Shredded cabbage, Thai basil, peanuts, jalapeño chiles, and a Fresno pepper create a slaw that’s perfectly crunchy and bright with a bit of heat—just what a mellow-tasting salmon calls for.
Rare Grilled Salmon Fillets with Asian Slaw
For the slaw
- 2 cups canola oil, more for the grill
- 7 fresh square wonton wrappers, cut into 1/8-inch strips
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (2 medium limes)
- 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
- 1 Tbs. fish sauce
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 white cabbage, halved lengthwise, cored and very thinly sliced (about 8 cups)
- 1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely shredded (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 cup packed fresh Thai basil leaves, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup peanuts, preferably raw, coarsely chopped
- 1 to 2 medium jalapeño chiles, coarsely chopped, including seeds
- 1 fresh red Fresno pepper, seeded, ribs removed, and coarsely chopped
For the salmon
- Four 6-oz. skin-on salmon fillets
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 Tbs. unbleached all-purpose flour
Make the slaw
- Heat the canola oil in a 3-quart pot over medium-high heat until a strip of wonton dropped into the oil bubbles vigorously. Add the wontons in 3 small batches, stirring gently, until golden, 20 to 30 seconds, and transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the lime juice, sugar, fish sauce, and 1 tsp. salt until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Add the remaining ingredients except for the wonton strips and toss to coat. Let sit to soften slightly, about 30 minutes.
Cook the salmon
- Prepare a charcoal or gas grill fire for direct grilling over medium-high heat (about 400°F), or heat a grill pan on top of the stove. Oil the grill grate well.
- Pat the salmon dry and season with salt and pepper. Spread the olive oil in a small, rimmed baking sheet and spread the flour on a plate. Dip the fillets, skin side down, in the flour, knocking off any excess; then put on the oiled sheet, turning once to coat both sides. Leave on sheet.
- Grill the salmon, skin-side down. For rare only, loosely cover with foil, until the sides are opaque but the top is still translucent, about 7–8 minutes. For fully cooked salmon, turn the fillets over and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
- Garnish the slaw with the fried wonton strips and serve with the salmon.