A new Vietnamese twist on salmon

January 23, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
A new Vietnamese dish, plus the essential traditions and supplies you need for your own Tet celebration! Nick Smith visits with Exec. Sous Chef Stephen Nguyen and Anne Le Ziblatt, co-owner of Bong Su.

Recipe: Long Life Salmon
From Tammy Huynh, Executive Chef
Bong Su Restaurant & Lounge/Tamarine Restaurant & Gallery
Serves 4


  • Four 6 oz. skinless salmon fillets
  • 1/4 cup ginger, peeled & finely julienned
  • 1/4 cup green onion thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup low salt soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Mirin rice wine*
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • salt
  • black pepper

Season salmon fillets w/ salt & black pepper lightly. Place fillets inside a perforated double boiler, cover and steam on high heat for 12 minutes for medium (cook for 9 minutes if you prefer medium rare). Add spinach when there is 5 minutes left on your cooking time.

Divide spinach into four dinner plates. Arrange fillet on top of the spinach. Divide the ginger & scallions into four and sprinkle on top of the salmon. In a small sauce pan, Combine soy, Mirin, and lime juice in a small sauce pan. Cook for 5 minutes at medium heat.

In a sauté pan, heat oil until smoking. Drizzle hot oil on ginger and scallions. Finish with soy-mirin sauce and serve.

Tet Celebration Necessities:

  • Good luck red envelopes
  • Traditional cookies
  • Fortune-promising foods

Bong Su Restaurant & Lounge
Annual Tet Celebration Menu


Lobster Spring Rolls ~ Soft rice paper filled w/ lobster, rice noodles, mango & lettuce

Sudachi Lime Oysters ~ Miyagi oysters served w/ tobiko caviar, Sudachi Lime mignonette & Rice Paddy herbs


Pomelo Salad ~ Peeled Pomelo tossed w/ poached prawns, pork, celery & Vietnamese mint


Chrysanthemum Soup* ~ Chrysanthemum leaves served w/ fish mousse, green onions & cilantro


Mango Bass ~Whole Striped Bass served w/ wok tossed vegetables and mango sauce

About Anne Le Ziblaut
Most people start their day with thoughts of the day's schedule. Anne Le Ziblatt, co-proprietor of Bong Su Restaurant & Lounge and Tamarine Restaurant & Gallery starts by thinking about what she is going to eat. In spite of being one of the few people she knows who thinks about food before she gets out of bed in the morning, Anne pursued a career in software marketing before joining the entering the restaurant business. The daughter of successful restaurateurs, Anne who is 32 years old, was raised in the business. Her family founded and operates the award-winning Vung Tau group of restaurants, which serve traditional Vietnamese cuisine. Attending the family's Monday night "tastings" was akin to watching live cooking shows, as Anne's mother and grandmother demonstrated the intricacies of classical Vietnamese cooking. Learning about each of the ingredients and how they are used gave Anne a deeper appreciation for the exquisite dishes that followed. An experienced marketer, Anne recognized that traditional ethnic restaurants could be intimidating for those not already introduced to the cuisine. She decided to create an environment that would appeal to a broader market and deepen the public's understanding of Vietnamese culture. Anne developed the concept for Tamarine Restaurant in Palo Alto, California as a place to experience both, before opening Bong Su Restaurant & Lounge in San Francisco. Bong Su is a culmination of her passions and her family's background. With it, she aspires to create an appreciation of Vietnamese culture and an appetite for the country's exquisite cuisine. Anne's conceptual philosophy for Bong Su is to provide service that is formal in its mechanics, but tailored to the individual. If guests are there for a romantic occasion, the service will encourage romance; if it's a business meeting, it will foster an atmosphere conducive to deal-making. "The experience relies on what the people want," she insists, adding, "the only constant is that the service be caring, intelligent and personalized." Anne, who holds a degree in East Asian History from Santa Clara University, manages business operations and the front of the house at Bong Su Restaurant & Lounge. Both she and Chef Tammy Huynh develop Bong Su's distinctive dishes.

Restaurant Awards:
-- Esquire magazine's Top 20 Best restaurants in the U.S.
-- San Francisco Chronicle Top 100
-- San Francisco Chronicle Three Star Review
-- Wine Enthusiast Best Wine-Driven Restaurants; Most Progressive Wine Programs

About Executive Sous Chef Stephen Nguyen:
Born: January 18, 1977
Birth Place: Vinh Long, Vietnam
Years of Experience: 15 years
Started cooking at: 17 years old
With Bong Su since: 2006
Previous position: Executive Chef at Straits, San Jose, Burlingame and San Francisco
Ethnicity: Vietnamese/Chinese
Languages spoken: English and Vietnamese

-- Competed in various culinary competitions: ACF Hot Food Shows, Chaine de Rotisserie, and ACF Cold Food Shows with four silver medals and three bronze
-- Trained and competed in many ACF culinary salons
-- Apprenticed under two California Culinary Olympic teams and US National Team
-- Selected as a member of the Regional Junior Team to cook for the House of Representatives

For more information, visit bongsu.com.