Asian Salmon Salad

Asian Salmon Salad

I’ve been hearing rumblings for this salad…

… and who am I to ignore rumblings??

I demo’d it last Thursday at the Asia Health Summit to show people how easy it is to make a simple salad to pack for lunch.  Bringing your lunch from home vs. eating fast food (as so many do here in Philippines) not only saves you money, but also protects an immensely more precious commodity- your health.  Fast food is excessive in calories, saturated fat, sodium, and harmful additives. But I think folks sometimes eat out simply because they don’t plan ahead, or they don’t know what to bring.  So here you go, a quick and easy main-course salad that is chock-full of beneficial nutrients.  Check it out: this salad gives you omega-3 fatty acids from the salmon, Vitamin C, fiber, beta carotene & other antioxidants from the veggies, and a whole host of minerals (including calcium, iron, & zinc,) plus protein and folic acid, from those little tiny sesame seeds.

Asian Salmon Salad

By the way, you’re allowed to eat this salad for dinner as well!

It’s a complete meal on its own, containing high-quality protein, fibre-filled carbs, vegetables, and healthy fats.  What more do you need?  Just a set of chopsticks…

Asian Salmon Salad

I love this salad for so many reasons:

  1. It’s flexible: change up the grain… for the lunchtime demo I used cooked brown rice.  But I made it again for dinner last night using quinoa- also fabulous.  Red rice, millet, barley… any cooked whole grain will work.  If you don’t like salmon, substitute chicken or tuna.  If you don’t have time to cook fresh salmon, use canned.  If you want it to be vegan, sub chickpeas or sauteed tofu instead.  I’m a big fan of recipes that you can individualise, and this is definitely one of them.
  2. It’s equally delicious warm, room temperature, or cold.
  3. It’s even better the next day when the flavours have melded… meaning you’re actually supposed to make it for dinner, and just pack up the leftovers for lunch the next day!  It’s just too easy not to do…

Asian Salmon Salad

For the demo, I used canned salmon, which is definitely easiest & quickest.  But if you want to take it to a whole ‘notha level, use fresh.  When I made this salad for Mark’s birthday dinner last night, I poached the salmon in water spiked with a splash each of soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar, with a little slice of fresh ginger thrown in for good measure.  It infused the fish gently with subtle Asian flavour.  My salmon filet poached perfectly in about 10 minutes.

Most of the veggies in this salad are raw, with the exception of the snow peas, which I blanched for about 30 seconds in boiling water.  But you could also leave them raw for even more crunch.

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And can we talk about the dressing for a sec?  It uses simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry, and combines the essential elements of flavour: salty (soy sauce), sour (rice vinegar & calamansi), sweet (honey), spicy (Chinese chili sauce) & umami (fish sauce.)  This dressing shouldn’t be limited to this salad only, know what I mean??

Try this salad and let me know what you think.  Even my kids loved it enough to ask me to make it again…

Happy lunching!

Asian Salmon Salad

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Serving Size: 1 1/2-2 cups

Asian Salmon Salad

Ingredients

    For the salad:
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa or brown rice
  • 4 oz snow peas, blanched for 30 seconds in boiling water
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 2 spring onions, sliced diagonally
  • ¾ cup bean sprouts, trimmed
  • 1 cup cabbage, shredded
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves
  • 14 oz can salmon, drained & flaked or 300 gm (10 oz) fresh salmon, cooked & flaked
  • 2 T. sesame seeds
    For the dressing:
  • 3 T. calamansi juice
  • 2 T. sesame oil
  • 1 T. soy sauce
  • 2 t. rice vinegar
  • 2 t. Chinese chili garlic sauce
  • 2 t. honey
  • 1 t. fish sauce

Instructions

  • Mix together all salad ingredients except salmon & sesame seeds, and toss to combine.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients until well combined.
  • Pour over salad and toss gently until coated. Add salmon and 1 T. sesame seeds, and stir gently, being careful to not break up salmon too much. Sprinkle with remaining sesame seeds.
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Comments

  1. Patricia Creekmore says

    Sounds and looks so yummy! Would lime juice be a good substitute for the calamansi? And I know the oils are different, but I have a lot of walleye and striped bass – could they be used instead of salmon? So, okay, I guess that would be another salad all together, but still. . .

    • says

      Hi Pc, yup lime is the perfect sub for calamansi… and of course you can use walleye and striped bass instead of salmon!! You know I’m a big fan of substitutions. 😉 It WILL make it slightly different, but still absolutely delicious!! Enjoy! 🙂

  2. Sharka says

    Fantastic recipe!! Thanks for sharing. I made it with glass noodles, just because I had them cooked in the fridge from previous night and hate waste. I also added a bit of quinoa on a side. All family loved it.
    XXX

    • says

      Glass noodles are a great idea- I think they would look beautiful as well. 🙂 My kids really love this one- the flavours are a good combination of spicy & salty which I think they like. I’m so glad your family enjoyed it too!! xoxo

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