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
salt & pepper
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!