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Fresh asparagus, Ora King salmon & grapefruit salad

Recipe created by Executive Chef Geoff Scott - Vinnies by Geoff Scott, 166 Jervois Road, Herne Bay, Auckland + 64 (09) 376-5597                                                     

The freshness of tasty steamed salmon and fresh asparagus, set against the sweet and sharp flavours of this Vietnamese inspired salad are just sensational.

A perfect nutritious way to enjoy the first of the season asparagus. Ora King salmon is  the handpicked premium quality King salmon breed which is farmed in the Marlborough Sounds. 

By wrapping the salmon in cling film to steam or poach it means that the flavours of the fish are more intense and pure, I hope you enjoy trying this technique.


Serves 4 


2 tsp lime juice

½ tsp sugar

1 tsp fish sauce

¼ tsp garlic finely grated

¼ tsp fresh red chilli finely grated

½ cucumber cut into long thin ribbons

12 asparagus spears

320 g salmon

1 Tbsp canola oil

1 cup mixed fresh herbs - Vietnamese mint, mint, coriander & basil

2 Tbsp chopped roasted peanuts chopped

2 Tbsp fried crispy shallots (see below)



In a bowl mix together lime juice, sugar, fish sauce, garlic and chilli.


Use a peeler to slice long thin ribbons of cucumber.  Place in the dressing and allow to marinate.   Snap the tough woody section off the bottom of the asparagus.  If they are thick, lightly peel the asparagus to remove the spikes on the side and tough stringy skin.


Season salmon with salt and steam – at Vinnies we wrap each piece, lightly seasoned with salt in cling film, wrap it in a few layers so the water doesn’t get in – this keeps the flavours sealed in… or you can simply put it in a steamer pot – or poach it in fish stock or salted water.  Cook for 3 – 5 minutes depending on the thickness, the trick is not to overcook the salmon, you want it to be soft and just underdone, tender and moist.


Boil or steam the asparagus in salted water for 1 minute (this can be done in the same pot under the salmon), drain off.


Gently fold the grapefruit, asparagus and fresh herbs through the dressing, place in a bowl or onto 4 plates, place the salmon on top of the asparagus then sprinkle with peanuts and crispy shallots. 


To make crispy shallots - peel and slice 3 shallots, separate  out the rings, place in a small saucepan and slowly bring to a simmer with ½ cup of vegetable oil.  stir from time to time, as soon as they begin to turn lightly golden, drain through a sieve and place on paper towels. These can be prepared the day before.