Friday, 24 January 2020

Japanese Salmon Salad - Sorta/Kinda ... With DIY Pickled Ginger

I am in a Japanese kind of mood lately; well, probably for the past year or so.  I keep buying stuff at the Japanese supermarket down the road; bottles and packets of mysterious stuff, with unreadable (to me) labels:-)  But it makes me laugh, as I really enjoy the mystery.  I still have an anonymous bottle in the pantry, unopened and undeciphered, waiting till the day I open it ...  

And I've converted Mr P. into a Kewpie sriracha mayo fiend, too.  The new bottle he bought the other day almost exploded when he opened it!  It erupted like Mr. Vesuvius; and I just read that sriracha chilli sauce bottles have been recalled due to lactic acid fermenting in the bottles and causing eruptions when opened.  They didn't mention mayo, but clearly that is a problem too:-)  

delicious and healthy!

Well, on with the recipe.  I had a couple of photos of salads with Japanese-type ingredients lurking on my camera roll, so I made up my own hodgepodge, and here it is!  If you're going to make your own pickled ginger, as I did, start this recipe one day ahead of eating it.

(This recipe gives 4 polite, main serves)


500g. (about 1 pound) salmon fillets, skin on

400g. (14 oz) frozen edamame in their pods (young soybeans)

Baby Gem lettuce, or greens of your choice, leaves separated

half a red capsicum, sliced thinly or chopped into small chunks

half a Continental cucumber, cut into ribbons (use a veg. peeler)

1 avocado, cut into chunks or slices

1-2 tbs black (or white) sesame seeds

1-2 spring onions, finely sliced (optional)

1 big handful crunchy fried noodles (bought at the supermarket)

1-2 tsp white sesame seeds

1-2 tbs pickled ginger, finely chopped

2 tbs pickled Asian carrot (optional)

a big handful of toasted cashews/peanuts or nuts of your choice

75 mLs (2.5 oz) golden sesame (kingoma) dressing


(Recipe for pickled ginger from

If making the pickled ginger the day before: 

Peel 125g. (4-ish oz) of fresh ginger root; slice it as thinly as you can

Sprinkle 1 tsp sea salt over it, stir well, and set aside in a small bowl for at least 30 minutes

Then give it a good squeeze with your hands to get the excess liquid out, and place in a small, very clean jar

Now you add 60 mLs (1/4 cup) water and 60 mLs (1/4 cup) rice wine vinegar, and 55g. (1/4 cup) caster sugar to a small saucepan

Stir over a medium heat till the sugar dissolves, and bring to the boil on high heat

Pour this mixture over the ginger; let it cool for 5 minutes, then seal and put in the fridge till the next day


If using the pickled carrots, cut them into julienne strips, or grate coarsely, or use a veg. peeler to get thin strips

Toss the carrot in a well-whisked mix of rice wine vinegar, caster sugar, sesame oil and salt, and leave for at least an hour to marinate

Bake your salmon wrapped in tin foil @ 185C, for about 15-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets - you want it beautifully tender and moist, not cardboard, my friends

Let it cool, then pull the flesh off the skin with tongs

While the fish is baking, boil the edamame for about 5 minutes, let them cool, then push the gorgeous green globules from their pods

Toss the avocado chunks/slices with the black sesame seeds

Grab a big salad bowl, and throw everything in, with glee!

Give it a toss, and serve, with some crusty bread or Japanese soft salad rice crackers (my fave)


Use zucchini instead of cucumber if you prefer

Chop the nuts, or leave them whole - your choice

You could add some seaweed here, or furikake seasoning

I basically did all the 'cooking' bits of this recipe in the morning of the day we ate it for dinner, with the ginger done the day before

This can be gluten-free if you leave out the crunchy fried noodles or use some other kind of non-wheat noodle

peeled and sliced ginger

in the syrupy brine ready for overnight marinating

tender and moist after 20 mins. baking at 185C

pull apart the lettuce

healthy, fishy, golden sesame deliciousness!

       artwork © Sherry's Pickings


  1. Japanese salads are fascinating -- there are so many flavors that never are thought of in salads based on western tastes (European/US/Canada/Australia/ etc). I think you would love the Asian Salad book and the Asian Noodle book I bought recently -- they are translated from Japanese. I need to go to the Asian markets for exotic things like black vinegar and fish sauce.

    best... mae at

  2. Love all of these flavours. I wonder what the mystery item is. You should put up a pic, I'm sure someone will know! ;)

  3. Wonderful flavours! Thumbs up for your homemade pickled ginger!

  4. Sherry, I'm jealous, I wish we had an Asian market just down the road. Then again it's likely better we don't as I'd have a pantry full of packages I can't read either.
    Great salad recipe. I must admit I was scratching my head with the Gem lettuce, but in looking at your images I think it's similar to our Cosmopolitan (like Romain) lettuce. As we're smack in the middle of soup and stew season, I have tagged this one for a cook come summer.

    1. hi ron
      yes i think baby gems are just baby cos (romaine in the US). we enjoyed this healthy salad for dinner in our hot and humid summer we are having presently.

  5. That looks delicious Sherry and I do love Japanese food too! Karen

  6. Mmmmmmmmmm. This all looks so good. I'd have a heart attack if my kewpie mayo exploded! That's worrisome!

  7. This sounds wonderful, Sherry - just found some homemade versions of the dressing as it is probably not available here and also probably has garlic! But I can’t wait to try this - perfect for warm weather! Pinned and ready to make!

  8. Loving the flavors in this salad, Sherry! We have a massive Asian market nearby and it's just so much fun wandering down the aisles looking at the products!

    1. isn't it tho?:) i get a big kick of checking out all the interesting and unreadable products. and they sell saké and other japanese liquor too. lots to see!

  9. You know I just have so much fun going through my local Asian and Oriental supermarkets Sherry looking at all the things I've never tried but would love to! This is a great salad recipe. Saving it for when its a bit warmer here in Scotland! :-)

    1. hi unknown! so you are in scotland? now i know a bit more about you... mm i wonder what your name is?

  10. I'm imagining Mr. P and that container of sriracha mayo. Hah! This recipe looks and sounds delicious, Sherry! I would be all in on these flavors. Plus, Laura loves (!!) pickled ginger so I know she'd be a fan of this one, too!

    1. the only thing is i should have cut the ginger much more finely. but it tastes good:)

  11. I love salmon in so many different ways and a Japanese salad sounds and looks delicious. I love kewpie mayo but have to order it - yet to find it in my local stores.

    1. we love kewpie mayo in this house and we seem to go thru buckets of it!:) thank goodness the store is close.

  12. What a great salmon salad! But I love the recipe for pickled ginger! I have some in the fridge that needs to be used and this is one way to keep it! Thanks!

    1. thanks abbe. yep i love pickled ginger too! just remember to slice it veeeerrryyy finely...

  13. This method looks better than the way I’ve been eating salmon lately! We love the Asian markets near us too. The veggies are the best

    1. hi tina
      i love salmon, and we like it hot or cold. works well either way.


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