Tea Smoked Salmon with Cinnamon & Five Spice with Asparagus by Martin Costanzo

Tea Smoked Salmon with Cinnamon & Five Spice with Asparagus

Tea-smoked salmon, seasoned with Five Spice, sounds complicated, but couldn’t be simpler. It’s a play off the traditional Chinese Tea Smoked duck, but lighter and less time consuming. Delicately flavored, the whisper of smoke from tea leaves, rather than wood, infuses the salmon with a subtle hint of earthiness. And using a wok and tea leaves, it’s surprisingly fast, easy and quite manageable indoors The smoking process, literally takes 8 minutes on the stove, then in the same wok, the asparagus is quickly seared. The salmon is served over a hearty bed of wok-seared asparagus and you have a very healthy, low carb dinner in no time. Once the salmon has marinated the whole recipe can be completed in 20-25 minutes flat.


  1. The smoky, spiced flavours coming through in the salmon are so beautifully subtle - just a hint of gentle smoke, with the earthiness of the spices, gives this dish a unique and enjoyable flavour.
  2. Place salmon in a large bowl; pour over combined soy sauce, maple syrup and sesame oil. Massage marinade into salmon; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour for flavours to develop.
  3. Heat a cast-iron grill plate on induction Level 7; drain the salmon; brush grill with oil and add salmon, serving-side down, and cook just until the salmon is charred, only on one side. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Meanwhile, line a flat-bottom wok with 4 layers of foil, allowing the edges to overhang. Combine cinnamon sticks, tea, star anise, cloves, rice and sugar; pile mixture into a mound in the centre of the wok; cover with lid or foil and heat the mixture on medium high until it just starts to smoke, approximately 6 minutes.
  5. Reduce heat to medium and place a bamboo steam basket or wire rack into wok; arrange salmon into basket and cover with a lid or foil; cook for 8-10 minutes or until the salmon is cooked to your liking.
  6. Heat a cast-iron grill on Level 9. While salmon is cooking, brush grill with oil; add asparagus and lemon and cook for 2 minutes or until asparagus is just cooked and charred, and the lemon is charred.

Recipe notes:
Salmon can be marinated overnight in the fridge if time allows. Try any fish fillets in season, like barramundi or snapper, if desired. Try baby bok choy or broccolini as a substitute for the asparagus.

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