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August 13, 2022

Vietnamese Caramel Salmon with Chili

Posted on May 14, 2020 by in seafood

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Vietnamese Caramel Salmon with chili

The Vietnamese Caramel Salmon with chili is one of the most addictive meals I have ever eaten.I think it must be all those umami flavors happening in the bottom of the pan, that are so addictive.

There are many recipes for Vietnamese Caramel Salmon with chili on the internet and for some reason I have always thought it was a mission to make. Well, it is not. The biggest hurdle to overcome is to spend the extra bit of money on the salmon.

Vietnamese Caramel Salmon with chili

Vietnamese food is considered to be one of the healthiest cuisines worldwide, because  of  a few very good reasons. It features a combination of all five fundamental tastes, which is sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami. Vietnamese cooking uses mostly fresh ingredients and very little dairy products and oil. What I like most is the different  textures and use of fresh herbs and vegetables. I love lemongrass, ginger, coriander, mint, basil and chili and those flavors are very prominent in Vietnamese cooking. Their cooking is also almost always gluten-free and they use very little refined sugar.

So to get back to this dish, it was just salmon and greens and sauce, that’s it. I used Spinach (carb-free) noodles, which made it 100% legitimate for me to eat a second portion.

Vietnamese Caramel Salmon with chili

Vietnamese Caramel Salmon with chili

Serve 4 people ( or two hungry ones)

4 salmon or trout fillets, skinless
150 g of dark brown sugar
4-5 T / 60-75 ml water
8 – 10 cm piece of ginger, cut in thin strips
2-3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 – 2 red chilies, finely sliced
3 T/ 45 ml fish sauce
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1 T light soy – optional
1 handful of chopped coriander
1-2 spring onion – finely sliced (white and green parts)
2 bok choy – halved and steamed

To serve

Noodles of your choice
Black sesame seeds

Vietnamese Caramel Salmon with chili


Use a big pan or wok for this recipe. Place the sugar and water in the pan and bring to a boil. Cook for about 4-5 minutes until you have a dark caramel. It is important to swirl the pan every now and then to prevent the caramel from burning. Keep your eye on it. Now, add in the salmon fillets, garlic, lime zest and juice, chilli and ginger, turning to coat completely in the mixture.
Add the other half of the water, the fish sauce and soy and cook for about 5-6 minutes until the salmon is cooked and the sauce reduced to a syrupy deliciousness. Serve with steamed bok choy and noodles or Jasmine rice.

Vietnamese Caramel Salmon with chili

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