Salmon with Vietnamese Herb Sauce

We adapted this recipe from one our Scottish salmon farmers gave us. The fish is poached. It's easy, and you don't need fancy equipment to poach a few fillet portions. A bamboo steamer set over a skillet is nice to have, but one of those metal vegetable steamer baskets in a saucepan also works just fine. The sauce calls for Alex's favorite secret ingredient: Vietnamese fish sauce. If you haven't got that in your fridge, you're missing out. It smells terrible, but a few drops give just about anything a mysterious umami boost. Serve the salmon over stir-fried vegetables or rice noodles... or both.

Serves 4

4 salmon fillet portions, six to eight ounces each
1 bunch fresh cilantro, washed and roughly chopped to make about one cup
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, washed
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed lightly
3 jalapeño peppers, stems and seeds discarded
2 limes––grate the zests, then juice the limes
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon grapeseed or other light-tasting oil

Put everything but the salmon into a food processor or blender and whiz it into a thick sauce.

Place the salmon in a shallow bowl and spoon half the marinade over it and let it rest about 20-30 minutes. Reserve the rest of the marinade to sauce the finished fish.

Bring about one inch of water to the boil in the bottom half of your steamer. Wipe most of the marinade off the salmon fillets and place them in the top half of the steamer. Steam the fish for 4-6 minutes––it will become opaque and firm up a bit. Plate the fillets and sauce them with the reserved marinade.