Thank you to WY International for sponsoring this post!
How many times have you been on your way home from work and thought “I NEED Chinese food NOW!!” This happens to me at least
two three times a week. And when I do succumb to the craving, I more often than not find myself regretting the decision after eating. Chinese take-out is notoriously not the healthiest of options, especially when additives like MSG are used.
But THIS changes EVERYTHING. This healthy, low carb Teriyaki Salmon and Zucchini Noodle Bowl takes a mere FIFTEEN MINUTES to make (minus marinating time) and is bursting with that awesome Asian flavor you crave.
Let’s first start with the teriyaki sauce. It’s super easy to make and packed with flavor. And you only need three main ingredients: soy sauce, mirin, and honey. There are other ingredients in the recipe below, including minced fresh ginger and garlic, which add significantly to the flavor, but aren’t necessary for a stellar soy sauce.
Start with a good quality soy sauce. I used Pearl River Bridge Superior Light Soy Sauce. What is “light” soy sauce, you ask? I had the same question. It’s actually just regular soy sauce. There is a dark version of soy sauce as well which has a bit of a sweeter flavor. Pearl River Bridge also makes a gluten free and organic version of their soy sauce. And it truly is superior- I found myself sneaking little tastes of it while I was cooking and it’s delicious. Super smooth, salty, with that hint of “umami” that is so common in Asian style foods. YUM! You can find Pearl River Bridge on Facebook and Twitter to learn more.
Mirin is a sweet rice wine that’s used in Japanese cooking. Similar to sake (but sweeter), the alcohol evaporates when heated up leaving a more concentrated sweet flavor that, in addition to the honey, helps caramelize the sauce on the salmon when it sears. Don’t worry- it’s not that hard to find! You will probably find it in the international foods aisle of your local grocery store, or you can get it on amazon.
Just whisk these three ingredients together, making sure to incorporate the honey, and add some fresh ginger, garlic, salt, pepper, and my favorite addition: a teeny bit of toasted sesame oil. Marinate the salmon in a container or bag for at least a half an hour or as long as overnight. Or better yet, make a double or triple batch ahead of time and marinate the salmon in your freezer! That way, you can take a pack out the day before you are ready to eat it to defrost, and the flavors will have infused even more.
Once you’ve made the sauce and marinated the salmon, it’s smooth sailing from here.
To cook the salmon, sear it with the skin side up for about 3 minutes. Make sure you reserve the remaining teriyaki sauce- you need this for the noodles in just a moment! This should create a nice dark, caramelized crust on the outside. I always recommend using a nonstick pan when cooking fish, since it’s so delicate. Flip it over so the skin side is down, cover, and turn the heat to low. This last part is important. The first time I made this, I burned the heck out of the skin because of the sugars in the teriyaki sauce. Covering the salmon and cooking on low will ensure that it doesn’t burn and that the salmon stays moist and cooks perfectly. Cook this way for another four minutes, and you’ll have the most perfect seared teriyaki salmon on the planet! If you are concerned about it being done, simply flake apart with a fork. If it flakes easily, it’s good to go.
While the salmon is cooking, make the noodles. Out of zucchini. ZOODLES, actually! (How cute is that?)
I’ve been moderately obsessed with my spiralizer lately (like when I made these sweet potato and egg nests for Easter). Ever since doing the Whole30 and switching to a more Paleo diet, zoodles have been a lifesaver as a replacement for all things noodles. To cook the noodles, simply blanch them in boiling water for about a minute, then drain.
After the salmon has cooked, remove from the pan. Add the remaining teriyaki sauce to the pan and heat to a simmer- this will ensure it gets cooked, since the raw fish has been marinating in it, and also cause the alcohol from the mirin to evaporate. Toss the heated sauce with the noodles, and place in a bowl with the salmon on top! Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions and you are ready to eat.
See? Super easy.
Now if you aren’t a fan of zoodles, or don’t have a spiralizer (buy one!!!) you can certainly use another kind of noodle for this: whole wheat spaghetti, rice noodles (for a gluten-free option), or soba noodles would work great. This meal is super versatile, which I love. And you only need TEN MINUTES!
Recipe below- enjoy!
Teriyaki Salmon and Sesame Zucchini Noodle Bowl
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce such as Pearl River Bridge Superior Light Soy Sauce
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 clove minced garlic
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 portions salmon
- 3 medium zucchini spiralized
- 1 batch teriyaki sauce above
- Sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
- Sliced green onions for garnish (optional)
- Combine first seven ingredients in a small bowl to make teriyaki sauce.
- Add teriyaki sauce to salmon in an airtight container or zip top bag. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes*
- In a nonstick skillet, sear salmon skin side up for three minutes, reserving remaining marinade.
- Flip so skin side is down, cover, and turn heat to low. Cook for another four minutes, or until fish is cooked.
- Meanwhile, blanch the spiralized zucchini noodles in boiling water for one minute.
- Remove cooked fish from pan and add remaining marinade. Bring to a gentle simmer.
- Stir noodles in with sauce.
- Serve noodles in bowl with salmon on top. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions, if desired.
Disclaimer: I was paid to write a post featuring Pearl River Bridge Superior Light Soy Sauce. All opinions expressed are my own.