Greg Ehrlich is a chef and food enthusiast based in Seattle, WA. When not cooking, he enjoys the mountains, water skiing, making music with friends and napping.

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.

Salmon

(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.

To Serve

Glaze the salmon with a tablespoon of caramel. Top with a generous pinch (about a tablespoon or two) of the herb slaw.

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