Saturday, February 28, 2015

Sweet and Spicy Asian Salmon with Strawberry-Pineapple Salsa

As promised, I'm back again with the second recipe of the day! I couldn't be happier :) I really love salmon, guys. I find it flavorful, tasty, and it contains all those wonderful, heart-loving omega-3s!
I also love pairing salmon with fruit; particularly a bright, cheery salsa like the one I made today! It has fresh strawberries, fresh pineapple, a little bell pepper, and some cilantro. YUM. While we're on the topic of pineapple, it occurs to me that I rarely purchase fresh pineapple, and there's not really a good reason for it. I LOVE pineapple! I hereby resolve to make it a more permanent part of my kitchen staples :)

Salmon is such a wonderful vehicle for strong Asian flavors, like Chinese Five-Spice, sesame, cilantro, and soy sauce, but it adapts beautifully when combined with the fresh fruit and served atop a bed of tasty Jasmine rice. Man, I was excited for this meal :) I adapted the recipe from Carlsbad Cravings.
  • 1 pound salmon fillets 
Sweet and Spicy Marinade/Sauce
  • 1/4 cup lite sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Asian chili sauce/Sriracha
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese Five-Spice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
Strawberry Pineapple Salsa
  • 6 ounces strawberries, diced (I used about 10 strawberries)
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced (I used a mini red and a mini orange pepper)
  • Cilantro, minced
Whisk together all of the marinade/sauce ingredients EXCEPT for the cornstarch. Add 1/3 cup of marinade to a freezer bag with salmon. Reserve the rest. Marinate salmon in the refrigerator for an hour.

Prepare the salsa by tossing all the salsa ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Refrigerate. (**Note: my strawberries weren't very sweet, so I put them in a bowl with about 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar to let them sweeten up a bit. This is called "Macerating"--and it made a huge difference!)
Heat oven to 400 and line an 8x8 baking pan with foil and spray with cooking spray; set aside. Heat 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil in a nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add salmon and sear for 1-2 minutes per side. When well browned on each side, fish to the baking pan and into the oven.

Roast until the salmon reaches an internal temperature of 135°F and is slightly firm to the touch, about 4 to 7 min, depending on thickness. Remove salmon to a plate, and tent with foil while you prepare the sauce.

To prepare the sauce, whisk in 1 teaspoon cornstarch to reserved marinade/sauce then add sauce to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until thickened; add more cornstarch if the sauce is too thing. Spoon sauce over fish then top with salsa. Serve with rice, if desired.
Nutrition Facts-- Servings: 2 Size: 1 salmon fillet with 1/4 cup salsa Calories: 471 • Fat: 18.4 g • Carbs: 36.7 g • Fiber: 4.6 g  Protein: 38.2 g • Sugars: 25.7 g 

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