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There are still plenty of places where you can catch a salmon in western Washington, especially in the Lower Columbia River region. Use that catch to make this recipe from Taylor Hoang, chef and owner of Pho Cyclo Cafes and Rickshaw Chef in Seattle.

Born in Da Lat, Vietnam, Hoang took her propensity for business and training as a chef from her mother, and opened the first Pho Cyclo Cafe in 2003 as a side project at the age of 28.

Hoang is constantly playing with new business ideas and assessing how to encapsulate these ideas into helping and promoting Asian communities.

While managing Pho Cyclo Café, she founded Winstar LLC, based in Vietnam, to assist farmers to grow better and more sustainable coffee for international export, and create a better living and social economics for them. Seattle-based Starbucks became one of her company’s largest supporters.

In 2009, Hoang moved back to Seattle to raise her family and grow the Pho Cyclo Café brand, also launching Lavender Jade Catering. Her café has now grown to five locations, including the original Sodo location; Broadway in 2005; downtown in 2011; Bellevue in 2012; and South Lake Union in 2013.

Her advocacy work led to her found the Ethnic Business Coalition (EBC) — a nonprofit committed to developing, promoting and improving the long-term growth, sustainability, and success of immigrant and minority-owned businesses. Under EBC, Taylor launched, a publication that serves as an engaging resource for locals and visitors to discover Seattle’s various ethnic communities and businesses.

Hoang also recently started Rickshaw Chef, offering locally sourced, freshly cooked ethnic foods, delivered to customers’ doors. She was recently awarded Crosscut’s Courage Award for business and National Restaurant Association’s Faces of Diversity Award.

Where to catch salmon

Some of the top spots for salmon in the coming days will be either the ocean off Ilwaco, Lower Columbia River at Buoy 10 and areas below Bonneville Dam to Longview, Hood Canal and Willapa Bay.

Ilwaco is open for salmon angling with a two salmon daily limit through Aug. 31. For a rundown on how and where to go around Ilwaco and Buoy 10, read my Sunday column at

Buoy 10 is open for chinook through Labor Day (Sept. 5), and chinook retention on Sundays and Mondays is limited to hatchery fish only with an adipose or left ventral fin clip. From Sept. 6-30, chinook catch and keep is closed, but still open for hatchery coho and steelhead.

For shore-bound anglers the North Jetty near Ilwaco is open daily when Marine Area 1 or Buoy 10 areas are open for salmon.

A strong return of hatchery chinook to Willapa Bay should create good times through early next month. Hood Canal south of Ayock Point is open for coho and hatchery chinook, and north of Ayock is open for coho.



One package of large rice paper to serve at table.

Bring two bowls of medium hot water to table to dip rice paper prior to rolling.


(Herbs can be interchanged or add on depending on what you like)

One bundle of green leaf lettuce

Half a bundle of cilantro

One pack of mint

Half a bundle of Thai basil

One pack of dill


Clean and wash lettuce and herbs (Note: For herbs use the leaves and discard the hard stems). Plate a large platter of lettuce with mixed herbs and set on table.


1/2 cup fish sauce

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

3 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

1 teaspoon chili paste to taste


In a medium size bowl, mix water and sugar together.  Stir until sugar is dissolved.  Add remaining ingredients and stir until well mixed.

Place unused sauce in refrigerator, sauce can keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Recipe is also great for dressing on salad or vegetables.


Half a package of Vietnamese vermicelli noodles


Follow instruction on package for cooking or in medium size pot, bring half pot of water to a broil.  Add a pinch of salt to water.  Place dried vermicelli in pot.

Let noodles cook for eight to ten minutes, stirring occasionally.

Check for desired doneness, then poor noodles into a colander to drain and rinse noodles with warm water to wash off excess starch.


1 pound of salmon fillet or about 6 ounces per person

1/2 pound of pork butt, julienned or cut into small strips

1 small ginger root, finely minced

1 bundle of green onion, finely chopped

1/3 cup chopped peanuts

1 tablespoon of fish sauce

1 tablespoon of sugar

1 teaspoon of black pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a small bowl, combine fish sauce, sugar, and black pepper, stir well.  Then add pork, ginger, and 1/3 of chopped green onions in bowl and mix well to combine ingredients. Let stand for 10 minutes to marinate while you prepare salmon for baking.

Place salmon fillet on a baking pan.  With a small knife, score a few shallow perpendicular cuts into the fillet about two inches apart per cut, but do not cut all the way through.

Then stuff marinated pork into pre-cut strips, surround salmon with any leftover pork.

Cover salmon with tin foil.

Bake salmon for 10 minutes covered then remove foil and bake uncovered for another 10 to 20 minutes depending on the size of fillet.  Check for doneness by lightly pressing on the thickest part of the salmon. If salmon comes off firm than it’s done.

Place chopped green onions in a small bowl, drizzle about two tablespoons of olive oil on top and place in microwave.  Cook for 40 seconds.

When salmon is finished baking, remove from heat and spoon green onions on top, then sprinkle chopped peanuts.

Bring to table and serve.

Coming up

This season, esteemed local chefs will share recipes and advice on how to cook a wide variety of local seafood weekly through October.

This year’s Pacific Northwest all-star lineup of chefs include Tom Douglas, owner of Lola, Palace Kitchen, Dahlia Lounge, among others; chef Shota Nakajima, owner of Naka; Megan Coombes chef and general manager of Altstadt in Seattle’s Pioneer Square; chef Pat Donahue of Anthony’s Restaurants; chef Maximillian Petty owner of Eden Hill on Queen Anne; Jason Wilson, executive chef/partner of Miller’s Guild at the Hotel Max and executive chef of Coffee Flour in Seattle; chef Taichi Kitamura, owner of Sushi Kappo Tamura on Eastlake in Seattle; chefs Jun Takai and Yasuhiro “Yasu” Kusano at Shiro’s Sushi in Seattle’s Belltown; executive chef Jason Brzozowy for Tilth owned by Maria Hines; and executive chef Jesus Boites of El Gaucho in Tacoma, executive chef Sarah Scott of El Gaucho in Bellevue, executive chef Wesley Hood of AQUA by El Gaucho along with other chefs from El Gaucho and The Inn at El Gaucho.

Recipes will be posted every Wednesday and/or Thursday through Nov. 2. Also, if you have a recipe you’d like to reel-in my way, please let me know and I will post them, and will even test it out with my family and friends.