Last Night for Dinner…Roasted Salmon with Vietnamese Caramel Sauce

So the actual name of this recipe is…Roasted Salmon with a Cheat’s Vietnamese Caramel Sauce

When I first saw this recipe I thought that this was for ‘Cheat’s Vietnamese Caramel Sauce.’ Assuming that Cheat was a person. Of course I had no idea who this Cheat person was and why this was their very own special Vietnamese Caramel Sauce. And what is Cheat’s first name or or does Cheat only go by one name like Cher or Liza?

Then today it dawned on me that the recipe is some kind of ‘cheat’ version of a proper Vietnamese Caramel Sauce that probably involves 57 unique ingredients that can only be sourced from one Vietnamese grocery in SE PDX, and can only be visited under the cloak of darkness and you need a password to get in the door.

Sometimes I’m a complete dork. Now that I’ve gotten past my moment of stupid I can carry on with the recipe. As I’m writing this I’m thinking no one really cares. But I had to share.

Remind me to tell you how I got my arm stuck in a kitchen drawer. Every day is an adventure.

Back to this amazing recipe. Don’t let the concept of caramel on fish frighten you. This is nothing like the caramel that you put on top of ice cream or get stuck between your teeth. This caramel is sweet and savory and pretty much finger licking good. But you don’t want to dip your fingers in the hot caramel. First off it’s just bad manners. Think of the germs. And also you’ll burn the beejesus out of your fingers and mouth if you try to consume this when it’s super hot.

This recipe is quick, easy, crazy good. You know you should be eating more fish. Especially salmon with all those fabulous Omegas. Make it on a Wednesday night. Make it for guests. The caramel sauce is one of those ‘holy shit’ kind of things. Yes it’s that good. You’ll want to put it on everything. You may even want to lick the bowl or clear the table and then with your back turned scrape up the last remnants of the rice and sauce. No need to share. This is your moment.

Roasted Salmon with Vietnamese Caramel Sauce

4 x 7 ounces salmon fillets (or two. more sauce for your both.)

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons soy sauce

3 tablespoons fish sauce (always have fish sauce on hand. I think it has a shelf life of about 100 years.)

1/2 cup soft brown sugar (why would you use hard brown sugar?)

1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (or use the extremely convenient pre-grated ginger that comes in a glass jar. and worse comes to worse you can you a bit of dried ginger. this of course would be your last resort.)

juice of 1 lime

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Place the salmon, skin side down, on the sheet. Brush or lightly drizzle the salmon with the olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for about 11 or 12 minutes, until the salmon is just opaque in the center.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, ginger and lime juice and stir together, until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce is syrupy.
  3. Serve the salmon on steamed rice with the sauce generously drizzled over, then sprinkle over some chopped cilantro, scallions and red chili with lime wedges on the side.

This will become one of your ‘go to’ ‘in a pinch’ recipes. Drizzle the caramel sauce over chicken. Scallops. Let’s see what else? I think it would even work with pork. Give it a shot.

Once again…this recipe and photo are courtesy of Food52.

Enjoy! Until next time…Moose out!

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