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.
But guys. THE DRESSING.
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.
Making this recipe? Snap a pic and tag me on Instagram: @Killing__Thyme /#killingthyme.
Sweet Chili Salmon Skewers With Cucumber Ribbon Salad + Lime Ginger Dressing
- 2 6oz salmon fillets skin off
- 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
- 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!