Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Wasabi Soy Salmon with Pineapple Fried Rice & Pickled Daikon

I recently bought some amazingly fresh wild Copper River salmon and have been brainstorming ways to do this fish justice. Here's what popped into my head - pineapple fried rice with salmon and pickled daikon. The pineapple fried rice is sweet, savory, spicy and tart, and it pairs nicely with the rich buttery salmon. To tie it all together I pickled radish and cucumber to cut the fattiness of the fish and to highlight the freshness of the herbs in the rice. This meal was outstanding! The fried rice was my favorite - the flavor combination of sweet, salty, spicy, and tart transported me back to the streets of Bangkok.

Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • 2 fillets salmon
  • 1 tbsp soy
  • 1 tsp wasabi powder
Pineapple fried rice:
  • 3 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 cup jasmine rice, cooked and cooled to room temperature
  • 2 cups pineapple, cubed
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 eggs, beaten well
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup mint, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green scallion, chopped
  • seasoning sauce (see below)
Pineapple fried rice sauce:
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 serrano pepper (including seeds & ribs), minced
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
Pickled cucumber and radish:
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 daikon radish, peeled
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
To make the salmon marinade, mix the soy and wasabi paste together in a shallow bowl. Marinate the salmon fillets, flesh side down, for at least 3 hours and up to 12. Remove the fish an hour before cooking and allow it to reach room temperature. To cook the salmon, heat a nonstick skillet on high heat and sear each side of the fish for 3-6 minutes to achieve a medium rare center.

Make the fried rice sauce by combining the ingredients in a small bowl and stirring until the honey dissolves. Heat a large frying pan with the sesame oil on medium high heat. When hot, add the pineapple and cook until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the red pepper and onion and saute until the onion becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the cooked rice to the pineapple-onion mixture, then pour the seasoning sauce over the rice and mix thoroughly until all the grains of rice are coated in sauce. Allow the rice to brown on high heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the rice is browned and crisp, use a spatula to push all of the rice to one side of the frying pan. Pour the beaten eggs into the the open half of the pan and use the spatula to scramble them, mixing them into the rice. Prior to serving add the fresh herbs - cilantro, mint, and scallion greens.

For the pickles, cut the daikon and cucumber into thin slices. I cut them lengthwise with a mandolin so that I could make the basket weave, but this is optional - thin circular slices work just as well. Place the vegetables in a jar, zip lock bag, or Tupperware container and add the rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, and sugar. Shake the container so that the pickling liquid coats the vegetables, then marinate for at least an hour, and up to 6.

Plate everything and enjoy the flavors of Southeast Asia!


  1. Salmon is my favourite dinner meal evaaaa! This looks so good...I'd just love to try it with pineapple now! A fun, surprising twist! Mmmmm

  2. Hi! Your pineapple fried rice looks delicious and I can't wait to try it. The only thing I am wondering about is what suggestions you can offer for vegetarians - any ideas for what would be a good fish sauce substitute?

    Thanks in advance!

  3. Thanks for the compliments! This pineapple fried rice has become one of my favorite summer dishes.
    To make the rice completely vegetarian, feel free to omit the fish sauce and add another tablespoon of soy sauce.
    Also, I recently bought tamarind paste from my local Asian market and have been adding that to the sauce. Tamarind is a very common ingredient in Southeast Asian dishes. It's very sour and adds a nice tartness, which balances out the salty and sweet . Just cut off a tablespoon of tamarind paste, add two tablespoons of water and microwave for 30 seconds, or so, to allow the paste to fully dissolve. Tamarind is a great addition to the fried rice sauce!

  4. I made the fried rice last night and it was amazing! I substituted regular rice wine for mirin, fish sauce for oyster sauce, and serrano pepper for chili (as these were what I had on hand) and it was soooo good. Even my somewhat picky room mate loved it! I am definitely going to save this recipe. Thanks for sharing!