4 salmon fillets, 180g/6oz each preferably skinless (Note 1)
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp oil, separated
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
2 tsp ginger, finely grated
1 lemongrass, peeled, finely grated (Note 2)
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp chilli garlic paste or other chilli paste, adjust to taste (Note 3)
400 g/14oz coconut milk (Note 2)
1 tbsp fish sauce (or soy sauce)
2 tsp lime zest (1 lime)
Lime juice, to taste
Fresh coriander/cilantro leaves, finely chopped (recommended)
Finely sliced large red chillies (optional)
Vermicelli noodles, soaked per packet, or rice
Steamed Asian greens
Sprinkle both sides of salmon with salt and pepper.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a non-stick pan or well-seasoned skillet over medium-high heat. Add salmon, skin side up, and sear for just 1 1/2 minutes until golden. Turn salmon and cook the other side just for 1 minute, then remove onto a plate (should still be raw inside).
Turn heat down to medium-low and allow skillet to cool.
Heat remaining 1 tbsp oil. Add garlic, ginger, and lemongrass. Cook until garlic is light golden ~ 1 minute.
Add sugar and cook for 20 seconds until it becomes a caramel (see video). Then stir in chili paste.
Add coconut milk and stir, scraping the bottom of the skillet to dissolve any bits stuck on the base into the sauce.
Stir in fish sauce, increase heat to medium. Simmer for 2 minutes.
Place salmon into the sauce, lower heat and simmer gently for 4 minutes, or until just cooked.
Remove salmon, stir in lime zest and juice to taste. Adjust salt to taste with fish sauce.
Serve salmon over noodles or rice. Spoon over sauce, garnish with coriander and chili if using.