Simple and quick to put together, this indulgently crispy salmon can be prepared hours in advance
• 800g salmon fillets or ocean trout, skin on
• 90g caster sugar
• 125ml coconut water, or more if necessary
• 2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
• 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
• 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
• 4 cm piece fresh galangal, cut into fine matchsticks
• 2 red bird’s eye chillies, thinly sliced, to serve
1 Remove any pin bones from the salmon, then cut the fish into 4–5 cm pieces. Set aside.
2 Combine the sugar with 2 1⁄2 tablespoons water in a large, deep frying pan over medium heat. Cook, without stirring, for about 3 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is boiling.
3 Cook for another 5–6 minutes or until the mixture has thickened and smells caramelised. Be careful as the mixture will now be very hot!
4 Working quickly, remove the pan from the heat, add the coconut water and fish sauce, taking care as the mixture will spit.
5 Add the oyster sauce, garlic and galangal, swirling the pan to combine everything, then return the pan to the heat and simmer for 2 minutes to allow the flavours to develop.
6 Add the fish to the pan, skin side up, in a single layer if possible. Bring the caramel mixture to a simmer and cook, turning the fish once during cooking time, for 6–7 minutes or until just cooked through.
7 Add a little extra coconut water if the sauce reduces too quickly.
8 Spoon the sauce over the fish and serve with the sliced chillies on the side.
Recipe courtesy of Antony Suvalko, extracted from East.