Coconut Salsa Verde Salmon Baked in Banana Leaves


JP3This recipe begins with the basic green salsa in Mexican Cuisine that is aptly called Salsa Verde or green sauce. Well, the salsa can be used for more than just chips!

I love the gentle tang of tomatillos, it reminds me of the green mango that is often used in Indian cuisine. In fact, in this recipe I used the salsa and pair it with coconut milk and bake the fish in banana leaves, almost the way my grandmother would except that her recipe would be steamed and use the green mango. The tomatillo is fruiter than the green mango and in some ways easier to work with and depending on your viewpoint has a prettier color. Hey, who says you cannot improvise on perfection! (sorry grandma!)

It is easier to find the tomatillo, since it is available in most grocery stores (including actually larger Indian markets), in my recipe the tomatillos are roasted with garlic, jalapenos and red onions and then pureed with loads of cilantro to make the basic sauce, which can be happily enjoyed by itself with chips or alternately used for other types of food as I do here.JP1

The banana leaves used for baking the fish add an additional layer of depth and flavor. These are sold frozen in most Asian stores, I find them locally at H Mart, packaged by Goya.

The same sauce, actually worked well in the slow cooker for slow cooking some chicken which is what I did for the next day, so l guess, there are plenty of possibilities.



Coconut Salsa Verde Salmon Baked in Banana Leaves

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

A flavor packed creamy saucy salmon dish that is perfect for all occasions. It cooks up practically by itself in the oven while you attend to other things.


    For the Salsa
  • 8 to 10 medium sized tomatillos (husked, washed and halved)
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 pods garlic, sliced
  • 1 to 2 jalapeno peppers thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon powdered cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup of chopped cilantro
  • For the coconut salmon
  • 11/2 pounds of salmon fillets
  • ¾ cup coconut milk
  • Banana leaves
  • Extra cilantro, red onions and jalapenos for garnishing


  1. Place the tomatillos, red onions, garlic and jalapeno peppers on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees and bake the mixture for 25 minutes.
  3. Cool slightly.
  4. Place in a blender with the cumin, salt and cilantro and grind to a puree.
  5. Take about 1 cup of the mixture and reserve the rest for other uses.
  6. Cut the salmon into 3 inch pieces.
  7. Line a casserole with banana leaves and place the salmon over the leaves.
  8. Mix the cup of salsa with the coconut milk and pour over the salmon.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes and serve with white rice, garnished with cilantro, red onions and extra jalapenos as desired.



About Author

Rinku Bhattacharya, the Spices & Seasons blogger, loves meshing seasonal produce with fresh spices. Most of her recipes are inspired by her Indian heritage, and her cooking is practical, easy and well suited for a busy lifestyle on the go. As a mother with two young children, her recipes are also usually balanced and kid-friendly. Rinku is the author of the blog, Spice Chronicles (formerly,Cooking in Westchester), where she shares her life experiences and original recipes. Rinku is blessed with a gardener husband, who always surprises her with a prolific and fresh supply of produce to keep her creative instincts flowing. Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past nine years. Rinku is the author of two cookbooks: The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles an award winning (Gourmand 2013) cookbook that highlights culture, memories and recipes from her childhood transformed where needed for her Lohud kitchen and Spices and Seasons that marries Indian flavors with local and seasonal produce. Rinku can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest and is also a contributor for Zester Daily.


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