This recipe video earned Panna a James Beard Award—and once you watch it, you'll see why! Salmon glazed with savory fermented black bean sauce is one of Chef Howard’s weeknight standbys. Pair it with gingery cabbage, caramelized and punctuated by toasted dried shrimp that add an umami funk.
Ginger Cabbage, part 1: Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat; then add the shrimp. Fry until sizzling and fragrant, 2–3 minutes. Meanwhile, peel the ginger. Slice lengthwise into planks, then crosswise into matchsticks. Mince the matchsticks, then set aside. Cut the cabbage in half, then in quarters; cut out the core and discard. Roughly slice the cabbage into 1-inch strips. When the shrimp have browned slightly, remove and drain on paper towels. (Leave the skillet over high heat.)
Ginger Cabbage, part 2: Layer the ginger, cabbage, and pepper flakes in the hot skillet and let cook undisturbed, 2–3 minutes. Meanwhile, smash the garlic cloves, remove peel, and mince. Scatter the garlic on top of the cabbage, then add the salt. Once the bottom layer has caramelized, use tongs to turn the cabbage so the caramelized cabbage sits on top; then continue to cook undisturbed until the rest of the cabbage is browned and caramelized, 3–4 minutes.
Salmon: Preheat oven to 300 F. Cut salmon in half lengthwise along the bloodline (the darker flesh that runs along the center seam). Then cut each half crosswise into 3 equal portions. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. Season the flesh with a generous sprinkling of salt. Add oil to skillet; when shimmering, carefully add the fillets flesh side down, laying each piece away from you to prevent oil from splashing onto yourself. Let cook undisturbed until nicely browned, 2-3 minutes; meanwhile, season the skin with salt. Then flip the salmon. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon all over the caramelized side of the fillets, turn off the heat, and set aside. (If working in batches, repeat with remaining fillets.)
Black Bean Sauce: In a small skillet over medium heat, add black bean sauce, hot sauce, and rice wine vinegar. In a small bowl, whisk together water and cornstarch to make a slurry. Whisk the slurry into the black bean mixture to thicken the sauce. Spoon sauce over the salmon to cover. Bake until salmon is cooked to desired doneness, 3–5 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the Bean Sprout Salad.
Bean Sprout Salad: Use a mandoline or a knife to thinly slice the radishes. (Tip: If using a knife, slice radishes in half first so they have a flat surface to rest on as you slice.) Rinse radishes in water (to minimize staining the other ingredients pink). Mince cilantro stems; you should have 2–3 tablespoons. Add bean sprouts to a bowl, followed by drained radishes, minced cilantro stems, and a few cilantro leaves. Add a pinch of salt and the juice of half a lemon; toss to combine.
Assembly: Just before serving, mix the toasted shrimp into the Ginger Cabbage. Place a serving of the cabbage onto a plate; top with a salmon fillet and a spoonful of Bean Sprout Salad. Repeat with additional servings and serve immediately.