Vietnamese Caramel Salmon Banh Mi

Vietnamese Caramel Salmon Banh Mi

I recently realized that it has been quite a while since I last did anything with seafood which is kind of disappointing considering how much I enjoy it. In order to resolve the problem I pulled out this idea for a Vietnamese style caramel salmon banh mi which has been on the back of my mind for even longer. When I first came across the idea of using caramel in a savoury dish in Vietnamese cuisine I was immediately curious and tried it only to be surprised at how well it really does work! I have been using the Vietnamese style caramel sauce ever since, using it in a number of dishes and I figured that it would go really well on creamy salmon and that that would go well in a tasty banh mi sandwich!

This recipe starts out by simmering sugar and water in a pan until it turns a deep golden brown when you add some more liquid to turn the thickened caramel into a sauce. The sauce is then seasoned with fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, shallots and chilies for some heat. Really at this point you could throw anything into the sauce and it would come out amazing but this time it was salmon.

The moist, tender and buttery salmon goes so well in the caramel sauce! It is just packed with flavour and the spicy heat from the birds eye chili is perfect. Of course, things only get better when you put the caramel salmon into a banh mi sandwich with cucumber, jalapenos, pickled daikon radish and carrots along with mayo and plenty of fresh cilantro!

One thing that I did not count on was just how big these sandwiches were going to be! Open wide!

Vietnamese Caramel Salmon Banh Mi

Vietnamese Caramel Salmon Banh Mi

Vietnamese Caramel Salmon Banh Mi

Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 10 minutes Servings: 4

Sweet and savoury Vietnamese caramel salmon in a banh mi stuffed with pickles carrots and daikon radish cucumber, jalapenos and cilantro.

  • 1 baguette, cut into 4 sandwich sized lengths or 4 long buns, sliced in half
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 pound Vietnamese caramel salmon (see below)
  • 1/4 cup pickled daikon radish
  • 1/4 cup pickled carrots
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 2 jalapeno or birds eye chilies, sliced
  • 1 large handful cilantro
  1. Assemble sandwiches and enjoy.

Vietnamese Caramel Salmon

Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes Servings: 2

Moist, tender and creamy salmon cooked in a sweet and savoury Vietnamese caramel sauce.

  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 lime, juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 birds eye chili, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 1 pound salmon, deboned and cut into large chunks
  1. Heat the water and sugar over medium heat and simmer until it turns a deep golden brown.
  2. Mix the fish sauce, lime juice, and water and carefully add it to the pan, then heat until the caramel dissolves.
  3. Add the chili, garlic and shallots and simmer until tender, about a minute.
  4. Add the salmon and simmer until cooked, about 2-3 minutes per side and set aside.
  5. Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer the sauce until it thickens, about 3-5 minutes.
  6. Serve the salmon along with the reduced and thickened sauce poured over it.


Maria said...

Wow, that is the prettiest salmon I have ever seen!

anne said...

This looks simply amazing. Thank you!

Bridget said...

How interesting! I have a more traditional banh mi recipe planned for this weekend, but I'm tempted to add that Vietnamese caramel sauce. Sounds intriguing!

heatherabarrick said...

we are going to give this one a try. we love bahn mi and have been making the recipe from not without salt lately.the addition of her siracha mayonnaise to your salmon is making my mouth water!

Jennifer {Mother Thyme} said...

This looks amazing! I haven't had Banh mi since I went to Vietnam. I seriously need to try this!

ErinG said...

This looks so good! Really wish I would have read this before I prepared the same boring salmon tonight!

Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes said...

Love the caramel sauce addition!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A fantastic bahn mi! This salmon version is gorgeous.



Joanne said...

I've made vietnamese caramel sauce before and you're would go utterly perfectly against salmon's creamy butteryness!

hong said...

This looks awesome and must be delicious!

Alex @ Intoxicology 101 said...

Gotta admit I'm not much a seafood lover but this looks pretty damn tasty. Keep it up. Cheers!

Debs @ The Spanish Wok said...

Wow, this sounds delicious and caramel sauce oh my!

I have nominated you for an Award see details here

kelsey said...

YUM! This looks delish!

Anonymous said...

oh that looks SO good!! the sauce sounds just spectabular! thanks for sharing!

Erica said...

Wow, that's almost too much salmon for that poor bun! But I'm sure you can handle it :)

Elly McCausland said...

Gorgeous photo! This reminds me of a Vietnamese caramel sauce I made for pork fillet a while ago, but I bet it would be even better with salmon. Such an inspired idea!

Swati Saha said...

What a gorgeous photo....I have to make this. For a vegetarian version try this

Foodycat said...

Hey Kevin, did you give permission for this? - just turned up in my twitter feed! Your sandwich looks better in the original pic on your site!

bellini said...

Another delicious salmon recipe to try Kevin!

Cassie/Bake Your Day said...

These are stunning photos, Kevin. I am a huge fan of salmon in any fashion and these are definitely calling my name!

Terry C said...

Beautiful! I wonder if flaking the salmon would make a more manageable mouthful? It certainly wouldn't change the flavor. I'm always astonished at how you combine flavors and cuisines.

Meagan said...

This looks sooo yummy. I <3 Banh Mi but haven't had it in a while since going gluten free. Might have to search for GF hoagie rolls, or just forget the bread altogether. It looks worth it. Great idea!

Kevin said...

Terry C: Yes flaking the salmon made the sandwiches much easier to eat.

Jill~a SaucyCook said...

I made this recipe last night Kevin-well, sort of!! I made the sauce and used it as a glaze for my salmon, which I grilled. It was delicious and I made a salad out of the leftover salmon, arugula, baby kale, red and green peppers, cherry tomatoes and hard boiled egg for my husband's dinner (he teaches on Tues/Thur eves) tonight. Of course I had to make more of the caramel sauce for the salad.....YUM! Thanks!

Rachel said...

That looks delicious! I love banh mis! I will definitely have to try it with salmon. Thanks for sharing!

Colin Purrington said...

That's a thing of beauty.

Yaoli said...

This was so delicious! Made it tonight. I put 2 jalapenos diced instead of the birds eye chili into the salmon. The sauce on the fish really makes this dish! I also substituted apple cider vinegar instead of distilled white vinegar for the pickled radish/carrots.

Allison Day said...

I had bookmarked this back when you posted it, but never got around to making it. Had some salmon that I didn't know what to do with tonight, and this caught my eye again. Delicious!!! (I just made the fish; didn't have all the fixings to make the banh mi.) Plus my Vietnamese boyfriend LOVES it, so I will definitely be making it again. :D

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