Friday, January 5, 2018

Ina's Asian Grilled Salmon, Served with Green Salad with Peanut Dressing & Brown Rice

Ina Garten isn't exactly known for her healthy recipes--in fact, I am often concerned for her and Jeffrey's heart health. But, she does have some healthier recipes worked into all the butter and cheese-laden ones, and even those can be tweaked a bit more to lighten them up. I have head great luck with her salmon recipes and having one nice piece of New Zealand King Salmon in my freezer, I decided to try her Asian Grilled Salmon.

I cut the marinade recipe down to a third and used low-sodium tamari (a gluten-free variation of soy sauce).  I also cooked my salmon on my grill pan on the stove. To go with it, I took the peanutty dressing from Ina's Crunchy Noodle Salad and put it on a green salad. I have nothing against noodles, in fact, I'm sure I will eat pasta this weekend but tonight I wanted a green salad so I combined it with leaf lettuce, red pepper, cucumber, green onion and cilantro. With a side of brown jasmine rice, it made a healthy but satisfying dinner. Because the salmon is so rich, I halved my fillet so I have leftovers for tomorrow.

Asian Grilled Salmon
Slightly Adapted from Ina Garten via
(Serves  6)

1 side fresh salmon, boned but skin on (about 3 pounds)
For the marinade:
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

3 Tbsp good soy sauce (I used low-sodium Tamari)
6 Tbsp good olive oil (I reduced by half)
1/2 tsp minced garlic

Light charcoal briquettes in a grill and brush the grilling rack with oil to keep the salmon from sticking. (I used my grill pan but followed the same cooking process.)

While the grill is heating, lay the salmon skin side down on a cutting board and cut it crosswise into 4 equal pieces. Whisk together the mustard, soy sauce, olive oil, and garlic in a small bowl. Drizzle half of the marinade onto the salmon and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. 

Place the salmon skin side down on the hot grill; discard the marinade the fish was sitting in. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Turn carefully with a wide spatula and grill for another 4 to 5 minutes. The salmon will be slightly raw in the center, but don't worry; it will keep cooking as it sits. 

Transfer the fish to a flat plate, skin side down, and spoon the reserved marinade on top. Allow the fish to rest for 10 minutes. Remove the skin and serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled. 


I made a sort of a full batch of Ina's dressing (to use on salads and grain bowls this week) but I lessened the amount of oil and adjusted the other ingredients a bit. It lightens the fat and calories and I like a more tart contrast to the peanut butter. I think it keeps to the spirit of the original dressing but fits my tastes better.

Peanutty Asian Salad Dressing
Slightly Adapted from Ina Garten, via
1 cup vegetable oil (I used 1//3 cup macadamia nut oil)
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (I used 1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar)
1/3 cup soy sauce (I used 1/4 cup low-sodium tamari)
3 Tbsp dark sesame oil (I used 2 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 Tbsp toasted white sesame seeds
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

Whisk together the vegetable oil, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, garlic, ginger, sesame seeds and peanut butter in a medium bowl until blended and smooth.

Drizzle on or toss into salad. Store remaining dressing in a jar in the refrigerator for up to a week. 

Notes/Results: The salmon was delicious--moist ad full of flavor. I did have to laugh at Ina's note to use "good soy sauce" on the salmon--is there bad soy sauce?! Maybe she has soy sauce made from the tears of Buddhist monks? ;-) I keep low sodium tamari in the house--to me it tastes the same and it lowers the sodium and is gluten free. I also really liked the dressing, good peanut flavor but lessening the oil and upping the rice wine vinegar brightened up the flavor and reduced the fat. I am excited to make a rice bowl with the leftovers and drizzle it with the peanut dressing. This is my third hit with Ina's salmon recipes after the salmon tacos and the salmon Nicoise platter and I would happily make it again.

Linking up at I Heart Cooking Clubs where this weeks theme is Lighten It Up!--healthier Ina Garten recipes. 

Happy Aloha Friday


  1. I love this, Deb! You are still making me laugh regarding the tears of Buddist monks. I mean Ina is so funny that way. She wanted me to use Goya brand beans so I used generic, just for laughs, and then she also wanted me to use homemade chicken stock -puhlease! For the love, Ina. Store-bought stock is fine for a dip, Ina.

    Love your idea of making a full batch of the dressing and keeping it on hand for grain bowls, etc. This looks like a good one Deb! I have some salmon in the freezer and I'm not quite sure which one of her recipes I wanna make (the salmon tacos are at the top but they seem a little too fussy for me these days - too many steps).

  2. I prefer the taste of tamari over soy to be honest. Maybe it's my imagination, but it has a richer flavor to me. Your salmon looks amazing and I'll bet it was awesome with that peanutty Asian style dressing :)

  3. That is a beautiful, healthy dish. Ina definitely loves her butter, and salt! Like you, I would reduce the oil and butter too!

  4. Looks and sounds lovely. Your adjustments sound great also!


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