freshness – the innate citrus and mild pepper and ginger notes stand out. Dried has a much earthier, nicely astringent flavour.

I can’t speak for Andrew and Rachel, but this has always been by far my favourite salmon recipe. I love the sour, salty, tangy and spicy richness of it all. And I love how easy it is to prepare. It is a no-brainer of a mid-week meal.

Or rather Thursday meal as that is when our fresh fish van visits {try saying that three times quickly!}. The white van from Pittenweem sounds its horn at about 8.30 am, and attracts all the neighbours from our end of cul de sac. Sometimes we are fully dressed, and sometimes we are not {for ‘we are’ read, ‘I am’}. Standing in the queue is always a chance for a good catch-up that lasts long after the van leaves.

Our fishmonger Graham boosts a really fantastic selection of plump fresh fish, as well as homemade jams and his homegrown vegetables and eggs. But I rarely deviate from getting pearly pink Scottish salmon. I may be in a rut but it is a beautifully flavoured rut.

Do you have a fish van? Or any other visiting food purveyors? Our street also gets a ‘bacon boy’ of all things. Neighbours swear by it.

PS These ‘snappy snap’ {i.e. not styled} images are from three different family dinners, and using both my Nikon and Sony Xperia phone. The dark, really rather blurry ones are recent and show how, despite the fine weather, the nights are drawing in. The one below was taken last Thursday at 7 pm. Practically dark outside!

turmeric and lime salmon

Lime and Fresh Turmeric Salmon on the Griddle with Baked Lime Rice

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Salmon itself is a superb food, but marry it with lime AND turmeric and you have a delicious, super-nutritious meal. Quick too. Unlike marinating meat, tofu or chicken, marinating fish is nearly always speedy – leave it too long and citrus or other acidic ingredients will actually cook the fish. So, here you get the soak-it-up yum factor of marinating without the wait– or the planning ahead. That last point is the seller for me – besides the taste, of course.  Another plus point is that this recipe is easily doubled, tripled etc. And I know vegetarians and vegans will not necessarily be reading this fish post, but the marinade works well with tofu too.

A word about the lime leaf: I think it really makes this dish, but if they are hard to get use zest of ½ a lime for both the fish and the rice. I buy whole lime leaves from an Asian supermarket and whiz them up in my coffee grinder {I don’t think I have ever ground coffee in it} and store the green shreds in a small jar in the freezer. I use these finely whizzed leaves in rice {as below}, stir-fries, and Asian- style soups.

2-3 salmon fillets {about 180g each}

1 ‘finger’ of fresh turmeric, finely grated OR ½ tsp ground turmeric

“Thumb-end” of fresh ginger, finely grated

1 tsp palm sugar {jaggery} or dark brown sugar – optional

1 tsp each of Sichuan peppers and black peppercorns {or just the black peppercorns if you can’t get the tingly Sichans}, toast in a hot pan for 30 seconds then bash in a pestle and mortar

2 tbsp fresh lime juice {about ½ a large lime}

1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (I tend to use a bird’s eye chilli – fiery-hot)

1 tbsp fish sauce

1 tbsp dark soy sauce or tamari sauce {or all soy/tamari sauce instead of fish sauce} – I like Clearspring Organic

1-2 shallots or 1/2 small onion, finely chopped

½ tsp chopped lime leaf OR 1 tsp lime zest

Oil for griddling

5-6 spring onions/scallions, trimmed and sliced in half lengthways


150g basmati rice

1 tsp virgin coconut oil

300ml water

½ tsp chopped lime leaf OR 1 tsp lime zest

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.

2. Mix the marinating ingredients together in a dish that will fit the fish snugly. Add in the fish and turn a few times to coat. Cover the dish with clingfilm and let the flavours meld for 20 minutes. If you want to do this on the barbeque, depending on what type you are using, get that going in advance. For a hob-top griddle pan, heat this a few minutes before the marinating time is up. You want it good and hot to reduce the chance of sticking.turmeric and lime salmon

3. While the fish is marinating, add 1 tsp of oil to a hob-to-oven pot and heat on low-medium: a cast-iron Le Creuset-type lidded pot is perfect. Pour in the rice and sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. It will smell nutty and delicious. Add in the water, some salt and the lime leaves, pop on the lid and allow the rice to come to the boil. If you don’t have such a pot, do it in a normal saucepan and scrape the rice into a lidded casserole dish and pour over the hot stock. Place the dish/pot in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. You will get very fluffy rice with no nasty overspill. I always cook rice in the oven. A trick my mom taught me. But do rice on the hob as per your normal way if you like, adding the lime leaves.

4. Brush off the marinade into a small pan for using in a few minutes. Slap the fillets on the griddle pan or the oiled surface of your barbecue. Pop on the spring onions too {do these in a pan if you are barbecuing}. Toss them around to get even softening and colour. Cooking times for the salmon are a bit tricky to give as fillets vary in thickness, but my fish pieces were about 3 cm thick and I cooked them for three minutes on each side. This gave me cooked through fish, but with a soft, pinker interior. Test for your own doneness though.turmeric and lime salmon

5. Plate up the fish and spring onion, and serve with the lime baked rice and maybe something like steamed broccoli or a sauteed Asian greens mixture. If you like, boil up the marinade mixture and pour it over the griddled fish.

Nutrition Bit: oh gosh, everything is good here but I will hone in on turmeric, the spice that everyone should be trying to eat more of. Why? Well, looking at the wide-ranging literature (both clinical and not), turmeric seems to be anti just about anything bad: viruses, disease-causing bacteria, carcinogens. The Indian sub-continent has known this for thousands of years but the West has finally cottoned on. Turmeric is also widely used to support digestive health and treat gastrointestinal complaints, such as IBS and colitis. This highly-pigmented root –  that we typically use ground – tastes like a very peppery ginger {to which it is related}. It is also what makes curries yellow.

Many integrative cancer centers in the US and in Europe recommend turmeric use for those with certain types of cancers, most notably colorectal. A small 2008 study of pancreatic cancer patients showed turmeric slowed tumour growth. Other studies also point towards effectiveness for a wide range of conditions. A recent small study of kidney transplant patients showed fewer rejections with the use of curcumin in combination with another antioxidant, quercetin, compared to placebo. And it isn’t just the curcumin in turmeric that is getting attention, the compound ar-tumerone has been shown to stimulate neural stem cell regeneration in neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s. Other than prevention itself regeneration is the main aim in this field of research.

Turmeric is also widely used in many countries to treat rheumatoid arthritis, with recent science finally ‘validating’ its impressive anti-inflammatory action. Here is a fantastic overview of the recent research, as is this one from For a more detailed, clinical read click on this academic overview.

Turmeric is not a miracle spice by any stretch of the imagination, especially because absorption is limited, but there are few potential side effects. If you have health issues, discuss turmeric with your doctor before embarking on using it beyond the culinary. Note: to aid absorption always pair turmeric with fresh black pepper or pepper extract {piperine} and a little healthy fat {e.g. oily fish!}.

UPDATE On Wild Salmon: I have immaculate timing. Not. The Marine Conservation Society {MSC} has just yesterday {the day I posted}updated their fish to avoid and fish to buy lists. And guess what? Wild-caught Atlantic salmon is on the Don’t Buy list. I haven’t tried this recipe with any other fish but will try it with wild haddock or cod from the North Sea and Iceland, respectively. As with all animal foods – no matter how healthy, there are issues of not only ethics but also environment. Choose wisely. Eat wisely. Here’s the full list and explanations.

Other Healthy Fish Dishes:

Simple Miso Cod with Sesame Pak Choi – Kavey Eats

Salmon and Red Chard Salad with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette and Goat Cheese –

Easy Beetroot Bake with White Fish – The Botanical Baker

Skrei {Norwegian Cod} Pho – Fuss Free Flavours

Monkfish & Prawn Brochettes with Saffron Cumin Rice – Franglais Kitchen

Baked Veracruz Fish – Food To Glow {also uses lime leaves!}

Fish Tacos with Three Toppings – Food To Glow

Teriyaki Salmon Bowl – Food To Glow


turmeric and lime salmon


56 thoughts on “Lime and Fresh Turmeric Salmon with Baked Lime Leaf Rice

  1. Kavey says:

    As soon as I next see my mum I’m starting an ayurvedic treatment for joint pain relief which features turmeric. I’ve never bought it fresh though. Shall seek that out! This recipe looks delicious and thank you for sharing mine;

  2. i’m hungry now!

  3. What a beautiful freshen up. The colours are beautiful and your pictures are exquisite.

  4. lizzygoodthings says:

    Love tbis one, salmon features regularly on our menu, Kellie… I am all for reviving recipes buried in the archives… good on you!

  5. Annie says:

    Just to let you know that this recipe has become a firm fave with us, claiming a regular slot on the mid-week schedule (in fact on the menu tonight, organised before your post!). Even student elder daughter treats herself to the ingredients for this recipe if she has enough of her budget left at the end of the week. Will certainly keep an eye out for fresh turmeric to give it a go. In my ignorance I never even contemplated that turmeric came in any form other than powdered in a jar…..the shame……..

    1. HI Annie. I didn’t know this was on your menu! Thanks for letting me know. Do you see I have added Sichuan and fresh ginger? Try it this way if you can and let me know if you think it makes a difference. I will let you know when next in St A’s and maybe we can meet up.Thanks for commenting, lovely lady. x

  6. petra08 says:

    I have never worked with fresh turmeric and with lime as well. I will make sure to get some next time I come across it! It looks delicious!

    1. If you find it use a bit fresh and then stick the rest in a sealed bag in your freezer. It keeps well and you can grate it from frozen! Thanks for commenting, Petra. 🙂

  7. Urvashi Roe says:

    Oh how utterly delicious. We have salmon about once a week and I would never have thought to use fresh turmeric in this way. I love those grilled leeks too.

    1. Thank you Urvashi. It was a revelation to me too.

  8. Susan says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! Never heard of lime leaf before….that’s on my list!

    1. It is so aromatic. You will love it Susan. A little goes a long way.

  9. What a wonderful, spicy combination. Turmeric especially is sooo beneficial. Just up my alley – looks gorgeous!

    1. Do you have a turmeric recipe that you would like to add here?

      1. I rarely use turmeric alone, except in salad dressings. However, I use it often combined with other spices in curries etc. For example :

  10. That’s an amazing colour – I love salmon in a Nigella thai curry but weirdly never think of putting spices with it otherwise.

    I like your plates too!

    1. Cheers, Sarah!

  11. Reblogged this on jmbakawb55 and commented:
    I’ve been trying to cook more…but my husband does most of it! And we love salmon! This looks delicious, doesn’t it! It’s gluten-free, too!

  12. Reblogged this on What's for dinner, Doc? and commented:
    Check out Kellie’s Turmeric Lime Salmon. Sounds delicious and easy to make. Kellie’s blog, Food to Glow is a must read. Her recipes are fresh and nutritious. I’m off to see my son the surgical intern. I think he needs mothering. Yes, internship is as bad as it sounds but he’s thriving.

  13. Thanks for letting me reblog your post. I’m out of ideas this week and I’m taking time off work to visit and mother my son the surgical intern. I would love my patients to read your blog. Be well, Tracey

    1. Well thank you for saying such lovely words about it, Tracey. 🙂 Feel free to share my blog with your patients. Did you know I have a cancer and nutrition section too? I also specialise in low-fibre and soft food diets.

  14. This looks fabulous, Kellie! I only wish that I loved salmon… a bad experience has kept me from eating it for 20+ years. I will, however, change up the fish. Even shrimp, I think this would be delicious!! Loving this recipe. <3 Printing it now.

    1. Poor you! Almost all of us have had a bad experience with some food but how unfortunate for you that salmon is yours! This will be great with prawns and a shade quicker too. 🙂

  15. Saw this on Whats For Dinner Doc and headed over. Sounds like I know what’s for dinner now. My husband has been complaining that we have not been eating enough salmon and this sounds right up our alley. I had no idea how healthy turmeric is for us. I will now be zipping it into many things. How lucky of you to have a fishmonger show up in your neighborhood in a van once a week, and bacon boy…what fun. I am almost as lucky in that we have a great fishmonger just a stone’s throw down the way.

    1. Thanks for coming over – glad to see your kind comment 🙂 Do come back and let me know if you tried this and how it was for you.

  16. Beautiful plate! I love all of the accompaniments!

  17. curlsnchard says:

    Wow, this sounds delicious. I have never used turmeric before – neither dried nor fresh! I love ginger and if it’s related, I’m pretty sure I will love turmeric as well. Your marinade for the salmon sounds like a wonderful idea for changing up my salmon, especially as I normally only put lemon and salt on it.

    1. I do hope you try it. If you get the fresh turmeric use a bit here and then try it in smoothies and in Asian dishes.

  18. Sounds delicious! I plan on trying your recipe soon!

  19. This is fantastic! I must make this salmon. We love fresh turmeric and I buy it weekly. Looks wonderful with the grilled scallions. Beautifully clean food.

    1. Thanks so much. I hope you enjoy this new way to use fresh turmeric!

  20. This is so beautiful, it inspires me!

  21. this looks delicious.

  22. I usually just use turmeric for juicing but I will definitely try this ! Thanks for the recipe:)

  23. Yummer! We’ll be reblogging this!

  24. Reblogged this on Design Restaurants and commented:
    Fish on a Friday? Try this wonderful salmon recipe from Kellies Food to Glow!

  25. I love the combination of lime and turmeric you’ve used. It takes salmon to an even healthier level, doesn’t it?

  26. Annie says:

    Yummm — I always love new salmon recipes!

  27. Shannon says:

    Won’t ever eat salmon again. But this looks divine, as always. (PS – Don’t read “Four Fish.”) 😀

    1. The marinade is lovely with tofu 😉 Our salmon is wild and from unpolluted northern waters in Scotland, if that makes a difference to what happens in your film. 🙂

      1. Shannon says:

        I agree — a great tofu marinade! And I can make tofu at home, rather than going to a fish monger or having frozen cuts delivered to me. But…where does one get fresh turmeric? Don’t know that I’ve seen this. Perhaps a specialty market and a 25-30 mile drive.

        Not to start a discussion on ethics here, but yes, salmon’s better wild than farmed (healthwise, at the least), but an increasing number of fad fish-eating diets paired with the environmental impact of farmed onto wild species have them on the verge of collapse. Enjoy them while you can. Like many other ocean dwelling animals, we are (sadly) eating them to extinction.

        Knowledge is a terrible, terrible thing sometimes; I do still remember how awesome salmon flesh tastes, particularly in the raw (my fav). Fortunately, the compassionate part of my brain wins over my taste bud side. So tofu it is, as soon as I find that turmeric. 😉

  28. Katie Bryson says:

    This looks vibrant and delicious… I have a freezerful of Salmon so this is getting Pinned for my ideas of what to cook with it!

  29. Sally says:

    Supper at your house looks amazing! Glad you raised the salmon issue though. It’s a fish I never buy due to the chemical content in farmed salmon, the devastating impact of farmed fish on the environment and wild salmon population and the fact that it’s flown halfway round the world here. I have never used fresh turmeric. Must go on hunt for it here.

  30. Looks amazing. Your post has inspired me to add a food page to my blog. Thanks!

  31. Sophie33 says:

    My dinner for tomorrow evening! I never have seen this golden orange turmeric before,..I am not sure, I can fin it over here though! Looks very interesting too!

  32. Turmeric is amazing. I gotta try your Golden Turmeric Remedy!

  33. tastetingle says:

    I love finding new recipes for salmon and this sounds amazing 🙂

  34. Fantastic pictures AND fantastic salmon! Love the idea of spicing it with chili!

  35. louisejam says:

    Live the multi-layered flavours in the marinade….this one really packs a punch !

  36. EMLM says:

    I made this last night and it was delicious. Thank you.

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it.! Thanks for taking the time to let me know 😊😊

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