It is hot. Really hot. Bangkok turns into a steamy tropical sweat-fest at this time of year and once the annual water festival of Songkran is over there is little to do apart from sit in cosseting air con and pray for a storm to break the heat – rainy season is mere weeks away.
For lunch it generally comes down to light, zingy salads with some kind of protein. Dried meats are a favourite but not always available and pretty pricey (shipping bresaola, pastrami and hams from Europe is an expensive and ecologically nightmarish pastime). Fresh fish is, however, always around.
Fresh, light, savoury, salty – the combination of flavours here is knock-your-socks-off good.
1 salmon fillet per person (up to you how big) keep the skin on
Two large limes
50g salted butter
handful of capers
1 clove garlic
Pre-heat your oven to 225C
Line an ovenproof dish with foil and drop in a lug of olive oil. Now sprinkle with some salt and grind over black pepper. Take your salmon fillets and drag them, flesh side down, over the seasoned oil to cover the fish. Place the, skin-side down and top with a thin slice of lime (about the thickness of a 10 Baht coin). Throw in the oven for around 15 mins or so.
Whilst the salmon is cooking away, melt the butter in a pan on a medium heat. Once melted, grate in the garlic, the zest of half a lime, the juice of a lime and a handful of capers. Season to taste (be careful of over salting). Put on a very low heat to keep warm. You don’t want to burn the butter.
Now chuck together a quick salad of whatever you have (I used tomatoes, cucumber and a slightly bitter lettuce). Salt, a lug of oil and a squeeze of lime juice will make a light and lip-smacking dressing.
To serve, spoon the butter sauce over the salmon. Utterly delicious.