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Sumatra Style Fiddleheads with Smoked Salmon

Sumatra Style Fiddleheads with Smoked Salmon

Many varieties of fern are eaten in Sumatra. They’re often cooked with dried shrimp or smoked fish. 


  • 1 lb fiddleheads
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1½ cup coconut milk
  • ¼ lb smoked salmon, julienned
  • Salt

Spice Paste

  • 3 shallots
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 finger kra chai (lesser galangal)
  • 1 Thai chili
  • 2 tsp green pepper, ground
  • 1 tsp lemon zest


  1. 1

    Clean, wash and blanch fiddleheads in a large volume of salted water for 5 minutes.

  2. 2

    Rinse fiddleheads in running water. Drain and set aside.

  3. 3

    Place spice paste ingredients in a food processor. Add a few spoonfuls of coconut milk if you prefer a smoother paste.

  4. 4

    Heat oil in a large pot on medium and sauté in the spice paste until fragrant (3-4 minutes).

  5. 5

    Add coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes.

  6. 6

    Add the fiddleheads and the salmon. Simmer for 5 minutes. 

  7. 7

    Taste and salt if needed.