Prepare 3 days in advance
2 heads of fennel, cored and sliced as thin as possible
¼ cup fish sauce
4 cloves garlic
3 Calabrian chilis, stems removed
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. salt
1 lemon juiced and zested
Thai Basil Vinaigrette:
¼ cup Thai basil leaves, thinly sliced
4 limes, juiced and zested
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. honey
1 cup Spanish style peanuts, skin-on
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Skin from 1 lb. piece of Alaska salmon, scraped of any remaining flesh and fat
1 cup high temp neutral frying oil
1 lb. Alaska sockeye salmon fillets, skin removed (see above) and cut into 4 even pieces
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 12 oz. package kelp noodles
¼ cup basil leaves
Flake sea salt
Recipe by Chef Michael Scelfo
For Fermented fennel:
Combine all ingredients but the fennel in a blender and blend on high until a smooth paste is formed - about 30 seconds. Add paste to thinly sliced fennel and mix well with hands. Set mixture aside in a tightly covered bowl at room temp for 3 days. Move to refrigerator and use within 2 weeks.
For Thai Basil Vinaigrette:
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well with a wisk. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
For Fried Peanuts:
Combine peanuts and olive oil in a sauce pan and heat gently over medium heat until toasted and slightly fragrant. Drain peanuts, reserving oil. Lay peanuts out under a clean kitchen towel on a hard surface and smash with the back of a sauté pan a few times, crushing them into small pieces. Season peanut mix with salt and pepper. Set aside.
For Skin Chicharone:
Lay scraped skin on a dehydrator tray, skin side down, and dehydrate at 140°F for 24 hours. Once skin is fully dehydrated and crisp, heat frying oil in a high walled sauté pan to 350°F. Fry skins until puffed, about 1 min. Remove from oil and place on a paper towel. Season well with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Fire up the wood grill and let coals burn down to a medium-high heat. Meanwhile, soak kelp noodles in warm water for 10 minutes. Discard water and drizzle a small amount of olive oil over noodles to prevent from sticking. Set aside.
Season salmon liberally with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Put skin-side up on the hot side of the grill and let sear. The salmon will stick until its ready to be moved, so don’t fuss until its ready. Once it is easily moved, carefully flip with a spatula using tongs to assist. Let the salmon finish cooking skin-side down. Once the salmon is cooked, remove from grill and let cool for 5 minutes.
Place the soaked kelp noodles in a large bowl and dress to taste, starting with ¼ cup of the Thai basil vinaigrette. Add half the amount of crushed fried peanuts, ¼ cup of the fermented fennel and mix well, seasoning with salt and pepper. Divide noodle salad between four bowls. Place one piece grilled salmon on top of the noodles in each bowl and garnish with the remaining peanuts, basil leaves, and a small pinch of flake sea salt.