I was first inspired to make this salmon after my sweet friend Dale of The Daley Plate made something similar on her feed! I quickly realized this was going to be one of my all-time favorite meals. One of the star ingredients is Gochu Jang, a spicy and sweet chili paste made with fermented soybeans. It's catching on here in the west so I didn't have to hit my favorite Asian market to pick it up. The flavors in this dish are so bold and yet soft enough that you don't lose that fatty, delicious flavor from nature's perfect protein.
Salmon is my favorite fish. I feel like this dinner would be excellent for a Sunday, a weeknight dinner, or even lovely for having company over. Talk about show-stopping! Once you sprinkle scallions, peanuts, cilantro, and chilies all over the top it looks as though a fancy dancy restaurant brought this to your home. I can’t wait to have friends over and make this for them. This meal is health food that doesn’t even blip on the health food radar. After spending time in California this last week I was overwhelmed by the fresh produce and amazing flavors in Hollywood and San Diego. I couldn't wait to get back in my kitchen to create the same bright, fresh flavors we enjoyed while traveling. I hope you don’t just try this but that you do your best to get it into your rotation. I would even do this sauce on chicken and shrimp, or even flank steak!
Sticky Sweet Spicy Asian Salmon & Rice Noodles
Total cooking time 30 minutes
2 lbs. your favorite salmon filet
¼ cup rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. Gochu Jang (Siriacha works great if you can’t find Gochu Jang)
1 Tbsp. sambal
2 Tbsp. tamari or soy sauce
1 tsp. yellow mustard
1-2 tsp. apricot jam or honey
1 clove fresh garlic, crushed
1 cup chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
1 cup chopped dry-roasted salted peanuts
2-3 Fresno chilies, thinly sliced
1 cup green onions, sliced
16 oz. rice noodles, like vermicelli
1 English cucumber sliced into matchsticks
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
½ cup rice vinegar
½ cup tamari or soy sauce
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
1 fresh clove garlic, crushed
½ tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. sweet chili sauce
1 tsp. sambal
Whisk together the noodle sauce and set aside. The sauce tastes better the more it gets to mingle with all its tasty ingredients. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Rinse and pat dry the salmon filet. Whisk all but the garnishes into a thick sauce. Pour the sauce over the fish and coat it completely. Bake for 20-22 minutes for well-done salmon. I prefer a medium-well fish but I cook it through for my hubby and son. Once the fish is done, I sprinkle half of all the garnishes on top. Reserve the other half for your noodles. Cook noodles according to the package instructions.*
Rinse cooked noodles in cold water and place in a bowl with the cucumbers and any other sliced veggies you’ve got on hand; carrots and cabbage are lovely. Cover the noodles with the other half of the garnishes and the noodle sauce. Toss and serve with the salmon. I like to put any leftover sauce on my salmon as well.
*If your noodles are imported from Asia, they may not have directions or the directions may be in a language unfamiliar to you. I find that getting a pot of water boiling and lowering the noodles in batches into the boiling water for only 2-3 minutes yields a noodle with bite that doesn’t fall apart. I immediately rinse the rice noodles in cool water to stop the cooking process. If you cannot find rice noodles, then you can absolutely use angel hair pasta or spaghetti noodles in a pinch.