Food, Main Courses

Wok Caramel Salmon with Bitter Greens – Recipe!

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Caramel Salmon is a Vietnamese inspired dish from years ago, however I have a few tricks to make it even tastier and simple to prepare.  In this recipe, the caramel is thinned by water and fish sauce for a deep brown hue and gives the fish a nice umami taste.

The first step is to give the salmon a quick sear, which presents a crust on the outside and preserves a slightly pinkish center.  Making caramel sauce can sometimes be daunting, but this sauce is done in just 2 minutes, in the same pan you sear the fish – it can’t be easier.

This Wok Caramel Salmon with Bitter Greens gives your palate a ride for its money with contrasting sweet and savory flavors – it’s that exciting.  So, prepare a nice meal for your loved one and wow them with a new Asian meal.


12 ounces fresh salmon fillet, cut in half

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon fish sauce

pinch of salt

3 cups kale, spinach or other bitter greens

1/2 lemon

salt & pepper

vegetable oil

(Serves 2)

To Prepare:

1. Pat dry salmon and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.  In a wok or large skillet, add 1 tablespoon of oil, place over medium-high heat.  After 2 minutes, add salmon to wok, flesh side down.  Cook fish for 2 minutes, flip over and cook other side for 3 minutes.  Remove fish from wok and rest on plate.  Drain oil from wok and wipe clean with paper towel.

2.  Add sugar to wok and place over medium-high heat.  When sugar begins to darken, about 30 seconds, lift wok and swirl gently over heat, until sugar is completely melted and darkened, about 2 minutes.  Set back on heat and add 1/3 cup hot water, fish sauce and salt.  Swirl mixture again in pan.  If liquid is too thick, add a tablespoon more water, swirl to combine.

3.  Add fish, flesh side down, into sauce and place greens around perimeter.  Cook for 3 minutes, occasionally stir greens to combine with sauce.  Remove from heat.  Place each fillet on plate with greens and squeeze lemon juice over top.  Enjoy!

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