10-Minute Soy-Ginger Salmon

March 20, 2014

10-Minute Soy-Ginger Salmon

OK, I know I’ve said this before but I’m going to say it again: I used to hate fish.
All of it. Blech. Yuck.
Slowly I weaned myself into the seafood genre, starting with tuna. And it was on accident. Then crab cakes. Then swordfish. Then salmon. Then a bite of someone else’s grilled something-or-other, but only because it didn’t smell fishy.
I then realized the reason I hated fish was ‘cuz I don’t like FRIED fish, and that’s what they served at the school cafeteria.
But nowadays, a good fish entree is the one thing I look for in fine restaurants; because when done right, fish is absolutely delightful and super healthy too.

Soy-Ginger Sauce

However, one thing is ordering fish in a restaurant, another one is cooking it home.
It’s not because cooking fish is intimidating, a lot has to do with the smell — that strong, unpleasant odor that can fill your entire kitchen (not to mention your entire apartment) for a few days.
The “lovely aroma” that can turn your enjoyable home into a stinky mess.
10-Minute Soy-Ginger Salmon

When I cook fish at home, to avoid the odor I always use the freshest fish possible.
The golden rule is: fishy smells are bad. Briny, oceany smells are good.
Other than that, I go for techniques that use lower heat, such as steaming, poaching, en papillote or slow roasting.
The hotter the sear, the more smoke and smell comes off the pan.
But poaching has to be one of the easiest and best ways to cook salmon.
I love it because it’s such a clean and unadulterated way of cooking. The integrity of the fish is not lost if poached correctly and you end up with the most delicious piece of tender fish that tastes great.
10-Minute Soy-Ginger Salmon

This soy-ginger sauce is definitely my go-to sauce with poached salmon.
It’s super easy, tasty and gives you a glazed-caramelized like texture without the need to sear or broil the salmon at high temperatures.
Every single time I make it, it win raves. It’s so delicious and so easy.
A total no-brainer.
You could serve this along with a light salad, rice or a big helping mashed sweet potatoes if you'd like something even more filling.
This is one of those recipes that will probably start making its way into your homemade dinner rotations. It features two things I love: it's delicious and super easy to make!
10-Minute Soy-Ginger Salmon
10-Minute Soy-Ginger Salmon                                                                               Print this recipe!

Serves 4

4 skinless fresh wild salmon fillets (6 ounces each and about 1-inch thick)


3 tablespoons wheat-free soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon arrowroot powder*
1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
Chopped scallions for garnish

*arrowroot powder acts like cornstarch


Bring the water to a gentle boil in a large saucepan and drop in the salmon.
Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, depending on size.
It can cook very fast so watch it carefully as it is best to err on the side of undercooking rather than overcooking. If it is undercooked, you can always throw it in for an extra minute or two.
Fish is done when the flesh has turned from translucent to opaque and, rather than feeling squashy to the touch like raw fish, it feels slightly springy. It should still be juicy. Fish that is resistant and flaky is overdone.
In the meantime, in a small saucepan combine all sauce ingredients and cook for 2 minutes or until it starts to thicken and coats the back of a spoon. Set aside.
Using a wide slotted spatula, remove salmon from water place on a plate, spoon sauce on top, sprinkle with chopped scallions and serve.

Nutrition facts

One serving (i.e., one fillet) yields 340 calories, 24 grams of fat, 1 gram of carbs and 28 grams of protein.


  1. This looks seriously amazing Mike, I can't wait to try it!

  2. This looks delicious Mike! We weren't big fish fans around here either, but are trying to incorporate it more into our diet. Will definitely have to try this recipe.

    1. It's hard to make fish at home, at least it is for me...this recipe is definitely worth try it!

  3. My husband is the same way - hates fish! But, as it turns out he actually likes it, just had lots of bad experiences. This looks delicious, and I love that's it done in 10 minutes - keep up the great work!

  4. Salmon is my favourite kind of fish, looks so tasty. I'm gonna have to try this! Is the arrowroot like a thickening agent, is there a particular reason you chose this instead of cornstarch, like are the results better? :)

    1. I prefer cooking with arrowroot powder it's not only because it's paleo-approved! :)

  5. You're right - when cooked right, fish is one of the best foods to eat! I love all kinds (except for the fried greasy stuff ahhh it smells terrible), but salmon is my favorite by far! This recipe looks amazing and I love how quick to make it is!

    1. Fried fish is a no-go for me as well Co. The worst it definitely Fish&Chips...yuk!

  6. What a great recipe Mike, can't wait to try this, always on the lookout for ways to cook salmon.

  7. Looks fantastic Mike, I'm sure hubs would love this!

  8. I was just like you growing up... totally hated fish. The only fish I would eat, oddly enough, was fish sticks. My dad never would eat fish, so my mom would never make fish. The first time I actually had exposure to real fish was... sushi. Isn't that weird?! That was like my bridge into the fish world. Now I'll gladly eat fish when ordering out at restaurants, but cooking it at home is still a rarity. I just actually tried making salmon over the weekend and it didn't suck! Progress. Totally going to try poaching it next time. And def want to try this soy ginger sauce!

    1. Small steps Chris, very small steps...that's how you achieve progress!

  9. I've never thought to poach invididual portions of salmon before--I'll be trying this later in the week!

    (I combat lingering fishy smells by removing the wrappings to the outside bin immediately, cooking with the windows open, and putting the pan and plates in the dishwasher as soon as possible. I hate the house smelling of fish for days, too!)

  10. Mmh, looks great. I made my own version last night. Please check it out :-)


  11. Sorry for the stupid question, but about how much water are you using to poach/cook the salmon? Enough to cover it? Appreciate your response on this. I scoured the recipe looking for this info. I saw water amount, but only for the sauce. I apologize if I missed it.

  12. Hi Mike, this might just convert my husband to a fish eater. I'm with the previous commenter, though. How much water to poach it in?