FoodLife & Style

Ramadan Recipe: Salmon on a bed of lentils

I just tried this out last night and it turned out pretty yummy. I know Ramadan is not your ideal fish month but you can easily get salmon steaks (two to a pack) from Gourmet for LE 53–and with a bag of lentils you pretty much have a super shi shi dinner (a dish like this is served at the Cairo Capital Club in Garden City). The recipe has three parts to it: salmon, lentils and an optional lemon butter sauce–but it is, relatively, simple.


2 salmon steaks, skin removed

Olive oil

Lemon – (the little bottles of lemon juice are nice because you will need a considerable amount of lemon and the squeezing can get annoying)

Salt and pepper

¼ bag of dark brown lentils, rinsed

1 stick of butter (100 grams)

1 onion

3 cloves of garlic

Spices to taste – thyme, fenugreek, cloves (2 maximum), dill, and one bay leaf)

1 chicken stock cube

1 spoon maple syrup

½ mini carton of cream

About 2 hours!


  1. Unpack the salmon and remove the skin – sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in a casserole dish.
  2. Make a combination of olive oil, maple syrup and lemon and coat the salmon in the mixture.
  3. Cover with foil and refrigerate for 30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Put the lentils in a heavy bottomed stock pot and cover with water.
  5. Add in fenugreek, bay leaf, two cloves, one chicken stock cube and leave to boil.
  6. Once boiling, lower the flame and simmer for 30 minutes.
  7. Put ½ a stick of butter in a food processor with one chopped onion, a generous amount of thyme and dill, salt and pepper to taste, and three cloves of garlic.
  8. Once 30 minutes have passed, remove the salmon from the fridge and place in the oven for 45 minutes (or until salmon flakes easily).
  9. After 30 minutes of boiling the lentils, drain but reserve 1 cup of cooking water. Remove bay leaf and cloves.
  10. Put lentils into a sauce pan with the onion butter to coat and cook a little more.
  11. Take 1/3 of lentils and put them with ½ cup of the lentil cooking water in a blender to puree.
  12. Mix pureed lentils back in with non pureed lentils (this adds a nice texture to your ‘bed of lentils’).
  13. Prepare your serving dish with a bed of lentils (or prepare your dinner plates with a bed of lentils).
  14. Remove salmon from oven when done and place a salmon steak on the bed of lentils.
  15. Optional – Make a lemon butter sauce out of white wine vinegar (or white wine – you will boil until it is reduced and the alcohol is removed), lemon juice and a cube of chicken stock. Once reduced, add in the other half of the stick of butter and the half a mini carton of cream. Boil till desired consistency.
  16. Pour your lemon butter sauce over the salmon and serve!

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