This stunning steamed salmon recipe from Michael Caines is marinated in dangerously addictive spiced mayonnaise. The succulent, rich fish is served on a bed of saffron couscous and delightfully crisp cauliflower.


  • 4 salmon fillets, skinned and boned
  • 10g fennel seeds (1 heaped tablespoon)
  • 10g cumin seeds (1 heaped tablespoon)
  • 55ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 200ml mayonnaise
  • 3 garlic cloves, (2 crushed, 1 grated)
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1 small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 banana shallot, finely diced
  • 1 pinch of turmeric
  • 1 pinch of ras el hanout
  • 1 pinch of ground cumin
  • 1 pinch of saffron strands
  • 1 star anise
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 200ml orange juice
  • 1/2 cauliflower
  • 200g couscous (wholemeal works well)


  1. Portion the salmon if necessary and place each fillet on top of a small, rectangular piece of parchment paper (approximately 15 x 10cm in size) and set aside.
  2. To make the marinade, toast the fennel and cumin seeds in a hot dry frying pan. When they smell heady and aromatic, remove from the pan and place in a bowl. Mix in 25ml of olive oil, the mayonnaise, crushed garlic, orange zest and half of the chopped coriander. Season the salmon with salt and pepper, then spoon the mixture evenly on top and place into the fridge to chill while you prepare the remaining elements.
  3. In a heavy-based pan, caramelise the finely diced shallot and grated garlic in 15ml of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the turmeric, ras el hanout, cumin, saffron, star anise and cinnamon. Sweat for a further minute before adding the orange juice and 200ml of water. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a gentle simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Cut down the cauliflower into small heads and then slice them finely on a mandolin and place into iced water. Add approximately 200g of the roughly chopped cauliflower to the simmering liquid and remove from the heat.
  5. Pour the hot orange juice mixture into the bowl with the couscous and cover tightly with cling film. Leave for 10 minutes until the couscous has absorbed all the liquid and is tender.
  6. Using a fork, fluff up the couscous. Finish with salt, pepper and the remaining coriander, then stir in the remaining extra virgin olive oil.
  7. Remove the salmon from the fridge and place onto a steamer tray or basket. Steam for 8 – 10 depending on the thickness of the salmon.
  8. Place some couscous in the middle of each plate, top with the salmon and serve warm.

Watch Michael cooking this delicious recipe in our video:

Recipe by Michael Caines, courtesy of

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