Asian recipes/ Dinner/ Fish & Seafood/ One-pot recipes/ Stir-fry

Vietnamese Caramel Salmon with Bok Choy, Steamed Rice and Crispy Salmon Skin

16 January 2022

Sweet caramel, savoury soy and fish sauce, tangy lime juice, spicy chili’s, gingery heat and of course garlic. These are all flavours combined in this South East Asian sauce, just delicious. The Salmon and Bok Choy is braised in the sauce and they both soak up the juices so well. In Vietnam this dish is usually served with catfish, but Salmon works just as well!

Vietnamese Caramel Salmon with Bok Choy, Ginger Steamed Rice and Crispy Salmon Skin

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Dinner, lunch Asian
By Saffron Pape Serves: 2
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 2 salmon fillets, skinless or skin peeled off (optional, see notes)
  • 75g of caster sugar
  • 1 thumb size piece of ginger, julienned
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 1 long red chilli, finely sliced
  • 1.5 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 large or 2 small bok choy, roughly chopped in large chunks
  • 1 small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
  • 1 small bunch of spring onions, julienned in 4 cm strips and placed in cold water
  • 1 cup Jasmine rice


The Rice


The dish comes together quite quickly, so start by steaming the rice. Boil jasmin rice for 8 minutes in salted water, remove from heat and drain. Let steam with the lid on and for another 8 minutes or until you're ready to serve. Fluff up with a fork before serving.

Salmon & Bok Choy


Use a large high sided heavy based frying pan or wok and place it over a medium high heat (I find that the sugar burns too quickly in a regular wok, heavy based is best)


Add in the sugar and 2 tablespoons of water and cook for 5 minutes, don't stir but swirl the pan occasionally until you're left with a dark caramel. Keep an eye on it, it mustn't burn or it will turn butter and you'll need to start again.


Add in the bok choy, garlic, chilli and ginger, turning to coat completely in the mixture.


Gently add the salmon and coat with the sauce as well.


Pour in 25ml of water and the fish sauce and bring to a steady boil.


Reduce the heat and cook for 5-7 minutes until the salmon is is just cooked through.


Julienne the spring onions into 4 cm strips and place in iced water, they will curl up all pretty.

Crispy Salmon Skin (Optional)


While this is cooking it's time to crisp up the salmon skin. You can do this simply by frying it in a non-stick frying pan withe a small drop of oil to get it going.


Start skin side up, fry on high heat for 2-3 minutes, then turn it skin side down and fry for another 2-3 minutes.


When starting to crisp up, remove from the heat, drain on a paper towel and season with salt.

To serve


Serve the bok choy and salmon mixture with steamed rice, garnish with coriander and spring onion and top off with the crispy salmon skin (if using)


The crispy salmon skin is optional, you can also just buy skinless salmon filets and skip this part.

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