i’m just going to put this out there: i can easily (and happily) imagine eating this sesame ginger salmon every week for the next lots of weeks. it’s easy, it’s delicious, and it gets me to eat salmon, which i like, as long as it tastes like a lot of things other than salmon. which this totally does (thank you, sesame, ginger, garlic, scallions, and friends).
aaaand for those of you meal preppers out there (oh how i wish i was one of you!), the sesame ginger marinade is practically begging to be made in a bigger batch and used as needed (maybe keep the scallions out, i think they would be the first to get a lil’ weird). in fact, i know for certain that this recipe can easily be scaled up because it was one of the recipes that i cooked for 35 people over the summer.
and i’ve made this several times since then, partly for recipe testing and partly because did i mention it’s simple and yummy? there are also different cooking options, which gives the salmon different flavor, so it’s like 2-recipes-in-1 in terms of flavors.
you can either bake this sesame ginger salmon (my personal favorite in terms of flavor) or grill it (my personal favorite anytime the temperature outside is above 72° F). i like the baked option because it doesn’t add any additional flavor so you can really taste the flavors in the marinade (and sesame and ginger are two of my favorite flavors).
conversely, grilling is fun because it *does* add additional grill-y flavor, so it’s like a different recipe. the brown sugar in the marinade gets all caramelized and all of these other flavors develop, in addition to the smoky grill flavor, of course.
so basically it’s a choose-your-own (or consult the thermometer outside) adventure. either way, your sesame ginger salmon is going to be delicious and easy. may i recommend some green beans with mustard seeds or simple skillet roasted asparagus to go with it? bon appétit, friends.
- 16 oz. (454 g.) raw salmon
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz. / 60 ml) olive oil
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (coconut aminos for gluten free)
- 2 garlic cloves, grated
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- in a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, and 2/3 of the scallions.
- in a gallon size ziploc bag or large bowl, combine ginger marinade and salmon; marinate for at least 30 minutes to overnight, turning the bag occasionally.
- preheat oven to 400° F. place salmon filets (skin side down, if they still have skin) along with the marinade onto a rimmed baking sheet (lined with foil for easy clean up) or in a 9” × 13” (23 x 33 cm) baking dish. bake until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 20 minutes. (cook’s illustrated says you only have to reach 120 – 125° F but i find that underdone for my liking and prefer 140° F.)
- preheat grill until hot (450 - 500° F). use a grill brush to scrape the grates well, then dip a folded up paper towel in a small bowl of (extra light) olive oil or avocado oil and brush the oil onto the grates until they are shiny black (about 5 passes, reoiling the paper towel each time). grill the salmon skin side down, about 10 minutes, until it reaches your desired level of doneness (cook’s illustrated says you only have to reach 120 – 125° F but i find that underdone for my liking and prefer 140° F).
- garnish cooked salmon with remaining scallions and enjoy hot or warm. leftovers would be delicious in asian style salmon tacos.
make ahead the marinade can be prepared a couple of days in advance then marinate the salmon the night before so that you can have this salmon ready in about 30 minutes on a busy weeknight.
adapted from a combination of toasted sesame ginger salmon from how sweet it is and sesame ginger salmon from damn delicious.