I had this at Portland good friends, Iva-Marie and Kyle’s, and I had to learn to make it. They had had it at the restaurant Saucebox and asked for the recipe. (How much do we love it when our friends have the chutzpah to ask for the recipe?) Then somebody wrote into Bon Appetit asking for the recipe, and it is now very popular on Epicurious. And it’s my favorite way to serve salmon.
If you have left over sauce, just drink it out of the pan, er, I mean use it with chicken. I once served this dish for a group who all started high fiving about it, which I took as a good sign.
1 T. red pepper flakes
1 T. garlic, minced
4 oz. butter
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup lime juice
½ cup soy sauce
2 t. cornstarch in 2 t. water
Melt butter in heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add pepper flakes and garlic. Stir until garlic is fragrant. Add the brown sugar, and whisk to melt. Cook until bubbling on top, about 4 minutes. Add lime juice and soy sauce. Increase heat, bring to boil, and cook for 2 minutes until reduced to about 1 1/2 cups. Add cornstarch mixture and boil until thick, about 3 minutes. Set sauce aside.
OPTION 1 – Roasting
Preheat oven to 400. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large skillet over high heat. Cook salmon until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Put that pan into oven if oven proof, or transfer to baking sheet. Spoon 1 tablespoon sauce over each fillet. Roast until fish is opaque in center, about 5 minutes.
Option 2 – Grilling
Put some sauce on salmon as you grill it in foil. Serve the salmon over jasmine rice and sautéed spinach, then top with about ¼ cup of sauce (roughly) per person. If you want to get fancy, sprinkle steamed baby carrots all around the plate, drizzled with a bit of the sauce.
Yet another option – Serve over wilted spinach.
Melt 2 T. butter in pot over medium high. Add spinach and toss until wilted but still bright green. Season with salt and pepper. It’s especially fancy to serve rice, spinach, then salmon, sprinkle steamed baby carrots around, then drizzle sauce over all.