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Monday, April 13, 2015

Cá Hồi Nướng (Baked Salmon)

One of the ways I incorporate our homegrown organic herbs is by having rolls for our meals. This is usually seen with boiled pork or grilled buttered beef. But this one is a fish roll. One of my older daughter's favorite fish-actually the only fish she would eat without throwing a fit- is salmon.

Being limited to one main ingredient, I have to come up with various recipes to get her to eat more fish. Fortunately, she likes baked salmon. Once the salmon comes out of the oven, topped with roasted peanuts, crispy shallots, and curly green onion ribbons, we roll the salmon in rice paper with an abundance of assorted herbs, cucumbers, lettuces, and dip it in a shrimp dipping sauce. The peanut sauce, fish sauce or fermented bean curd dipping sauce would all go well.  

What makes this delicious looking baked salmon dish irresistible is the fresh aromatic scent rising from the salmon in banana leaves. My daughter thought it's the best aroma that ever came wafting out of our oven. This recipe is simple and it turns out delicious every time!
RECIPE: Cá Hồi Nướng

for Salmon
1 piece filet Salmon
1 tablespoon Chicken Bouillon Powder
2-4 cloves of Garlic, pasted
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
Fried Shallot
Roasted Peanut

for Dipping Sauce
2 tablespoons Shrimp Sauce 
1 piece Pineapple, finely chopped
1 tablespoon, finely chopped Lemongrass
1 tablespoon, finely chopped Garlic
1 tablespoon Shallot, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Ginger, finely chopped
1/2 cup Coco Rico Soda 
1/2 small Lime, juiced
1 tablespoon Sugar

Assorted herbs
Green Onions
Preheat the oven at 400 degree F 
Preparing Shrimp Dipping Sauce

In a sauce pan, bring a tablespoon of oil on medium heat. Once it's hot, add lemongrass, ginger, shallot, and garlic.

Saute until they start to turn slightly brown. Add pineapple, shrimp sauce, coco Rico soda and sugar. Mix it well.

Once the sauce is blended well and start to boil, remove from heat. Add lime juice. Transfer the sauce to a serving bowl.  Add garlic chili sauce for spicy flavor.  Set aside.

Preparing Lettuce, Cucumbers and Herbs

Rinse lettuce and herbs. Set aside.

Shred green onions using this tool (dụng cụ chẻ rau muống). You can find it at almost any Asian market. These shredded green onions will curl up as you soak in the water for a few minutes.  

Slice cucumbers into thin slices. Set aside

Preparing Marinade

Placed garlic in the mortar, then crushed with the pestle to release the fresh flavor.  In the same mortar, combine chicken bouillon power and olive oil. Mix well. Set aside.
Preparing Salmon

Place a few banana leaves on the baking tray. Set aside.
Leave the piece of salmon as is or cut into a few pieces like I did for easy transfer to the serving plate without breaking the salmon apart. 
Brush olive oil mixture over both sides of the salmon. Place the salmon on the tray and bake for about 7 minutes.
Switch to broil on high and cook for another 5 minutes until the surface of the salmon is golden brown. Salmon cooks very fast and the fish will dry out if cooking too long so be careful.

Remove salmon tray from the oven. Cut the banana leaves along the side of each piece and transfer each piece of salmon with the banana to a serving place. Top with roasted or deep fried peanuts and crispy shallots. Garnish with curly green onion ribbons. 

Roll salmon and vegetables in a rice paper.  Dip it in your favorite sauce and enjoy this healthy hearty meal!


  1. Looks delicious. Where do I find banana leaf? In freezer? Soak before place fish on top?

  2. Most Asian markets have frozen banana leaves. Rinse and pat dry banana leaf before placing fish on top.