Salty-Sweet Salmon With Ginger and Spicy Cucumber Salad


This 2006 recipe came to The Times by way of David Myers, the American chef and restaurateur, when Amanda Hesser called upon him to re-interpret this 1961 Times recipe for Chinese barbecued spareribs. He kept the simple soy-garlic-ketchup (yes, ketchup) marinade intact and applied it to salmon. He then served it with a preserved ginger relish and a cucumber salad seasoned with shichimi togarashi, a fiery Japanese spice blend (red pepper flakes make a fine substitute). If you don’t have the time to make the relish and cucumber salad, serve the salmon with a few slivers of preserved ginger from a jar, a pile of white rice and some sautéed greens. That’s better than your standard grilled salmon by a mile.

Preparation of Salty-Sweet Salmon With Ginger and Spicy Cucumber Salad

Step 1. Make the preserved ginger: The day before, whisk together the fish sauce, rice-wine vinegar and sugar, then add the ginger. Make sure it is covered by the liquid.

Step 2. Combine the honey, soy sauce, garlic, ketchup and 1/4 cup water. Marinate the salmon in this for 2 hours, turning after 1 hour.

Step 3. Meanwhile, prepare the cucumber salad: Bring the vinegar to a boil. Add the sugar, salt, togarashi and ginger. Return to a boil, then let cool to room temperature. Put the cucumbers in a nonreactive container and cover with the vinegar mixture. Let sit at least one hour before serving.

Step 4. Preheat grill to low. Arrange salmon on a hinged grill basket, then cook, basting occasionally with the marinade, over a low flame for 5 minutes per side, or until just flaky. (Or broil, skin side down, 6 inches from the flame for 4 minutes, baste, then turn and broil for 2 minutes.) To serve, use a slotted spoon to place the cucumber salad on each of 4 plates. Lay the salmon next to the salad and serve topped with preserved ginger.

Salty-Sweet Salmon With Ginger and Spicy Cucumber Salad

Serves: 4
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons rice-wine vinegar
  • ¾ teaspoon sugar, or to taste
  • ¼ cup peeled and finely grated (or minced) ginger
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 ½ tablespoons ketchup
  • 4 6-ounce pieces salmon fillet
  • 1 cup rice-wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon togarashi (or ground red pepper flakes)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons grated ginger
  • 1 English cucumber, seeded and sliced 1/8,-inch thick


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