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Salmon with Passion Fruit Sauce (Salmão ao Molho de Maracujá)





It was such an honor to be a guest at the TODAY Show once more! Receiving such an invite is so exciting, but the most exciting part is not about being on national television in such a high profile show - like all those movie stars we see on the TODAY show ;) What really gets me excited is to be able to share my Brazilian background through my recipes with a much wider audience!

Being invited to run their cooking segment has allowed me to reach people on four corners of the United States to present them with something that would be new for most. Of course I can reach anyone through my website, but people would have to have the interest on such things to research online. So having that kind of opportunity is like knocking on everyone’s door and saying: “Here is a Brazilian recipe for Salmon with Passion Fruit and Coconut Rice. The hosts of the TODAY show ate and approve it. Why don’t you give it try?” And that is awesome!

So I was delighted to be part of the TODAY’s Valentine’s Day segment and share a delicious, fresh, healthy, and romantic recipe. The whole idea was to present a recipe “to set the mood” and they all agreed that my Salmon with Passion Fruit Sauce and Coconut Rice fitted the bill perfectly – the combination of salmon and passion fruit might sound unusual for some, but it is very well known (and loved) in Brazil. In this easy recipe, I use brown sugar to break the acidity of the passion fruit, and table cream (or crème fraiche) to add a velvety texture to the sauce. Top with fresh herbs and serve over Coconut Rice. 

Photos - Samantha Okazaki/NBC

Serves 4


  • 4 salmon fillets (5 to 6 ounces each, approximatelly 3/4 inches thick)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion, shredded
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup frozen passion fruit pulp (or freshly made - look at Cook's Note)
  • ½ cup table cream (Media Crema) or crème fraiche
  • ½ cup fresh mint, finelly chopped
  • ½ cup cilantro, finelly chopped


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Season salmon fillets with salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon canola oil, rubbing fillets on both sides. If using a regular oven, bake 15 to 17 minutes, or until salmon flakes easily with a fork. For a convection oven, bake salmon fillets at 350 degrees F for 13 minutes or until it flakes easily with a fork.

Meanwhile, heat butter and remaining canola oil in a medium skillet. Add onion and cook over medium-high heat until translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir brown sugar and passion fruit pulp. Cook for an additional minute or two. Fold in crème fraiche and remove from heat.

Mix mint and cilantro in a bowl.

Place salmon fillets on individual plates and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of passion fruit sauce. Top with fresh herbs mix and serve immediately over Coconut Rice.

Cook’s Note:

Passion fruit pulp may be found in the frozen section of main grocery stores, or international or Latin grocery stores. To make passion fruit pulp from scratch, add the pulp of 2 passion fruits and ¼ cup water to blender and blend for 20 seconds. Strain and add to sauce.

Coconut Rice (Arroz de Coco)


  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons grated coconut, preferably fresh
  • 1 ½ cups Jasmine rice
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


In a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, add coconut oil and coconut flakes. Cook 2 to 3 minutes until golden, stirring often. Add rice and stir until all grains are well coated. Add coconut milk, water, and salt. Stir once. Bring to a light boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook until liquids have been absobed, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for at least 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.


It was a very special day... I can't deny that having movie star treatment felt pretty good ;)


I got to take home #themug


Camera ready!


The amazing team of Chefs and Food Stylists that work behind the scenes! Thanks, guys!!

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