Chinese New Year Salmon Salad Recipe

Honey and ginger-glazed salmon over spinach — a light Chinese New Year dish.

Fish represent prosperity and health in this adaptation of a New Year’s tradition. In China and the Chinese communities of Southeast Asia, New Year fish salads resemble ceviche. That is, the fish is raw but infused with an acidic dressing. This version is safer, uses readily available wild-caught or farm-raised salmon, and can be served to guests of all ages. That said, we’ve also included a raw variation of the salad for more adventurous diners. You don’t have to wait until Chinese New Year to serve this dish, which makes an excellent luncheon entrée. Feel free to vary the selection of greens and garnishes.

1 lb. salmon fillet, poached
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp honey
1 tsp hot mustard
1/4 cup plus 1 tsp soy sauce divided
1/4 cup rice wine
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp grated ginger root
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp dark sesame oil
1/2 tsp pepper
6 cups fresh baby spinach
2 green onions, shredded
1 pomelo
1/3 cup minced cilantro


Step 1: Poach salmon, skin side down, in simmering water just until opaque, about 10 minutes.

Step 2: Remove salmon to platter and let stand until cool enough to handle.

Step 3: Using a sharp paring knife, cut the skin away at the corner. Pull the skin, using the knife in a gentle sawing motion to sever connective fibres.

Step 4: Combine honey, mustard, and 1 tsp soy sauce. Lightly brush the top of the salmon with the honey mixture. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

Step 5: In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup soy sauce, wine, vinegar, sugar, ginger, and oils. Whisk in pepper.

Step 6: Mix spinach and green onions on a platter. Drizzle greens with dressing mixture and toss to coat. Place salmon on the greens.

Step 7: Peel and section the pomelo. Remove membranes and cut sections into pieces. Distribute fruit around the salmon on the platter. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Reprinted with permission from Belinda Hulin and Kian Lam Kho’s Knack Chinese Cooking: A Step-by-Step Guide to Authentic Dishes Made Easy (2009 Knack).

Liesa Cole