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In the Kitchen with Vital Choice

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Salmon Chinoise with Spicy Cucumber Salad

Adapted from a recipe by Ming Tsai.

We can attest that chef Ming Tsai's Blue Ginger restaurant — which closed in 2017 — richly deserved its status as a major star on Boston's culinary scene, and his recipe for salmon was typical of his sensational skills. (We modified it a bit, but did nothing that detracts from its essence.)

This recipe can be made in mere minutes… as long as you remember to get it going the night before!

His recipe calls for brown sugar and white sugar, but you could either skip those or reduce the quantities. The orange juice, rice wine vinegar, and mirin already add quite a bit of sweetness.

Salmon Chinoise with Spicy Cucumber Salad
Prep time 1 hour 30 minutes; 
Cook time 10 minutes
Serves 4



  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Juice and zest of 2 oranges
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar  (optional)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tablespoon organic ginger powder or 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
  • 4 (6 oz each) wild salmon fillets

Cucumber Salad

  • 1/2 tablespoon wasabi powder
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nut oil (or hi-oleic sunflower oil or organic, non-GMO canola oil)
  • Sea salt and organic black pepper to taste
  • 2 large English cucumbers, julienned
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish


  1. Mix soy sauce and water to create a thinned sauce. Combine all but sesame seeds and salmon in a saucepan. Bring to boil and slowly simmer until a syrupy consistency is achieved, about a 50 percent reduction. Let cool completely.
  2. Add sesame seeds and salmon and marinate for 1 hour. Remove salmon from marinade and bring sauce to a boil. Using a hot broiler or grill, cook salmon for about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Occasionally, brush the salmon with the teriyaki sauce.
  3. Lay grilled salmon on top of small pile of salad. Garnish with sesame seeds.

Cucumber salad

  1. Make a paste with the wasabi and mirin. Whisk in vinegar and sugar. Whisk in oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Toss the cucumbers with enough vinaigrette to coat completely. 
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