Ginger Salmon with Sesame Cucumbers

It’s a lot easier to make healthy choices when the meals are both good for you and crazy good tasting. Here’s one from Food Swings a new cookbook by Jessica Seinfeld (wife of comedian Jerry Seinfeld). This simple recipe Ginger Salmon wth Sesame Cucumbers is kind to your body, crowd-pleasingly delicious and even gluten-free.

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A word of caution if you have a gas oven broiler. They never work as well as they do in an electric oven, as was the case with ours. Our gas broiler was over-charring the salmon edges and the thick center was still too raw. To compensate, I lowered the temp to 425 degrees and let the salmon cook another 10 minutes (it was thicker than called for).

Content to usually take a back seat in salads, the humble cucumber takes a starring role in this side dish. You may think a cucumber is just a cucumber, right? There are actually close to 100 varieties grown in the world. Two of the most common are the English cucumber, and the regular slicer cucumber we use most often in our dishes.

English cukes are a variety that is generally sweeter than the regular, common cucumber. They are longer, sometimes a bit thinner, usually pricier and have very tiny seeds, although they’re often labeled “seedless.” To protect their thinner, unwaxed skin they are sold wrapped in plastic.

This accompanying cucumber salad was subtle in flavor and made a nice counterpoint to the bold flavors of the fish, which was fabulous! For the salad, I substituted a Thai red chile in place of the jalapeño (because I didn’t have one) which I thought would’ve kicked it up a notch, but didn’t seem to add any heat.

Ingredients for salmon:

  • 1 1/2 lbs. skinless salmon fillet, about 1 1/4″ thick
  • 1/3 c soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger, about a 1″ piece

Ingredients for cucumbers:

  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1/2-to-1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and thinly sliced into half-moons
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill

Directions

  1. To make the salmon: Place whole fillet in a large ziploc plastic bag. In a small bowl combine soy sauce, honey, orange juice and ginger. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the mixture and set aside. Pour the remaining mixture over the salmon.
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  2. Squeeze out the and seal the bag. Refrigerate for 15-60 minutes to marinate (the longer the better, I say), flipping the bag over occasionally so booth sides marinate evenly.
  3. Heat broiler with oven rack about 4″ from the top. Line a rimmed sheet pan with foil.
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  4. Place salmon on prepared pan and discard marinade.
  5. Broil for about 5 minutes, or until the top of the salmon begins to char. Pul pan out and spoon half of the reserved soy sauce mixture over salmon. Broil for 1 minute and add the remaining sauce. Broil for another 2 minutes. The top should be nice and charred but not burned.
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  6. Check for doneness by inserting the tip of a paring knife into the thickest part of the salmon. If it’s not done to your liking, broil for another couple of minutes. Divide into 3 or 4 pieces and plate.
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  7. To make the cucumber salad: In a medium bowl, combine cucumber, jalapeño, lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Stir in dill and toasted sesame seeds. Serve with salmon.

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A note about the author/philanthropist Jessica Seinfeld: Food Swings is her fourth book with an all-new collection of more than 125 delectable recipes that reflects the actual human eating experience: sometimes healthy, sometimes indulgent. It offers a range of simple and satisfying recipes that speak to both sides of your food brain.

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