Recipe: Salmon skewers with tamarind sauce

Recipe: Salmon skewers with tamarind sauce
Tamarind is added to heighten a mustardy sauce for salmon. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Servings: 6 to 8

Note: Adapted from "The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa" by Marcus Samuelsson. See the accompanying recipe for tamarind liquid. Or you can use canned "fresh tamarind concentrate" (use the same amount as of tamarind liquid). The C.T.F. brand is available at K.H. Supermarket in Long Beach, Ai Hoa market in downtown Los Angeles ( Chinatown) and Saigon Market in Lawndale.

1/2 cup peanut oil

2 pounds salmon fillet, cut into 2-inch cubes

1/4 cup olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 cup white wine vinegar

1/4 cup dry red wine

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 tablespoons tamarind liquid

2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Pour the peanut oil into a medium bowl. Add the salmon and turn to coat. Set fish aside for 30 minutes.

2. Soak 16 bamboo skewers in water for at least 30 minutes. Prepare a medium-hot grill fire.

3. While the salmon is marinating in the peanut oil, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the curry powder, vinegar, red wine, cornstarch, tamarind and sugar. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the sauce thickens slightly. Remove the sauce from the heat and let it cool slightly.

4. Transfer the sauce to a blender and purée until smooth; this makes 2 cups. Place 1 cup in a small serving bowl and set aside. Reserve the remaining sauce for basting the salmon.

5. Sprinkle the salmon with the salt and thread it onto skewers. Arrange the skewers on the grill and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or just until cooked through, brushing frequently with the tamarind sauce.

6. Serve with the bowl of reserved sauce.

Each serving: 334 calories; 23 grams protein; 7 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 23 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 67 mg. cholesterol; 214 mg. sodium.