Salmon with almond sauce

(VOVWORLD) -Salmon is a specialty preferred by many people because of its delicious flavor and health benefits. The oily rich salmon combined with the creamy almond sauce creates a taste which is hard to resist.

Jack Lee is a Vietnamese chef who is very successful in the US. He is often referred to in Vietnamese media as a chef of stars in recognition of his background as private caterer for American celebrities US such as actress Angelina Jolie, television icon Oprah Winfrey, actor Stephen Baldwin, and singer Randy Jackson.

Passionate for enhancing the mood and ambiance of any celebration, Chef Jack Lee enchants guests with the world's best delicacies.

Salmon with almond sauce - ảnh 1Chef Jack Lee at Food Fest 2017 (Photo:

 Chi: Today, we have Jack Lee at Hanoi Food Fest 2017. On this occasion, chef Jack Lee is introducing delicacies of Asian and European cuisine. I’m overwhelmed by food from other countries like Japan, South Korea, India, Italy. But I’m most impressed with an appealingly fragrant salmon prepared by Jack Lee. Let’s talk to him.

( Music )

Chi: Hi, Jack Lee. You have served a lot of celebrities -Angelina Jolie, Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank, Oprah Winfrey, Barbra Streisand -and you have said you serve the food according to their preference and taste. How do you do that?

Lee: It takes a lot of work to do research. For example, if I cook for Oprah Winfrey, I will study her, I look at the research, I will talk to her to make sure. I ask her “do you like fish, what kind of fish do you like?”, “do you like beef, what kind of cut do you like?”,. They will tell you, then you have to do research, and you have to make sure every meal is good. The celebrity is super VIP, they trust me enough to cook the meal for them. So, it’s my job, my duty to cook with the utmost honesty, so they will enjoy the meal that I create for them.

Chi: Today, you’re doing “Salmon with almond sauce”. Salmon is a specialty preferred by many people because of its delicious flavor and health benefits. Is this a dish you often cook for celebrities?

Lee: Fish is a dish that many celebrities like. It has Omega 3. Salmon is an oily rich fish. It’s easy to cook because it has so much oil inside. The flavor is very rich.

Chi: So, how do you cook salmon your way, Jack Lee?

Lee: To cook seafood, the most important thing is to keep it dry in order for the seafood to create a crust. Here’s the secret. You have to paper dry, use a paper towel to make it dry. Then, you season it with salt and pepper.

Chi: Do we need to season the fish with many spices?

Lee: If the fish is fresh, you don’t need to season too much. You could use just salt and pepper. If you want, you can use a little garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper to season the salmon.

And then you put a little oil in a pan, just a little bit of oil because salmon has a lot of oil. When the pan is really hot, put the skin side down first when you cook. Then you flip it over.

Chi: Does it take a long time to cook fish?

Lee: If the fish is thick, you should use a cover. You sear it one minute per side, then you put a cover on until the inside becomes medium rare. The temperature is medium, so the fish is just cooked. It’s so delicious, it doesn’t get too dry, it’s not too rare. It melts in your mouth like butter.   

Chi: And the salmon will be served with some kind of sauce?

Lee: For the sauce I use a little bit of butter, a little bit of garlic, add a little cream. Then I cook the almond in. Before I add the butter, I add the almond to cook the almond so that the almond flavor comes up.I add the cream, reduce the heat, later cool it down. That’s the almond sauce.

You can add a little dill if you want for the flavor, and a fresh squeeze of lemon juice to balance the cream sauce.

Salmon with almond sauce - ảnh 2(Photo: Pinterest)
Chi: No wonder your salmon tastes oily, creamy, but not too fatty. The flavor is very balanced, maybe with the lemon juice. Japan is famous for dishes made with salmon. They prefer raw salmon. How is your recipe different from salmon prepared in the Japanese style?

Lee: I believe both ways are very good but Japanese salmon is sushi grade, meaning it has to be very fresh. So, it doesn’t require cooking, because cooking will kill the bacteria, right. Or we can eat it sashimi style. Sashimi style means eating it raw. For salmon that’s not sushi grade, we need to cook it.

But I think both ways are very good. 

Chi: It’s so interesting to talk to Hollywood chef Jack Lee and learn about his cooking style. This has been VOV24/7’s Food Delight. Thanks for joining us. Good bye.