Food / Main Dishes / Pescetarian / Salads

Sweet Chili Salmon Skewers With Cucumber Ribbon Salad + Lime Ginger Dressing

This wholesome and refreshing dish is exactly what I needed after roadtrippin’ to the North a few weeks ago.

I have a love/hate relationship with traveling.

I discovered this in my early twenties when I landed a job in the music industry working as an editorial assistant for a publishing company that issued a handful of music magazines. Within the first year, I went from hardly escaping my small Canadian hometown to jetting through the US from NYC to San Fran. I felt so alive in these new places! Well, for the first day or two. But with transient travel comes cramming too many things into a small timeframe and that, my friends, siphons the life out of me.

With my husband and I living in NC and our families being dispersed between PA and Canada, this is a regular part of life now: overwhelming short-lived trips full of company, a lot of energy, and a mass amount of food. (Gotta mow down enough of those hometown faves while we’re there and while we can.)

To say that I needed this healthful protein-packed plate of goodness when I got home would be an understatement. I’ve eaten this three times in the last week and a half.

Yeah okay, I get it. This dish looks fancypants — but let me assure you that it takes a whopping 15-20 minutes to throw together once the salmon has marinated for 30 minutes (no longer than an hour). The only cooking involved is grilling the salmon for eight minutes and, while the salmon is grilling, you can whip up your dressing and prepare your salad. Those glorious ribbons are achieved by using a regular ol’ vegetable peeler, and other than that, you’re just slicing, cubing, sprinkling, and plating. No big deal.

The marinade is a lip-smacking medley of “sweet and heat” along with some garlicky goodness.


In most cases, I have an aversion to lemons in or on my savory food unless it’s Tilapia Piccata or hummus. Oddly enough, I obsess over limes — to the point where I can’t stop smelling my hands after squeezing’em.

This creamy vinaigrette is super tart and tangy when you taste test it right off the spoon, but it’s incredibly light and refreshing when tossed with the cucumbers and salmon. You don’t need a lot of it, either. I only used a teaspoon for the salad, and about a teaspoon drizzled over my fish. It refrigerates well, so I say keep it handy for a week or so and use it whenever you see fit.

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Sweet Chili Salmon Skewers With Cucumber Ribbon Salad + Lime Ginger Dressing

These Sweet Chili Salmon Skewers are the perfect way to welcome the warm weather. Served over a refreshing cucumber salad & drizzled with lime + ginger dressing, it's what patio meal dreams are made of.
Course Entree
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 38 minutes
Servings 2
Author Killing Thyme


  • 2 6oz salmon fillets skin off

Salmon Marinade

  • 2 tsp liquid honey
  • 2 tsp sambal oelek
  • 2 tsp Kikkoman soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced

Lime + Ginger Dressing

  • 1/4 tsp lime zest packed
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1 TBSP sesame oil
  • 1 tsp white miso paste
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Kikkoman soy sauce
  • 1 tsp tahini see notes

Cucumber Ribbon Salad

  • 4-6 oz ribboned cucumbers (you can easily ribbon cucumbers with a vegetable peeler; ribbon until you reach the seeds, then start on another side)
  • 2 radishes thinly sliced (preferably with a mandolin)
  • 1 avocado cubed
  • microgreens
  • sugar snap peas
  • sesame seeds


  • If you're using wooden skewers, soak them in water 30 minutes before grilling to prevent burning.
  • In a large bowl, thoroughly mix all of the salmon marinade ingredients together until well-blended. Set aside.
  • If your fillets aren't skinned, carefully remove the skin with a sharp knife by working the edge of the knife between the flesh and skin. Slowly and carefully work your way in until the knife is between the skin and flesh all the way across to the other end of the fillet. (You can also ask your fishmonger to skin your salmon for you.)
  • Cut each salmon fillet into six cubes, all measuring approx. 1" x 1".
  • Place the cubed salmon into the bowl with the marinade and, with a spoon, gently toss the salmon around to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid, and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes to an hour. (Unlike other meats, fish can become unpleasant if marinated for too long; when citrus is involved, it can actually "cook" the fish, which you want to avoid.)
  • In the meantime, you can prepare your lime + ginger dressing by mixing all of the ingredients into a bowl and whisking until well-blended.
  • Prepare your vegetables and fixin's for your salad; add 1-2 tsp of the lime + ginger dressing into it, and gently toss and plate the salad. Cucumber ribbons let you get fancy, so if you want, twirl and curl some of them while arranging them on the plate! Or, just plop the salad on there because seriously, it tastes the same either way.
  • Heat a grill to medium-high heat.
  • Cut yourself a sheet of tin foil that will fit all of your skewers; drizzle it with a bit of olive oil or coconut oil.
  • Once the grill is heated up, place the skewers onto the tin foil, and the tin foil onto the grill. Fish is super delicate, and I've basically decided that I'm done trying to cook it directly on a grill; tin foil and cedar planks are where its at, and you still get those sexy grill marks.
  • Cook the skewers for 4 minutes, then carefully flip them and cook for another 4 minutes. You want an internal temperature of 145 °F (62.8 °C).
  • When done, shut down the grill and carefully remove the tin foil and skewers from the grill (the tin foil shouldn't be hot).
  • Place skewers over cucumber salad, and drizzle the salmon with a tsp of the lime + ginger dressing.
  • Dig in!


This recipe can be made and enjoyed without the tahini, but I find that the tahini really completes the flavor and makes it richer.
Sweet Chili Salmon Skewers With Cucumber Ribbon Salad and Lime + Ginger Dressing | Killing Thyme — this dish is the perfect way to welcome the warm weather, especially out on the patio with a crisp glass of white wine!


  • […] sweet chili salmon skewers from killing thyme […]

  • […] on a pile of lacy cucumber spirals has been stuck in my head ever since I saw these gorgeous Sweet Chili Salmon Skewers over on Killing Thyme. It’s the kind of combination that’s full of delicious contrasts […]

  • What's In Season - Cooking in my Genes
    May 3, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    […] poolside cocktails we’ve been making some Spring-inspired dishes at home like these Sweet Chili Salmon Skewers from Killing Thyme and my very own Delicious Shrimp […]

  • diversivore
    April 28, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you (I’mma do it anyway), but this is GORGEOUS. I love when a meal looks really amazing and elegant but really only takes a teeny bit of effort. The flavours are spot-on, and it really does look like you could put it together in a snap. I’m guessing that you could make the marinade and the dressing ahead of time (minus the fish of course), and get the whole thing put together on pretty much any weeknight. And THAT is something to celebrate. Awesome work, as always.

    • Killing Thyme
      May 1, 2017 at 8:58 pm

      Thanks, Sean! It’s definitely weeknight friendly and the dressings/marinades can be done ahead; this dish is super flex.

  • Shareba
    April 28, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    I love how you plated this dish! It’s so fresh and vibrant! This is exactly what I need right now, something healthy and easy to make. I need to make this soon!

    • Killing Thyme
      April 28, 2017 at 3:55 pm

      Thanks, Shareba! I was feelin’ some pretty heavy spring vibes, apparently. Haha. I hope you do make this, and if so, please report back :)

  • Cathy
    April 28, 2017 at 11:00 am

    This salad looks beautiful, Dana! With that lovely combination of flavours you’ve got in there, I’m tempted to try it!

    • Killing Thyme
      April 28, 2017 at 1:52 pm

      Thanks, Cathy. Go for it! And please report back :)

  • Natalie Browne
    April 28, 2017 at 10:04 am

    Any dish that comes to together this quickly, but still looks this beautiful gets my vote. I love everything about this, Dana!

  • allergygirleats
    April 28, 2017 at 9:51 am

    This sounds so light and fresh and filling. Love those flavours with salmon.

  • sugarlovespices
    April 28, 2017 at 9:15 am

    It does look fancy, Dana, so beautifully arranged. But the flavors are there to steal the show. Love the salmon marinate and that dressing…(I would just skip the cucumber and ribbon something else because I just can’t stand cucumbers ;-) ). I’m a pescetarian like you, so pinned in my board!

    • Killing Thyme
      April 28, 2017 at 1:56 pm

      Aw, thanks Nicoletta! I think my favorite thing about this dish is that it tastes exactly as it looks; bright, refreshing, and cooling with a slight punch of heat. Bummer that you don’t like cukes! It will look different, but leafy greens would work! Maybe ribboned asparagus? Keep me posted if you come up with something :)

  • Kaleigh @ Lively Table
    April 26, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    This is seriously the most beautiful salmon dish I’ve ever seen! I have to try this soon!

    • Killing Thyme
      April 26, 2017 at 10:05 pm

      Thanks so much, Kaleigh! I hope you love it. Let me know :)

  • The FoodOlic
    April 26, 2017 at 11:09 am

    Your recipes and plating are always exquisite! without saying the colors in there! An artist!

    • Killing Thyme
      April 26, 2017 at 10:04 pm

      Awww, thanks so much, Marie! I do love how this turned out — but it was super easy! I guess I just really like “playing” with my food, haha.

  • jo& (@joandsue)
    April 26, 2017 at 9:53 am

    I love how beautiful this looks (and how delicious it sounds!). I’m always looking for different ways to eat salmon. Thank you for posting. :)

    • Killing Thyme
      April 26, 2017 at 9:55 am

      Thank you! Honestly, I know *too* many people who think salmon is a snore, and I just can’t with that. I CAN’T. So I’m really trying to push the fun and exciting salmon recipes this spring + summer. I hope you end up giving this a whirl! Keep me posted :)

    April 26, 2017 at 9:41 am

    I’m with you on the travel drain part, especially when you are craving to eat something fresh and homemade.
    This dish is a perfect example that a great healthy meal can be easily put together with a little planning.

    • Killing Thyme
      April 26, 2017 at 9:54 am

      Right? I mean, don’t get me wrong. I love to eat fun foods when I travel — it’s part of the experience! But it totally catches up to me, and quickly. By the end of my trip, I’m usually feeling pretty yucky. I don’t even overeat, but I “treat myself” a little extra and, because I’m out of my routine, my belly gets angry D:

      And thank you! I’m glad this dish makes sense.

  • annika
    April 26, 2017 at 9:39 am

    What a gorgeous dish, Dana! I love that it is so simple yet packed with colour and flavour! As usual, your photography is impeccable and your detailed instructions are appreciated – someone like myself needs every bit of them from soaking wooden skewers to how to make vegetable ribbons! … oh, and I share the same love/hate relationship with travelling with you!

    • Killing Thyme
      April 26, 2017 at 9:52 am

      Thank you so much, Annika! I’m really glad this post is helpful. Sometimes I unintentionally skip details because when you’re so used to making something, you simply forget the importance of certain mentions. It’s a habit I’m trying to break ;)

      I’m glad I’m not alone when it comes to travel. A week away, just my husband and I, sounds glorious right about now; but these crammed family-packed weekend are so overwhelming! It’s great to see everyone of course, but I think he and I need a vacay just the two of us where we can just mosey. Which is why we’re going to Disney in September! \o/

      • annika
        April 26, 2017 at 7:13 pm

        Oh so happy for the both of you… chill time is so important! Disney in September sounds awesome!

  • Dara
    April 26, 2017 at 9:31 am

    This dressing sounds out of this world!! Can’t wait to try it!

    • Killing Thyme
      April 26, 2017 at 9:48 am

      Thanks, Dara! Let me know what you think.


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