Savoring Zaofu: Seared Salmon with Thai Ginger Chile Sauce | Legend of Korra Inspired Recipe

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legend of korra salmon

What’s Up, Hungry People!

Today we’re embarking on the final leg of our journey into the Avatar universe, making a pit stop in Zaofu to visit Sue Beifong and her family (much to Lynn’s displeasure). I’ve always been captivated by the fascinating and mouthwatering meal Sue treated Team Avatar to upon their arrival: seared elephant koi with a hibiscus root salad and ginger-infused pea tendrils.

zaofu food

Exploring the Beauty of Zaofu

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the magnificence of Zaofu! Among all the breathtaking locations in Avatar, this metal clan city is undoubtedly the coolest destination. With its shimmering metal petal protection, it not only holds the title of the most secure city in the world but is also undeniably the prettiest.

city of zaofu


zaofu food

Creativity in the Kitchen

Of course, when it came to recreating these recipes, a touch of creativity was necessary since we can’t summon fictional ingredients into existence. Sadly, elephant koi is purely a figment of our imaginations, so I substituted it with fresh salmon.

As for the hibiscus root salad and ginger-infused pea tendrils, I opted for real-world alternatives that bear a striking resemblance to their on-screen counterparts: an orchid blossom salad and a ginger-infused baked potato with snap peas. Close enough, don’t you think?

fresh salmon ingredients

Here’s What You Need

  • Salmon fillets: The main protein of the dish, providing a rich and flavorful base.
  • Spicy Thai ginger chile sauce: Adds a punch of heat and tangy flavor to the dish, enhancing the overall taste.
  • Mayonnaise: Helps create a creamy and tangy tartar-style sauce, adding moisture and flavor to the salmon.
  • Mustard: Provides a tangy and slightly spicy element to the sauce, complementing the other flavors.
  • Olive oil for searing: Used to cook the salmon, ensuring a crispy and flavorful skin while keeping the fish tender.
  • Salt and pepper: Enhances the taste of the salmon and balances the flavors in the dish.
  • Fresh dill: Adds a touch of freshness and a subtle herbaceous flavor to garnish the seared salmon.

Let’s Cook!

To craft this delectable dish, gather some fresh skin-on salmon and a handful of other simple ingredients such as spicy ginger sauce, mustard, and mayonnaise. Together, we’ll recreate the delicacy as it appears (almost) in Zaofu!

whisked sauce

Begin by whisking together the mayonnaise, ginger sauce, and mustard to create a simple but tantalizing tartar-style sauce.

searing salmon

Next, sear the salmon, skin side down, for 2-3 minutes until the skin has beautifully browned and turned delightfully crispy. Remember to season the fish with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. If you possessed the power of an earthbender, you’d probably cook this dish in a clay pot. And if you were lucky enough to be a lava bender, you could provide your own sizzling heat source!

flipped salmon

Once the skin is crispy and irresistible, flip the fish and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Allow the salmon to rest on a plate for a few minutes before serving to fully enhance the natural flavors. The fish should delicately flake at the touch of a fork, slightly translucent. For a touch of Zaofu’s metal style, perform some fancy spoon-work on sleek metal plates. As a finishing touch, garnish your seared salmon with a sprig of fresh dill.

Tips for Perfect Seared Salmon

  • Season the salmon generously: Make sure to season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper on both sides to enhance their flavor.
  • Let the sauce chill: Allowing the mustard, mayonnaise, and spicy ginger sauce to chill in the refrigerator for a while will help the flavors meld together.
  • Ensure the skillet is hot: Preheat the skillet with olive oil over medium-high heat until hot before adding the salmon. This will help achieve a crispy skin.
  • Don’t overcrowd the skillet: Cook the salmon in batches if needed, making sure to leave enough space between the fillets in the skillet to ensure even cooking.
  • Use a spatula for flipping: When it’s time to flip the salmon, use a wide spatula to carefully turn the fillets to avoid breaking the crispy skin.
  • Rest the salmon before serving: Let the cooked salmon rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a more flavorful and tender fish.
  • Experiment with garnishes: Aside from fresh dill, you can also consider garnishing the salmon with lemon wedges, chopped scallions, or even a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds for added flavor and presentation.
  • Serve with complementary sides: Consider serving the seared salmon alongside a bed of steamed rice, a refreshing cucumber salad, or some roasted vegetables for a well-rounded meal.

Troubleshooting Tips:

  • Adjust cooking time: If the salmon is not cooked through after the initial cooking time, you can reduce the heat slightly and cook for an additional minute or two until done.
  • Watch the skin for crispiness: Keep an eye on the skin while searing, as it can burn quickly. Adjust the heat if necessary to achieve a crispy but not overly charred skin.
  • Test for doneness: To check if the salmon is cooked through, gently insert a fork or the tip of a knife into the thickest part of the fillet. It should flake easily and appear opaque, indicating that it is fully cooked.
plated salmon with sauce

Keeping the Spirit of Avatar Alive

I like to imagine that Korra and Asami returned to Zaofu at some point in their lives to reunite with Sue, Opal, and the rest of the metal clan. With the series now concluded and Korrasami officially confirmed, we can eagerly anticipate the graphic novels to come. In the meantime, let these recipes keep the spirit of Avatar burning brightly within us all!


Seared Elephant Koi | Legend of Korra Inspired Recipes

The Starving Chef
Transport yourself to Zaofu with this delectable seared salmon recipe, featuring a tantalizing Thai ginger chile sauce and a garnish of fresh dill, inspired city in the Legend of Korra.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Fictional Feasts
Cuisine Avatar: The Last Airbender
Servings 2


  • 2 salmon filets
  • 2 tablespoons spicy Thai ginger chile sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil for searing
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • fresh dill for topping


  • Whisk together the mustard, mayonnaise, and spicy ginger sauce. Let the sauce chill while preparing the salmon.
  • Season the salmon with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the salmon to the pan skin side down. Sear the salmon for 2-3 minutes or until the skin is crispy and starting to brown.
  • Flip the fish and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.
  • Let the salmon rest for a few minutes prior to serving. Garnish with fresh dill and serve to your favorite Avatar!
Keyword fish, ginger, salmon
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!