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Call me crazy – go ahead, we’ll wait – but I always seem to forget about salmon as an easy dinner option, which is unfortunate because it really is the perfect protein. Quick cooking, full of essential omega-3 fatty acids, delicious, and fresh tasting. Did I mention it’s quick cooking?
Crispy Asian Baked Salmon is the definition of elegant and mouthwatering, yet it bakes in just 10 minutes. 10 minutes! It takes me longer to assemble my morning cup of joe! Between brewing a Costco-brand Breakfast Blend K-cup (which I will be enjoying for the next year because, well, Costco,) stirring in a splash of So Delicious Coconut Milk French Vanilla Creamer (so good) and fitting in a baby smooch or 600, it’s easily 15 minutes later before I’m enjoying my first sip.
Hollar if you hear me!
Anywho, Ben and I picked up half a wild-caught salmon at the aforementioned Costco a few weeks ago, which comes pre-skinned and ready to go. So convenient. I like to cut it into individual fillets then pop them in the freezer to thaw for easy, healthy weeknight meals.
One way I really like them is simply seasoned with garlic salt and pepper then sauteed and set atop a Caesar Salad. Another preparation I’m just dying over as of late is this here Crispy Baked Asian Salmon.
An Asian-inspired sauce including almond butter, soy sauce, mirin, lime juice, and garlic is slathered on top of a fresh salmon filet, topped with a sesame seed and panko bread crumb crust, then quickly baked until golden brown and audible crunchy. This preparation of salmon honest to goodness could not be easier or more delicious.
Finish with a drizzle of fresh lime juice and serve with roasted asparagus, which cooks at the same temp and time as the salmon, and dinner is on the table in 20 minutes. You’ll look like a gourmet chef but only we’ll know how easy this was to prepare!
Start by patting 4, 5-6oz salmon fillets dry with a paper towel then lightly season both sides with salt and pepper.
Next get the Asian-inspired sauce ready. Many of these ingredients are pantry staples – the only ones you might not have on hand are chili garlic sauce (I used China Bowl Select brand,) and mirin, which is a sweet Japanese cooking wine. If you can’t find mirin next to the soy sauce at the grocery store, you could sub in sake, reisling, or 2 teaspoons sugar dissolved in 1 Tablespoon hot water.
Feeling annoyed about buying an entire bottle of mirin for just one recipe? Use the rest in:
That should do it!
Add the sauce ingredients including chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, ground ginger, fresh lime juice, garlic, almond butter (could use peanut butter,) and mirin to a bowl then stir until well combined. Let it rest for 5 minutes to thicken up.
While the sauce is thickening, make the crunchy crust that goes on top. Combine 2/3 cup panko bread crumbs with 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds, and 2 teaspoons each sesame oil and extra virgin olive oil in a bowl.
BTW, panko bread crumbs are crispy, airy bread crumbs that give foods an audible CRUNCH. So good – the’re my bread crumb of choice. : )
Ok. Slather the top of the salmon fillets with a scoop of the sauce…
Then spoon on the panko bread crumb mixture and smooth with the back of a spoon.
Bake for 8-12 minutes (depending on the thickness of your fillet) at 400 degrees, or until the bread crumbs are golden brown and salmon is cooked, then let rest for a few minutes and enjoy!
Crispy Baked Asian Salmon
4 salmon fillets (5-6oz each)
salt and pepper
1-1/2 Tablespoons almond butter (could use peanut butter)
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon mirin
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 garlic clove, microplaned or minced
1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (I used China Bowl Select brand)
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
fresh lime wedges, for squeezing
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil then spray with nonstick spray.
- In a small bowl add almond butter, soy sauce, mirin, lime juice, garlic, chili garlic sauce, and ground ginger. Stir until smooth then let sit for 5 minutes to thicken.
- In another small bowl add panko bread crumbs, sesame seeds, sesame oil, and extra virgin olive oil. Stir until well combined.
- Pat salmon fillets dry with a paper towel then lightly season both sides with salt and pepper and place on prepared baking sheet. Dollop a quarter of the almond butter mixture on top of each salmon fillet then spread with the back of a spoon. Spoon a quarter of the panko bread crumb mixture on top of each fillet. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until panko bread crumbs are golden brown, and salmon is cooked through. Let rest for 3-4 minutes before serving with fresh lime wedges for squeezing on top.
I squeezed a fresh lime wedge over the top of my salmon, which was divine. The pop of citrus against the savory sesame-soy-almond butter sauce was incredible!
About that asparagus – just toss trimmed asparagus stalks with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper then place on a foil-lined baking dish and bake alongside the salmon. Should be perfectly crisp-tender by the time the salmon is done. Enjoy!