That Spicy Chick

Thai Chili Jam Salmon & Rice Bake

This Thai Chili Jam Salmon & Rice Bake is easy to make and boasts the most INCREDIBLE flavors! Glazed salmon, rice, fragrant garlic and chilies, a few veggies, and a sweet & savory Thai chili jam infused broth mixture get baked to perfection in this showstopping Thai-style fish and rice casserole!

Friends, allow me to introduce the most spectacular weeknight Thai-style fish and rice casserole to you! This Thai Chili Jam Salmon & Rice Bake is jam-packed with flavor, easy to make, and super comforting!

We have tender Thai chili jam infused rice that’s wonderfully garlicky and spicy thanks to smashed garlic and chilies, caramelized red onion and roasted bell peppers, and Thai chili jam glazed salmon pieces that are baked to perfection!

This isn’t a one pan dump-and-bake dish as you do need to bring things to a boil on the stovetop before transferring to the oven to bake. However, it is still ridiculously easy to make and involves minimal active YOU-doing-the-cooking time, which makes it perfect for busy weeknights!

Plus, you don’t need any side dishes because we’ve got your protein, carbs, and veggies all in one baked dish! Make it milder by reducing or leaving out the fresh chilies if you like so that the whole family can enjoy all the tasty flavors in this fish and rice bake! 💛

Front view of plate and baking dish with rice and Thai chili jam coated salmon pieces.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Loaded with AMAZING FLAVORS! It’s full or the best savory, sweet, tangy and spicy flavors!
  • Smashing the garlic and chilies using a mortar and pestle releases their oils and makes them more flavorful in the rice.
  • Bringing the rice and broth mixture to a boil on the stovetop prior to baking reduces the time the rice takes to cook and become tender in the oven. Sautéing the aromatics also enables them to become fragrant and more flavorful than if you were to place them in the oven directly.
  • You don’t need to use cooked rice or to cook the fish separately to make this Thai-style casserole. Everything gets fully cooked and baked in the oven in one dish!
  • Flexible size. If cooking just for two people, the ingredient amounts and baking time can easily be adjusted to make a smaller sized dish.

Ingredients

Labeled ingredients for Thai Chili Jam Salmon & Rice Bake on a wooden board.
  • Salmon: I used boneless salmon fillets that came with the skin on. This recipe is best when made without the skin. I removed and discarded the skin and sliced the fillets into smaller pieces. You’re welcome to use any other firm white fish such as halibut, tilapia, cod, etc. if you’re not a salmon person.
  • Long Grain Rice: Uncooked long grain white rice such as Thai jasmine rice works best for this recipe. Basmati rice would work too. Other rice types like arborio, brown rice, wild rice would require a different liquid to rice ratio and I haven’t tested this recipe with either of them.
  • Bell Peppers: Feel free to use a combination of red and yellow (or green) bell pepper like I did. Or use just one kind.
  • Red Onion: You can use quartered small Asian red shallots or yellow onion if you like.
  • Fresh Chilies: I used a combination or Thai red and green Bird’s Eye chilies and a few fiery hot Thai green prik kee nu chilies. But any small hot red and green chilies you can get in your area will work. The prik kee nu chilies are tiny in size but incredibly hot. They are listed as optional as they might be hard to track down outside of Asia. Adjust the quantity of fresh chilies you use based on your heat level preference. Or omit them completely if you’d like to make a milder dish.
  • Chicken Broth/Stock: Homemade or store-bought.
  • Thai Chili Jam: The umami packed star ingredient that flavors the rice and salmon pieces! It’s also known as Thai chili paste, roasted chili paste, or roasted chili paste in soybean oil, and nam prik pao in Thai. This paste has the texture of jam and is sweet-savory and mildly spicy in flavor. While it’s great in stir-fries like my Thai Eggplant Stir-fry and Thai Roasted Chili Fried Rice, Thai people love stirring it into soups, spreading it on bread, and making sandwiches with it too. Look for it in specialty Thai ingredients store or Asian supermarket, or purchase it online. My favorite brand for this paste is Mae Pranom.
  • Tamarind Paste: Also known as tamarind concentrate. It’s a tangy light brown paste/sauce made from tamarind. Some are more sour than others, so you may need to adjust the amount I’ve indicated. Just be sure to use a Thai tamarind paste and not an Indian one. (Indian tamarind paste is black and sticky and not the one needed for this recipe.) Look for it in the Asian aisle large supermarkets that are well-stocked with international ingredients, Thai or Asian grocery stores, or purchase it online.
  • Canola Oil: Or you can use any neutral flavored cooking oil.

Full ingredient list and amounts are in the recipe card below.

Closeup front view of dish corner with baked salmon and rice.

How to Make Thai Chili Jam Salmon & Rice Bake

1. Prepare the ingredients. Roughly chop the garlic and chilies. Then pound them into a coarse paste using a mortar and pestle. Chop the rest of the veggies. Combine all the sauces with the chicken broth and set aside. Remove and discard the skin if the salmon fillets came with the skin on. Then cut the fish into 2-inch pieces.

Mortar with smashed garlic and red & green chilies.

2. Make the rice and sauce mixture. Sauté the red onion and bell peppers in a bit of oil in a large wok or deep sauté pan. Add the smashed garlic and chilies and sauté until fragrant. Stir in the rice and pour in the sauce and broth mixture. Turn the heat up and bring to strong boil.

Process steps to make veggies, aromatics, sauce and broth, and rice mixture in a wok.

3. Bake. Transfer the rice mixture to a 9×13-inch baking dish cover tightly with foil. (Two 7×9-inch baking dishes such as Pyrex’s 11-cup baking dish would also work.) Place in the oven to bake.

Meanwhile, make the glaze for the salmon by combining canola oil, Thai chili jam, and light soy sauce in a small bowl. Brush the salmon pieces on all sides with this sauce mixture.

Take the baking dish out of the oven and carefully remove the foil. The liquid should have mostly evaporated and the rice should be tender. Stir the rice and veggies mixture, then nestle the salmon pieces in the rice. Cover tightly again with foil and bake again for a few minutes, removing the foil halfway, until the salmon has cooked through. You can check for doneness by using a fork to see if it flakes easily.

Salmon pieces coated in brown glaze and glazed salmon pieces placed on baked rice in dish.

4. Serve! Transfer the dish to a wire cooling rack and allow to rest for a few minutes. Then garnish with the chopped spring onion and coriander and serve!

Top view of baked salmon pieces and rice in baking dish.
Front view of plate with rice and Thai chili jam coated salmon pieces.

Full detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.

Cook’s Tips

  • Use a mini blender/food processor to pulse the garlic and chilies into a coarse paste. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, this is the way to go. Plus, it’s much quicker than using a mortar and pestle, albeit not as flavorful.
  • TIGHTLY cover the dish with foil. The foil traps the steam inside and creates a suitable environment for the rice to cook and become tender. If your dish has handles, make sure that you tuck the foil under them so that it is tightly wrapped in the foil.
  • Ensure that the rice is submerged in the liquid before baking. Spread the rice out as evenly as you possibly can in the dish so that it is covered with liquid. This will ensure that it fully cooks and becomes tender.
  • Adjust spice level to taste. Use less (or omit completely) Bird’s Eye red and green chilies, and Thai prik kee nu green chilies for a milder dish.
Fork cutting a piece of salmon on a bed of rice.

FAQs

What is Thai chili jam?

It’s a sweet and savory paste made with soybean oil, dried shrimp, onion, garlic, dried chilies, tamarind, sugar, salt, and shrimp paste. All the ingredients are blended together first, then roasted in a pan before being packaged in small jars. The texture of this paste is very much like jam, hence the name.

Is Thai chili jam hot?

It’s mildly spicy and more sweet than hot. There’s plenty of sugar and other ingredients to balance out the heat from the dried chilies.

Is there a Thai chili jam substitute?

There isn’t another paste that replicates the exact same flavors. However, Thai sweet chili sauce can be used instead for this particular recipe and will also taste great in this salmon and rice casserole. Alternatively, you can try making a homemade Thai chili jam.

What kind of fish is best for baking?

Firm red or pink fish like salmon and tuna are great for baking as they don’t break down easily when exposed to high heat. Firm white fish such as tilapia, cod, mahi-mahi, haddock, grouper (garoupa), and wild Alaska pollock are also excellent for baking and would work well in this recipe.

Variations

  • Make it milder. Use less or omit all of the fresh red and green chilies.
  • Use frozen or different veggies. Frozen bagged veggies such as a combination of carrots, peas, and corn would worked well here. Fresh or frozen snap peas, snow peas, broccoli, green peas, or green beans would also work. However, be careful if using frozen veggies as they may release too much water and make the rice clump and become mushy. If using frozen veggies, I recommend increasing the baking time for the rice to 45 minutes. You can use up to 1.5-2 cups of veggies.
  • Use different fish. Fillets of halibut, cod, mahi-mahi, tuna, tilapia, etc. can be used in place of salmon.
Fork cut into salmon and baked rice and salmon in dish. Text overlay "Thai Chili Jam Salmon & Rice Bake" and "thatspicychick.com".

More Recipes with Thai Chili Jam

More Thai Recipes with Rice


MADE THIS RECIPE? If you make this recipe, leave a comment and review it below with a STAR rating! I always appreciate your feedback. Take a photo and be sure to tag it with @thatspicychick on Instagram and hashtag it #thatspicychick so I can see.

STAY CONNECTED! You can also follow me on PinterestFacebook or InstagramSign up for my email list to get my latest recipe in your inbox weekly!

Print
Baking dish with baked Thai-style rice and salmon.

Thai Chili Jam Salmon & Rice Bake

 Glazed salmon, rice, garlic, chilies, a few veggies, and a sweet-savory Thai chili jam infused broth mixture get baked together in this showstopping Thai-style fish and rice casserole!

  • Author: Lavina
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Thai
Scale

Ingredients

For the Thai Chili Jam Salmon & Rice Bake:

  • 12 Garlic cloves – peeled and roughly chopped
  • 216 Red Chilies (Thai Bird’s Eye or any hot red chilies), to taste – roughly chopped
  • 210 Green Chilies (Thai Bird’s Eye or any green red chilies), to taste – roughly chopped
  • 210 Thai Prik Kee Nu Green Chilies (optional – see notes*), to taste – halved
  • 1 medium Red Onion – diced into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ medium Red Bell Pepper – diced into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ medium Yellow Bell Pepper – diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 280 grams / 2 cups uncooked Long Grain White Rice (such as Thai jasmine rice) – rinsed
  • 2 TBLS + 1 TSP Canola Oil (or any other neutral flavored oil), divided
  • 4 (about 120 grams/4–5 ounces per fillet) Salmon Fillets, boneless, skinless
  • 1 TBLS Thai Chili Jam/Paste (nam prik pao)
  • 2 TSP Light Soy Sauce
  • To Serve/Garnish: Chopped spring onion (scallion/green onion – green parts only), chopped coriander (cilantro)

For the Sauce & Broth Mixture:

  • 3 TBLS Thai Chili Jam/Paste 
  • 2 TBLS Oyster Sauce
  • 1 TBLS Fish Sauce
  • 2 TBLS Light Soy Sauce
  • 2 TBLS Tamarind Paste
  • 1 TSP Light Brown Sugar, or more to taste
  • 769ml / 3.25 cups Chicken Broth/Stock (homemade or store-bought)

Instructions

Prep:

  1. Prepare the fresh ingredients: Chop the garlic, red chilies, green chilies, and Prik Kee Nu green chilies (if using), red onion, red and yellow bell peppers, spring onion, and coriander as indicated in the ‘Ingredients’ section. Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic and chilies into a coarse paste and set aside. (Note: Depending on the size of your mortar and pestle and the quantity of chilies you’re using, you may need to smash in two batches.) Rinse the rice in a fine mesh strainer to get rid of excess starch and set aside.
  2. Make the sauce and broth mixture: Whisk together the Thai chili jam, oyster sauce, fish sauce, light soy sauce, tamarind paste, and light brown sugar in a small measuring cup or bowl until combined well and the chili jam has broken down. Then combine the sauce with the low sodium chicken broth in a large measuring cup or jug until evenly combined.
  3. Prepare the salmon: Remove the salmon fillets from the packaging they came in and gently pat-dry with paper towels. If your fillets came with the skin on, remove and discard the skin. Cut the fillets into 2-inch pieces.

For the Thai Chili Jam Salmon & Rice Bake:

  1. Preheat oven: Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F.
  2. Sauté veggies and aromatics: Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil over medium-high heat in a wok or deep large sauté pan. Once hot, add the red onion and red and yellow bell peppers and sauté for 1-2 minutes until the onion is translucent and peppers start to soften. Add the smashed garlic and chilies and sauté for another 20-30 seconds until fragrant.
  3. Add the rice and sauce & broth mixture: Stir in the rice and pour in the sauce and broth mixture. Turn the heat up and bring to strong boil – this will take 2-3 minutes. Then switch off the heat.
  4. Bake: Transfer the rice mixture to a 9×13-inch baking dish (or two 7×9-inch baking dishes) and spread the rice as evenly as you can at the bottom of the dish. Cover the dish tightly with a sheet of aluminum foil. Bake for 40 minutes.
  5. Prepare the salmon: Meanwhile, make the glaze for the salmon. Combine 1 teaspoon canola oil, 1 tablespoon Thai chili jam, and 2 teaspoons light soy sauce in a small bowl until combined well and the chili jam has broken down. Brush (or spread with a spoon) each salmon piece on all sides with this mixture.
  6. Bake with salmon: Remove the baking dish from the oven and carefully remove the foil. The liquid should have mostly evaporated and the rice should be tender. Stir the rice and veggies mixture, then nestle the sauce salmon pieces in the rice. Cover tightly again with foil and bake again for 6 minutes. Then remove the sheet of foil and continue baking for 6-7 minutes, or until the salmon has browned a little and cooked through.
  7. Rest: Transfer the dish to a wire cooling rack and allow to rest for 15 minutes. The liquid will further be absorbed by the rice during the resting period.
  8. To Serve: Garnish with the chopped spring onion and coriander, then serve immediately.

Notes

  1. Thai chili jam: Also known as nam prik pao, roasted chili paste, Thai chili paste, and roasted chili paste in soybean oil. This is a sweet and savory paste made with soybean oil, dried shrimp, onion, garlic, dried chilies, tamarind, sugar, salt, and shrimp paste. It has the texture of jam comes in small jars. Find it in a Thai/Asian grocery store or purchase it online.
  2. Tamarind paste/concentrate. This tangy paste comes in varying levels of sourness. You may need to adjust the amount depending on how sour your tamarind paste is. Be sure to use a Thai tamarind paste, not an Indian one which is black and sticky.
  3. Fresh Chilies: I used a combination or Thai red and green Bird’s Eye chilies and a few fiery hot Thai green prik kee nu chilies. But any small hot red and green chilies you can get in your area will work. The prik kee nu chilies are tiny in size but incredibly hot. They are listed as optional as they also might be hard to track down outside of Asia. Adjust the quantity of fresh chilies you use based on your heat level preference. Or omit them completely if you’d like to make a milder dish.
  4. Mortar and pestle: If you don’t own one, use a mini blender/food processor to pulse the garlic and chilies into a paste. Or finely chop them instead.
  5. TIGHTLY cover the dish with foil. The foil traps the steam inside and creates a suitable environment for the rice to cook and become tender. If your dish has handles, make sure that you tuck the foil under them so that it is tightly wrapped in the foil.
  6. If cooking just for two: This recipe serves four people. If cooking just for two, use 1.5 cups low sodium chicken broth and halve the rest of the ingredients. Bake the rice and veggies mixture in a 7×9-inch baking dish (such as Pyrex’s 11-cup rectangular baking dish) that’s tightly covered with a sheet of foil for 20-24 minutes. Remove the foil and stir the rice. Nestle the sauce coated salmon pieces in the rice then bake again (covered) for 5 minutes. Remove the foil and bake again for 5-7 minutes or until the salmon has browned a little and cooked through.
  7. Storing and leftovers: Leftovers can be stored in a sealed airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in small portions on high in the microwave for 1 to 1.5 minutes until the rice and salmon has warmed through. If you’d like to reheat larger portions of leftovers, reheat the rice for 2-3 minutes in the microwave on high separate from the salmon pieces to prevent the fish from drying. Then reheat the salmon pieces for 1 to 1.5 minutes until hot throughout and place on top of the rice before serving.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 of dish
  • Calories: 704
  • Sugar: 23.2g
  • Sodium: 1413.3mg
  • Fat: 17.8g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.8g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 10.9g
  • Trans Fat: 0.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 98.6g
  • Fiber: 5.7g
  • Protein: 37.2g
  • Cholesterol: 57.6mg

The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary based on several factors. It should only be used as a general guideline. For more information, please see our Disclosure.

This post may contain affiliate links. We are a part of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary based on several factors. It should only be used as a general guideline. For more information, please see our Disclosure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.