In a country bound by the coastal waters of both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, it's no wonder that many Colombians enjoy seafood as a staple of their daily diet. Tropical fruit accents such as sweet-and-sour guava sauce are used to brighten up fried fish dishes like this salmon and guava reduction with fennel and fava beans.
Salmon and guava pair well together because they share green, cucumber notes that we also find in wakame. The Japanese seaweed gives our braised fennel accompaniment a pleasant umami boost, while the fava beans contain a spicy citrus aroma that links back to the guava.
"Japanese seaweed gives our braised fennel accompaniment a pleasant umami boost."
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Salmon and Guava reduction with Fennel and Fava Beans (4 servings)
- 15 g shallots, chopped
- 2 g garlic, chopped
- 75 g guava purée
- 50 g orange juice
- ground cumin, to taste
Heat some oil in a pan and sauté the shallots and garlic with some cumin powder. Add the orange juice and guava purée; stir and reduce to a simmer. Once the mixture has thickened, remove from heat and sieve. Discard the solids and season the Guava reduction with salt, pepper and more cumin powder, if necessary.
Braised Fennel with Fava Beans
- ½ fennel bulb with stalks
- 150 g fava beans, shucked
- 2 tbsps unsalted butter
- 1½ dL vegetable broth
- Japanese wakame (seaweed), to taste
Rehydrate the dried wakame in a small bowl of cold water. Once tender, rinse and cut or tear into bite-sized portions. Reserve and set aside.
Lightly sauté the fennel in butter and add the vegetable broth to the pan. Braise until al denté. Season with salt and pepper.
Next, sauté the fava beans in butter, then season with salt and pepper, to taste. Arrange the cooked fava beans and wakame in the fennel bulb, like a small bowl. Reserve and set aside.
- 4 x 100 g salmon fillets
- 4 Braised Fennel with Fava Beans (recipe above)
- Guava reduction (recipe above)
- extra-virgin olive oil
Cut the salmon fillet into 4 equal portions. Press down on the fillets with paper towels to remove any moisture, then season both sides with salt and pepper, to taste.
Heat a thin layer of oil in a skillet over medium-high. Add the salmon, skin-side down, and reduce the heat to medium low; fry until the fillet is nearly cooked all the way through. Then flip the salmon and fry briefly for a few seconds.
To serve, dab a few streaks of the Guava reduction on a plate. Arrange the salmon and Braised Fennel with Fava Beans on each plate. Garnish with fennel fronds, if available.