Crispy lemongrass roasted salmon and a night with the BBC iPlayer

The first recipe in this blog and funnily enough, not one from Luke, Bill or Kylie! This one’s become a favourite in my household… You know when you go through stages of cooking one dish at least once a week at home? Well this one’s it for us at the moment. So healthy, light and tasty and simple. I do a few things differently to the Viet World Kitchen recipe though. I’m not sure if this improves the dish, but I found that the measurements used in the recipe are perfect for two slices of salmon for two people rather than 4. Keeps the salmon nice and moist and you get more lemongrass and shallot to go nice and crispy on the skin.

I also tend to cook this dish for longer than recommended in the recipe – probably because I like my salmon skin crispier and I think it’s nice when the fish is cooked through properly (mind you I am normally totally into salmon sashimi or rare salmon for western dishes, I just think this is nice cooked through).

I serve the dish with rice with a sprinkle of Maggi seasoning on it (hey, I was brought up with rice and Maggi sauce!) with fresh coriander, cucumber and cherry tomatoes and something good on the old BBC iPlayer 😉

Here’s the Viet World Kitchen recipe:

Crisp Lemongrass Salmon
Ca Nuong Xa

Serves 4

1 pound skin-on salmon fillet, cut into 4 portions

Flavoring paste:
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped lemongrass
1 1/2 teaspoons packed light brown sugar
Scant 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped shallot
1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon Madras-style curry powder, such as Sun Brand
1 tablespoon oil

1. Run your finger along the flesh side of the salmon filet to check for any bones. Remove them with tweezers. Set aside.

2. In an electric mini food processor, grind the lemongrass, brown sugar, and salt to a minced texture. Add the shallot, fish sauce, curry powder, and oil. Run the machine, pausing to scrape down the sides, to arrive at a coarse paste. Taste it and adjust the flavors to create a heady paste that’s a little saltier than you’re comfortable with.

3. Coat both sides of the salmon filets with the paste, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or as much as 4 hours. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before you are ready to cook it.

4. Position a rack 5 to 6 inches from the broiler element (usually the upper third of the oven), and set the oven to broil. Let it heat up for 20 minutes so it’s really really hot.

5. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Drizzle a little oil on both sides of the salmon filets and position them skin side up. (Or oil the foil.) Broil for 3 minutes, until there is evidence of slight charring on the skin. Use a spatula to flip the filets over and then broil the flesh side up for 2 minutes. Now flip it again so that the skin is up. Broil for 30 to 60 seconds more to crisp the skin. Watch the fish carefully, lest the skin blacken too much. Transfer to a serving plate and enjoy with lots of rice.


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