03 Apr Pan Seared Salmon with Vietnamese Caramel and Herb Slaw
Caramel (Yields approx 1 c)
1 C sugar
1/2 c water
1/3 c Vietnamese fish sauce (Three Crabs is the brand the Vietnamese grandmas prefer- and there is a good reason)
Juice of one lime
1 heaping T finely minced fresh ginger
1 heaping T finely minced garlic
1/2 t thai ground chili powder
Combine 1/3 c water and sugar in a pot. Bring to boil, cook over medium-high heat, swirling pan, until syrup forms a deep amber color. Remove from heat. Add garlic, ginger, fish sauce, chili powder, lime juice and 1/2c water, stir thoroughly over low heat dissolving any clumps. (Careful- caramel can splatter initially). Set aside and let cool. If caramel is too thick after cool slowly rewarm and add 1/4 c water to thin out.
Slaw (Enough for 4 portions of fish)
1 T fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
2 T cilantro leaves, leaves whole
2 T thai basil leaves, rough chop
1 T green onions, sliced no thicker than nickels (dimes if you can manage)
1.5 T fried shallots (available at any asian grocery)
1 birds eye red chilis, sliced thinly as possible
1/2 T lime juice
1/2 T sesame oil
1 T peanuts, rough chop, toasted
Combine all ingredients immediately before serving.
(4) 6-8oz filets of salmon, pin bones removed
Preheat oven to 450. Heat a non stick pan to medium high. Add 2-3 T of peanut oil. Add salmon filets flesh side down. Immediately swirl pan to prevent filets from sticking. Sear for approximate 2-3 minutes, until flesh is a golden brown. Gently flip salmon to skin side down and transfer to oven. (If your pan isn’t oven safe, transfer to baking dish and put in oven). Bake for approximately 7 minutes until flesh is starting to flake and medium rare in center.
Glaze the salmon with a tablespoon of caramel. Top with a generous pinch (about a tablespoon or two) of the herb slaw.