Fish Sauce Braised Salmon (Ca Salmon Kho)

I saw some beautiful looking salmon steaks at the market  today and wanted to cook some to eat with steamed rice. So the thought of braising them came to mind as the most popular braised fish dish for Vietnamese is the Clay Pot Braised Catfish, or Ca Kho To, and I would just switch out the fish. With the salmon looking so fresh and I always could use more omega 3 in my daily diet, it was an easy decision.  I got the salmon steaks home for the clay pot braising, however, my clay pot had a crack in it so here I am taking out the oval dutch oven, which would work out perfectly since it's from-oven-to-table friendly. The use of the caramel sauce really brought the beautiful golden brown color to the dish. The braising is quite short for this dish as salmon cooks in minutes. I had mine braised for 10 minutes to infuse the fish sauce and shallot-garlic flavors to the salmon. It's one of my favorite fish dishes. Just have plenty of steamed rice and cucumbers as you'll be having seconds, I guarantee! 

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RECIPE for 5-6 servings
 

4 salmon steaks, 1-inch thick
1 tbs caramel sauce
4 tbs premium fish sauce
2 tbs brown sugar
3 cups of coconut soda
3 tbs minced garlic
3 tbs minced shallot
1 tsp ground pepper
2-3 green onion, dice
3-4 small thai chili, optional
4 tbs of crispy bacon fat cubes, Tep Mo, optional

In a clay pot or shallow dutch oven, place in salmon pieces in one layer. Top with garlic shallot mix, fish sauce, brown sugar and caramel sauce. Add in coconut soda last.

Turn heat to med-high and braise for 10-12 mins.

At the last 3 mins, add freshly cracked pepper, green onion, fresh chili and bacon fat cubes if using. Turn off heat.

Serve with steamed rice and slices of fresh cucumber or tomatoes.