Sesame Salmon Salad with Wasabi Dressing / by Chelsea Zwieg

Happy Tuesday! But for me it's like a gigantic big-deal kind of Friday because I am officially on vacation! For a week! I'm leaving the inch of ice that was on my car this morning behind and going to Memphis to visit my parents, eat some bbq (probably not really, though) and do absolutely nothing for a week but relax, be with my mom (!!!) and give all my love and attention to the 110 lb. sheepdog love of my life (many, many pictures to come). I'm just a little excited. But I can't go without telling you about this salad, because you need it in your life. Big time. 

This salmon recipe is one that I posted during the summer in skewer from, which you can find here. My plan was to make a new marinade, rather than telling you about that same salmon all over again. And yet here I am, telling you about it all over again. As I was trying to write the recipe I kept tweaking things here and there, adding in ingredients, taking some away until I realized I was back at the exact same marinade that I love so much. Except this time, it's hanging out on top of a giant bowl of leafy greens, cucumbers and carrots with a lemony wasabi dressing that is SO GOOD. I used a wasabi sauce for the dressing, which can be found in most grocery stores usually around the mustard and horseradish. It's pretty mild but still brings some heat and amazing flavor. If you can't find it and are using wasabi paste (similar to what you get with sushi), you might need quite a bit less. Either way, you're going to want to put it all over everyTHANG. 

And Fair warning, the blog is going into serious Valentine's dessert mode after this. So get your sugar cravings and sweet tooth (teeth? I think all my teeth are sweet tooths) ready to go. Ok, I'm going to go pack, sleep and download enough podcasts to last a 10 hour drive. BYE! 

Sesame Salmon Salad with Wasabi Dressing 

Note: Sambal Oelek is a chili paste that can be found in the Asian foods section of most grocery stores. It's my favorite way to add spice to marinades and I would definitely recommend picking some up. If you are unable to find it, you can substitute any chili paste, just taste as you go as the flavor/heat level varies so much between different kinds. For the wasabi sauce, I used this brand.  If you are using wasabi paste (in a tube), scale the amount way back and add to taste. 

 Serves 4

  • 4 salmon fillets (about 1 lb.) 
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar 
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbsp. honey 
  • 2 tbsp. Sambal Oelek (see note) 
  • sesame seeds, for sprinkling 
  • 10 oz. spring mix
  • 1 large cucumber, sliced in ribbons (see below) 
  • 1 cup shredded carrots

For the dressing: 

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. wasabi sauce (see note) 
  • salt and pepper, to taste

| Instructions | 

  • Place salmon fillets in a large resealable bag. Whisk soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, garlic, honey and Sambal together. Pour into the bag with the salmon, seal and marinate for at least 30 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, prepare the salad. Divide the greens between 4 bowls. Add the shredded carrots and cucumbers. To cut cucumbers into ribbons, I use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin and the skin but then continue to peel the flesh into long strips. Use a knife to cut the strips lengthwise into thin ribbons. 
  • In a large skillet, heat a couple tbsp. of oil (enough to coat the pan) over medium high heat. Remove the salmon fillets from the marinade and place in the skillet, skin side down. Cook until the sides appear cooked halfway up, about 3 minutes. Flip the fillet over and continue to cook until it reaches your desired doneness, 3-5 more minutes. 
  • Transfer salmon fillets to individual salad bowls and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  • For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Add more wasabi, to taste. Season with salt and pepper.