Grilled Asian style Salmon

by Doc-G on October 19, 2007

Asian Inspired Salmon

Grilled Asian style Salmon with Rocket and Baby Spinach salad with Carrot and Beetroot

Greetings. It has been a long time since I posted last and thought a nice recipe would be great to bring in the Australian summer. This is a recipe that I came up with last summer and have been enjoying it ever since.

Salmon, like most fish is somewhat delicate in both flavour and texture, it differentiates itself from some other especially white fish by its ‘oilyness’. A common foil for this characteristic is to use acidic flavours to ‘cut the fat’ which is why simple lemon juice is often all that is needed to provide a sharp counterpoint to the oilyness of the fish. In this dish, the Asian style marinade and dressing is a balance of flavours between sweet, provided by sugar and mirin; sour, provided by the vinegar and salty flavours provided by the salt and soya respectively. This approach towards balancing flavours is a technique especially evident in Thai cuisine but is also used in various cuisines around the world. This marinade and dressing in turn provide the acidic foil for the fish’s oilyness. It is a dish that is simple to make and requires very little cooking, just a few minutes on each side in a pan or on the BBQ and the salmon is cooked and the salad can be prepared in 10 minutes or so.

Since my first experiment with this dish, I have cooked it many times to the delight of friends and family. I truly hope you will try it and enjoy it. I like to serve it with Bethany Q wine, consisting predominantly of Riesling but also blended with Semillon to give a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity where neither predominates giving a finished product that is more complex than the sum of its parts.


Serves 4

4 x 180g Salmon Steaks

For the Marinade and Dressing:
1 teaspoon Salt
3 teaspoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Onion Powder
½ teaspoon Hot Chilli Powder
6 teaspoons Cider Vinegar
2 teaspoons Soya Sauce
2 teaspoons Mirin
½ cup Vegetable Oil

For the Salad:
100g Baby Spinach leaves
100g Rocket leaves
1 Carrot
1 Small raw Beetroot
1 tablespoon slivered almonds
1 tablespoon pine nuts


To make the marinade mix salt, sugar, garlic powder, onion powder and chilli powder in a bowl and then add vinegar, soya sauce and mirin. Mix well ensuring that marinade is smooth and all lumps have been mixed in. Divide marinade mixture in half. Place a table spoon or two of the marinade on each side of each piece of fish and ensure all of fish is well covered. Leave fish to marinade in fridge for at least 20 minutes but not longer than an hour.

To make dressing, whisk vegetable oil into the other half of the marinade mixture, starting with a little oil at first and gradually adding more as you go to make a slightly thick emulsification.

For salad, start by spreading almonds and pine nuts evenly on a baking tray and toast in oven at 180oC until golden brown. You can do this in bulk well ahead of time and they keep well in a sealed container. Peel and cut carrot and beetroot into batons and then slice into fine strips (julienne cut). Mix with rocket, baby spinach leaves and toasted nuts. Toss salad with dressing and serve onto plates.

To cook salmon, heat grill or fry pan to high and cook salmon for 3-5 minutes on each side. Spoon any remaining marinade over the salmon during cooking to ensure that marinade is cooked. Serve salmon with salad. Drizzle a teaspoon of remaining dressing over salmon and salad to give fish a nice ‘glossy appearance’.

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