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Sockeye Salmon with Naam Jim Sauce

We're pleased to present another recipe by Syrie Wongkaew... freelance graphic designer, food photographer and stylist, and's guide to Australian & New Zealand Food.

Here's how Syrie introduced this week's recipe on her Taste Buddies blog:

"Thais have long had a gift for the fusing of salty, sweet, sour and spicy sensations. An example of this mouthwatering fusion is Naam Jim sauce."

"Naam Jim pairs well with just about any meat but is especially complimentary with seafood. I spent many a weekend in Hua Hin as a child peeling prawns and smothering them in Naam Jim, and still do. this time however I paired the sauce with poached Wild Sockeye salmon. The result was a sublime combination of the rich and succulent Sockeye with the power-packed Naam Jim."

Sockeye Salmon with Naam Jim Sauce

Serves 4

1 Wild Salmon Filet (24 oz) or 4 (6 oz) portions
1 stalk of lemongrass
1 tablespoon Naam Pla (fish sauce)
I use Squid brand fish sauce
1 cup rice (jasmine rice if available)

Naam Jim Sauce ingredients
4 tablespoon Naam Pla (Fish Sauce)*
34 limes
2 bird chilies
3 garlic cloves
2 tablespoon palm sugar (or raw cane sugar)
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander (cilantro) stems

*VC Editor's note: Or use white wine vinegar or mirin (rice wine vinegar). Fish sauce is found some supermarkets, and at Asian or natural food markets.

  • First thing to do is to cook your rice. I use my beloved new rice cooker which produces perfect rice each time.
  • Wash the rice and then add 2 cups of water. Cook.
  • Squeeze the limes and add the juice to the Naam Pla sauce.
  • Mince the chilies. You may want to remove the seeds if you don't want the sauce to be too spicy. Don't rub your eyes whatever you do! Add the chilies to the sauce.
  • Mince the garlic and coriander stems and add them to the sauce.
  • Add the palm sugar to the sauce mixture and stir. Taste and decide if you need more spicy, sweet, salty or sour. Adjust to your liking.

Poached Salmon Method:
  • Bring about 2‒3 cups of water to the boil. The amount depends on how much salmon you are cooking. You are just going to poach the fish so you don't want to cover it completely in water.
  • Cut the lemongrass stalk in half and add it to the pot with 1 tbs of Naam Pla to salt the water. Cover and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to low.
  • Cut the salmon into generous chunks (7 cm x 4 cm / 4 x 2 inches).
  • Add the salmon to the pot and cover. Cook gently for about 10‒15 minutes depending on how you like your fish.
  • Once cooked, remove the fish with a slotted spoon and place on a plate. Spoon the Naam Jim sauce over it and serve with rice.

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