Yes, it's salmon...again. I dearly love fish, particularly salmon, which is obvious from the number of times I cook it. When I tried being a vegetarian, it was the fish that I missed the most. This is a great recipe, to me at least. If you like Asian flavors of fish sauce, ginger, and lime, this will appeal to you. If you would like to try these flavors for the first time, this might be the dish for you to sample them. It uses rice pasta, which has a wonderful texture and flavor. The type of noodle for this recipe is rice vermicelli. Or you could also use rice stick noodles. Many grocery stores now carry these dry noodles in the Asian food section. They are very thin and stiff, with a white, slightly translucent color. Delicious and fun to cook, you simply drop them into boiling water, set them aside for about 10 minutes, then drain them. If you can't find them at your grocery store, try using regular wheat vermicelli instead. By the way, the tomato jam is fabulous. I was tempted to eat it alone with a big spoon. But, I didn't.
Since this recipe features these fabulous noodles, I think it's perfect for Presto Pasta Night, which was started by Ruth at Once Upon A Feast. More and more pasta lovers are joining in the fun by making great pasta dishes, so stop by her site on Friday and see the big Roundup.
(Food & Wine)
4 ounces rice vermicelli or rice stick noodles
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large jalapeño, seeded and minced (optional, if you can't tolerate them)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon Madras curry powder
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus wedges, for serving
1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus leaves for garnish
1 small onion, minced
One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Four 6-ounce center-cut salmon fillets, with skin
1. Add the vermicelli to a saucepan of boiling water. Let stand off the heat for 10 minutes, until softened.
2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the jalapeño, garlic and 2 tablespoons of the ginger and cook over moderately low heat until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add the shallot and cook, stirring, until softened, 5 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and remove from the heat. Add the fish sauce and lime juice, scraping up any bits stuck to the pan.
3. Drain the vermicelli and shake dry. Cut into 4-inch lengths (more or less) and transfer to a medium bowl. Add the curry sauce, red bell pepper and chopped cilantro and toss well.
4. In a small saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of ginger and the onion and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, crushed red pepper, sugar and vinegar and cook over moderate heat, mashing and stirring occasionally, until thick and jamlike, about 10 minutes. Season the jam with salt and pepper.
5. In a skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil over high heat until the skillet is hot. Season the salmon with salt and pepper; add to the skillet, skin side up. Cook over medium-high heat for about 3-4 minutes. Turn the fish over, skin side down, and continue to cook for another 3-5 minutes, checking with the tip of a knife inserted into the fish, to check that it's not overcooked. You should only cook the fish until it's slightly translucent in the center. Once it is (and the thickness of your fish will determine that), remove it from the heat. Note: If you're more comfortable broiling your fish, feel free to do so.
6. Spoon the vermicelli onto plates, top with the salmon and tomato jam. Garnish with cilantro and serve with lime wedges.