Pan-Fried Salmon Lettuce Wraps

Created by our very own fisherwoman, Casey, aboard the F/V Clean Sweep. 

Since becoming a mother a few years ago, I've learned to appreciate simple meal prep. Having an assortment of vegetables ready makes it easy to throw together healthy, flavorful meals. This is a basic recipe for colorful Vietnamese-style lettuce wraps that everyone can assemble according to their preference. My toddler loves peanut sauce and extra cucumber, and I like dipping mine in nuoc cham, a Vietnamese fish sauce-based dipping sauce. My husband is one of those cilantro-sensitive individuals, so he leaves the cilantro off of his. Feel free to change up the vegetables according to what's available. Pick a sauce depending on your mood (salsas, vinaigrettes and creamy dressings are all good) and play with different wrappers, if you like. Rice paper, tortillas — and my son's new favorite, nori — are all great options. Adventurous, healthy eating doesn't have to be complicated or time-consuming.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 7 minutes
Total time: 22 minutes

Pickled Carrots

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup julienned carrots
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tbs honey
  • ¼ tsp salt

Instructions:

  1. Combine vinegar, honey and salt in a small saucepan
  2. Heat until dissolved, then add carrots
  3. Let cool and refrigerate for an hour, preferably overnight

Pan-Grilled Salmon

Ingredients:

  • 3 Copper River Salmon fillets (5-6 ounces each, pin bones removed)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper 

Instructions:

  1. Season salmon with salt and pepper
  2. Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat
  3. Add salmon meat side down and cook for 3 minutes, flip the salmon filler and cook for another 2-4 minutes or until desired doneness.

Salmon Lettuce Wraps

Final Assembly: Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients:

  • 12 leaves butter lettuce
  • 1 cup sliced cucumber
  • 1 cup pickled carrots
  • 1/3 cup each fresh herbs; basil, mint, and cilantro 
  • ½ cup chopped peanuts (optional)
  • 1 cup dipping sauce of choice: sweet chili sauce, peanut sauce, or nuoc cham

Instructions:

  1. Grab one leaf of butter lettuce.
  2. Gently put your grilled salmon on top of the lettuce
  3. Put a couple slices of pickled carrot and cucumber as well as any herbs you want on top of the salmon.
  4. Add about 1 teaspoon of sauce to the arrangement, or simply dip your wrap to the sauce.

Tips from Casey

  1. You can replace vegetables according to your own preference or what is seasonally available. 
  2. Use salmon that has a higher oil content to produce an amazing nutty and buttery taste. Copper River salmon or Alaskan king salmon are great options for this recipe.
  3. Letting the salmon come to room temperature helps the fish cook evenly. If you start with refrigerator-cold fish, the outside will cook much more quickly than the center of the fillet. As a result, the edges may overcook before the center reaches a safe-to-eat temperature.
  4. You can cook the salmon however you want. This recipe works with grilled salmon, pan-fried salmon, or baked salmon as long as it is perfectly seasoned and cooked. (Avoid overcooking salmon).
  5. There’s no need to remove the skin for roast salmon. The skin helps protect the salmon flesh to keep it moist as it cooks. Plus, you can eat the skin for an extra dose of heart-healthy Omega-3s. It can also make a nice presentation if you serve your salmon skin side up.