I'm always surprised by how much my daughter enjoys salmon. I don't particularly remember liking it as a kid, but she is always excited when I tell her we are having the fish for dinner. My son, on the other hand, moans and groans about salmon.
That's why I was so glad to find a salmon recipe that BOTH my kiddos enjoy. This teriyaki salmon went over well with the whole family, which I think has to do with the sweet teriyaki sauce and noodles that were paired with it. We also tried baby bok choy for the first time, which went great with the dish AND made for a very cool art project (see Bok Choy Roses).
3 things definitely worth noting about this recipe:
- This is a 3 Pot/Pan Recipe. While this is a surprisingly easy and quick-cook recipe, your stovetop will be busy and there will be a bit more to clean. (1) Pot to boil the noodles, (2) Small pot for the teriyaki sauce, and (3) Medium pan/skillet for the veggies & later for salmon.
- The teriyaki sauce in this recipe is actually an Americanized Teriyaki. Julie talks about this more in her blog post about cooking fish, but it's worth looking into the origins of teriyaki sauce for a second. You'll find that teriyaki is not supposed to be a sauce at all, but instead a way to prepare fish and meat.
- This may go without saying, but Watch out for Fish Bones. Salmon bones are thin, clear, and sometimes hard to see. Examine your kids' fish before they eat, and remind them to keep a look out for bones.
🌈 KIDIFY THE MEAL 🌈
🍅Set aside some plain noodles. Worst case scenario: your kids don't like the veggies or the teriyaki sauce. In anticipation of this happening, set aside some plain noodles and let the kids pour some soy sauce on their noodles.
🍅Use rice instead. If your kids don't like rice noodles, the noodles can be swapped out for brown or white rice.
🍅Set aside raw carrots. I know that my kids, if nothing else, will always eat carrots in raw form (rounds or strips). So, before shredding, maybe cut a few slices of carrots and set aside.
Teriyaki Salmon with Baby Bok Choy
- 1/2 cup salt (+ 1-2 teaspoons for salting pasta water)
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 6 oz salmon filets
- 8 oz rice noodles
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1 cup cold water (3/4 cup for sauce, 1/4 cup to thicken sauce)
- 3 T rice vinegar
- 4 T honey
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 t garlic powder
- 1 t ginger powder
- 3 T sesame oil (1 T for veggies, 2 T for salmon)
- 1 cup carrots, shredded
- 2 - 3 heads baby bok choy (base removed & chopped into 1" pieces)
- 2 T cornstarch
- Create a dry brine mixture in a bowl, combining the 1/2 cup salt & 1 cup sugar. Remove salmon from fridge. Dust both sides of each fillet with the dry brine. Let salmon rest on counter for 10 minutes. Once the time is up, rinse off the salmon and pat very dry.
- Meanwhile, heat water on high for rice noodles. Once boiling, salt water and add noodles. Cook according to package.
- Make teriyaki sauce. Combine soy sauce, 3/4 of the water, rice vinegar, honey, brown sugar, garlic powder, & ginger powder in a small pot on low heat. Stir occasionally for 7-10 mins. In a small bowl whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup cold water and cornstarch. Pour mixture into the pot and whisk frequently until it's the thickness you like. (I let it thicken while I set the table). Remove from heat.
- While noodles and sauce are cooking, heat a medium-large pan on low-medium heat. Add 1 T of the sesame oil and then carrots and baby bok choy. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour these veggies into a separate bowl.
- Take the same pan you used for the veggies and heat on medium. Wait til it gets super hot and then pour in the remaining 2 T sesame oil. Make sure your salmon is very dry. Then, place salmon fillets skin side down onto the pan. (You might need to cook the fillets in 2 batches). Cook the salmon until you see that the dark pink coloring has turned to light pink about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way up the filet. (For me, this took like 3 1/2 mins). Then flip the fish. Cook for 1-2 mins on this side. When the salmon is cooked through, remove from heat.
- To plate...plate the noodles first, then veggies, and then salmon on top. Pour desired amount of teriyaki sauce over the dish.
- This is a 3 pot/pan recipe. You'll need: (1) pot to boil the noodles, (2) small pot for the teriyaki sauce, and (3) medium pan/skillet for the veggies & later for salmon.
- Dry the salmon completely before it goes in the pan. Otherwise, it will stick.
- Note on temperature: heat the pan until it's very hot and then add the oil. Once the oil is heated, add the fish and immediately turn the temperature down. This will provide for crispier skin and helps avoid overcooking. Salmon should be 125 degrees Fahrenheit (definitely no higher than 140).
- Cook the salmon skin-side down for the majority of cooking time. The fat in the skin allows the fish to cook more evenly and also helps avoid overcooking.
- This may go without saying, but watch out for fish bones. Salmon bones are thin, clear, and sometimes hard to see.
- You can easily swap the noodles for rice, by the way.
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. While we are not certified nutritionists, we work with a Wordpress-integrated nutrition API to calculate our recipes' ingredient values.