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Chargrilled Salmon Salad – Luke Nguyen


This is one of my favourite summer salads. It is colourful, textural and has such complex flavours. Salmon is not native to Vietnam, but has become very popular in the last few years. Most of the salmon served in Saigon comes from either Norway or Australia, although salmon is now being farmed in the northern mountains of Sapa, where low water temperatures are ideal for raising salmon.

Serves 4-6 as part of a shared meal

200 g (7 oz) salmon fillet, skin and bones removed
150 g (51/ 2 oz/1/ 2 cup) Pickled vegetables
1 handful watercress sprigs
5 perilla leaves, roughly sliced
5 mint leaves, roughly sliced
5 Vietnamese mint leaves, roughly sliced
1 teaspoon Fried garlic chips (see Basics, page 357)
3 tablespoons Nuoc mam cham dipping sauce (see Basics, page 358)
1 tablespoon crushed roasted peanuts
1 tablespoon Fried red Asian shallots (see Basics, page 357)
1 red bird’s eye chilli, sliced

Salmon marinade
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 teaspoons caster (superfine) sugar
11/ 2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 red bird’s eye chilli, sliced

Combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Add the salmon and turn to coat. Cover and marinate for 30 minutes.
Chargrill the salmon over medium-high heat for 3 minutes, or until medium rare, making sure it is well coloured on the outside. Remove from the heat and allow the salmon to rest for 5 minutes.
Flake the salmon flesh into a bowl, removing any small bones. Add the pickled vegetables, watercress, herbs, garlic chips and dipping sauce. Mix together well, then turn out onto a serving platter.
Garnish with the peanuts, fried shallots and chilli and serve.


Travel through Vietnam with celebrity chef Luke Ngyen’s lavish new book, The Food Of Vietnam. The location and food photography is sublime, and showcases Luke’s foodie adventures through this beautiful part of Asia. Luke serves up classic Vietnamese dishes plus his twists on traditional recipes. You will want to cook everything in this book, it’s not to be missed. Reviewed by Anne Marie Cummins

Images and recipes extracted from The Food of Vietnam by Luke Nguyen published by Hardie Grant $69.95 available in stores nationally.  

Also, you can join celebrity Chef Luke Nguyen on a new culinary experience in Saigon.

The Australia-born “MasterChef Vietnam” host, cookbook author, restaurateur and television personality is partnering exclusively with The Reverie Saigon on this in-depth exploration of the vibrant dining destination that is bustling Ho Chi Minh City.

For more information, please visit:

Written by TheCarousel


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