Photo: Hector Sanchez Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas
Andrea Nguyen and husband Rory O'Brien use fish sauce nearly every day, in traditional Vietnamese and Thai dishes, and as a stealth ingredient in BBQ sauce. "When a Western dish such as chili or boeuf bourguignon needs extra gravitas," Nguyen says, nuoc mam is part of the remedy. Carp is the fish typically used in this traditional Vietnamese soup (known as rieu), but since it is not commonly available at regular markets, Nguyen switched to salmon.
Serves 6 (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups)
1. Pat salmon dry with a paper towel; cut into 1-inch pieces. Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add salmon; cook 1 minute on each side or until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate; set aside.
2. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook 4 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes and salt; cover and simmer 4 minutes or until tomatoes begin to break down. Uncover; add salmon, fish sauce, and water. Increase heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cook 12 minutes.
3. Add dill and garlic; turn off heat. Ladle soup into serving bowls; sprinkle evenly with pepper. Serve immediately.