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VIETNAMESE CARAMEL SALMON

TIME: 25 MINUTES

YIELD: 4 SERVINGS

Searing salmon in a tangy lime and ginger caramel that’s spiked with Asian fish sauce is one of my favorite ways to cook the fish. Usually I make this in a skillet, starting it on the stovetop and finishing it in the oven. But it cooks beautifully and very quickly in the pressure cooker, turning wonderfully tender. If you like your salmon slightly rare in the center, seek out thick center-cut fillets. They are less likely to overcook than are thinner pieces.

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted, or 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

⅓ cup packed light brown sugar

3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce

1½ tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger

Finely grated zest of 1 lime

Juice of ½ lime

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 skinless salmon fillets, preferably center-cut pieces, 6 to 8 ounces each

Sliced scallions (white and green parts), for garnish

Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Using the sauté function, whisk together the oil, brown sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, ginger, lime zest and juice, and black pepper in the pressure cooker. Bring to a simmer and then turn off the heat.
  2. Place the fish in the pressure cooker, skin-side up (if there is skin still attached, that is). Spoon the sauce over the fish, cover, and cook on low pressure for 1 minute. Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes; then release the remaining pressure manually. Check the fish for doneness by cutting into one of the fillets. If you prefer your salmon more well-done, cook it for another minute using the sauté function.
  3. Carefully lift the salmon fillets onto a serving platter, flipping them over so the browned caramelized side is facing up. Reduce the sauce on the sauté function until it is thick and syrupy, about 3 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the salmon and garnish it with the scallions and cilantro.
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