Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross
4 servings (serving size: 3 ounces salmon and about 3/4 cup quinoa)

Sake's nutty flavor complements the quinoa and helps tenderize the salmon. This method is a quick way to cure the fish.

How to Make It

Step 1

Place salmon, skin side down, on a plate. Combine 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1 teaspoon sugar; rub salt mixture evenly over skinned sides of salmon. Cover with plastic wrap; chill 2 hours.

Step 2

Remove plastic wrap from salmon. Rinse salmon under cold water; pat dry with paper towel. Combine 1 cup sake, remaining 1 teaspoon sugar, chili paste, and garlic in a zip-top plastic bag. Add salmon; seal and marinate in refrigerator 1 hour, turning occasionally.

Step 3

Place quinoa in a fine sieve; place sieve in a large bowl. Cover quinoa with water. Using your hands, rub grains together for 30 seconds; rinse and drain. Repeat procedure twice. Drain well.

Step 4

Heat butter and 1 teaspoon olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until butter melts. Add pepper, carrot, and onion to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until onion is tender. Add quinoa; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 cup water, remaining 1/2 cup sake, juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Remove from heat; fluff with a fork. Stir in parsley. Keep warm.

Step 5

Preheat oven to 450°.

Step 6

Remove salmon from bag, reserving marinade. Place marinade in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, and cook until reduced to 2 tablespoons (about 7 minutes).

Step 7

Brush skinned sides of salmon with remaining 1/2 teaspoon oil. Heat an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add salmon to pan, skin side up; cook 3 minutes or until golden brown. Turn salmon over, and baste with reduced marinade. Place pan in oven, and bake at 450° for 5 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Serve immediately with quinoa.

Ratings & Reviews


January 07, 2016
Liked the salmon but did not care for the quinoa.  After reading the glorious reviews here I had high hopes for this preparation.  But for the time needed to put this all together and the rather boring outcome, I doubt I'd make this again.

jspicest's Review

February 11, 2014
It was hard to decide what rating to give this recipe. The salmon turned out absolutely delicious and perfectly seasoned. I found the quinoa to be bland and a little too sweet for my tastes. I would definitely do the salmon again, but would find another side.

dory92064's Review

December 14, 2013
We love salmon and enjoy letting the flavor of salmon shine. Was looking for a light tasting marinade and this was perfect. Except for the length of time to brine and to marinade the salmon this was an easy recipe to prepare. I followed the recipe with no changes. The cooking time was right on. The salmon has a nice flavor. The quinoa is perfect with the salmon. Will definitely make again.

norlibl's Review

May 26, 2013
This really is a restaurant-quality meal. I substituted carrots and celery for bell pepper since my meal companion does not like peppers. It was still wonderful. The fish was moist and flaky at the same time. This recipe is definitely one I will make again.

laurastaley's Review

April 16, 2013

brandismom1990's Review

July 09, 2012
Let me preface this review with the words "I HATE SALMON!". Really, I only ever liked smoked salmon with tons of red onion, capers and cream cheese on a bagel and even then, the other flavors had to overwhelm it to get it down. But, in an effort to eat more superfoods, and because this had chili and garlic and sake, three of my favorite ingredients to cook with, I tried it and one word -- DELICIOUS! I cannot get enough of the sweet/tangy sauce and how it takes the "salmonness" out of the salmon leaving the fish tasting mild and flaky and the texture wasn't at all the "slimy" texture I've always equated with salmon -- maybe something to do with the curing. Just two recipe adjustments. I cut both in salt/sugar rub and in marinade times in half because I was pressed for time. Instead of baking, I just put a lid on the pan and kept reducing, reducing, reducing the liquid, adding water to keep it "poach/steaming.". I think this made my glaze much richer, which may be why I liked it so much.

amy987's Review

March 05, 2012

And11Rio's Review

August 05, 2011
I followed every direction. My boyfriend loved it and I did too!

acwilson's Review

August 03, 2011

msm59018's Review

February 15, 2011
I love quinoa and salmon, so I figured I had to give this recipe a shot. It was amazing!! It took a little more work than I had anticipated, but definitely worth it. I made it for my mom and she was blown away by the flavor of both the quinoa and salmon. She described it as a five star restaurant meal. Mission accomplished!