When I was growing up, every Sunday after church, my friends and I would debate on whether we would have KFC or Thai BBQ for lunch. There were other options in the neighborhood but for reason, we always gravitated towards those two options. If we did happen to have Thai BBQ, we always either chose pad thai, pad see ew or Thai BBQ chicken. What can I say, we weren’t exactly adventure-seekers at 12 years old. Flash forward many, many years later and I still sometimes crave a giant plate of Thai BBQ for my Sunday lunch. I’ve tried to make my own version but I always find it unsatisfying; the restaurant version always seems better. Today, I wanted to mix it up a bit by using the flavors of Thai BBQ but applying it to seafood. To make it extra glamorous, I paired it with an amazing Thai chimichurri that is now my favorite Asian condiment. I can safely say that this Thai BBQ salmon with Thai chimichurri is one dish I am not disappointed by and can only have in my own kitchen.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
There are many ingredients in this Thai BBQ salmon recipe but the procedure is actually quite simple. Marinate the salmon, cook, and make the chimichurri.
Chimichurri is originally an Argentinian sauce made of parsley, garlic, olive oil, and an acid. Call it their version of pesto. I’ve been making my chimichurri for years now and have paired it with tri-tip, Philly cheesesteaks and cornmeal crusted scallops amongst many other dishes. Today’s version has a twist using Asian aromatics to tie it to the dish.
The three dominant herbs in the Thai chimichurri are Thai basil, scallions, and cilantro. Thai basil is a little spicy with notes of star anise versus Italian basil which is sweeter. It also has streaks of purple in the leaves and can also be referred to as “purple basil.” Side note, did you know there are between 50 and 150 different varieties of basil? Incredible!
Pulse all the ingredients in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the olive oil, season with salt and pepper and you are good to go! If you don’t have a food processor, you can finely chop all the ingredients by hand.
Roast the salmon and serve with a big dollop of the Thai chimichurri. You can also pan-fry or grill the salmon but because of the marinade, I find it easier to bake.
I loved the layers of flavors in this Thai BBQ salmon with Thai chimichurri dish. The fish alone is already very tasty, but that chimichurri is just heaven. Make extra of the sauce and get ready to put it on EVERYTHING.
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