Chicago chef Bill Kim marries Korean and American flavors in Korean BBQ. From kimchi-spiked potato salad to these drunken lamb chops, change up your typical barbecue fair. Try these blackened salmon po’ boys on for size.
This is my homage to the seafood po’ boys I eat every time I go to New Orleans. These iconic sandwiches are served on baguettes, but what many people don’t know is that the big Vietnamese population in New Orleans uses rice flour to make the baguettes for their po’ boys and their bahn mi, their traditional sandwiches. I take that adaptation a step further and use crispy rice cakes as the base for an open-faced sandwich. Feel free to use a baguette or even a hamburger bun in place of the rice cakes.
When you need very thinly sliced vegetables, like the cucumbers in this recipe, and you don’t have a mandoline, you can use a vegetable peeler instead of a knife to get superthin slices. Just run the peeler down the length of the cucumber to get long, thin slices, and then cut them into smaller pieces.
- 2 1/2 pounds skinless salmon fillet, cut into 12 equal pieces
- 1/2 cup blackening seasoning
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons Lemongrass Chili Sauce
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons sambal oelek
- 1 tablespoon Korean chili flakes
- 1 cup shredded red cabbage
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1 seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
- 6 crispy rice cakes
Lemongrass Chili Sauce
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced, peeled fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup minced lemongrass
- 1 cup sweet chili sauce
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1/4 cup sambal oelek
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 cup sweet paprika
- 1/4 cup granulated garlic or garlic powder
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
Nuoc Cham Sauce
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 green Thai chilies, minced, with seeds
For the nuoc cham sauce
Combine the brown sugar, lime juice, fish sauce, water, garlic, and chilies in a small bowl and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 2 months. Or freeze in standard ice-cube trays, then transfer the cubes (2 tablespoons each) to plastic freezer bags and freeze for up to 2 months.
For the seasoning
Combine the paprika, granulated garlic, chili powder, and salt in a small bowl and stir to mix. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark cupboard for up to 6 months.
For the lemongrass chili sauce
Combine the garlic, ginger, lemongrass, chili sauce, fish sauce, sambal oelek, and oil in a bowl and whisk until blended. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 2 months (see note).
For the po' boys
Place a grill pan on the grill grate, then heat the grill for direct heat cooking to medium-high (400°F to 450°F).
Whisk together the mayonnaise, hoisin sauce, and Lemongrass Chili Sauce in a small bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use. Whisk together the Nuoc Cham Sauce, yogurt, sesame oil, sambal oelek, and chili flakes in a separate bowl to make a dressing. Place the cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, and cilantro in a large bowl, pour on the dressing, and toss until well mixed.
Place the salmon on the grill pan, close the lid, and cook for 3 minutes. Flip the salmon over, close the lid again, and cook for another 2 minutes, until lightly charred.
Place the rice cakes on a platter, and top each with a spoonful of the Asian slaw. Remove the salmon from the grill and place 2 pieces on top of each slaw-topped rice cake. Spoon a dollop of the mayo mixture on the salmon, and serve.