This Sesame Crusted Salmon is a sophisticated dish loaded with flavor from the sweet and slightly spicy marinade and a silky smooth carrot-ginger sauce. The sesame seeds add an irresistible crunchy texture to each salmon filet that’s guaranteed to please!
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About this sesame crusted salmon
If you’re looking for some clean eating, but instantly get put off by the idea of bland and flavorless food, I got your back with this sesame seed crusted salmon recipe! Each salmon filet is marinated in a mixture of Asian-inspired ingredients, including honey, sesame oil, garlic, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes. It’s then coated with crunchy sesame seeds and baked in the oven until flaky and slightly golden.
To give this dish even more of a wow-factor, I’ve also made a silky carrot-ginger dressing that you can serve over or alongside this sesame salmon, adding a boost of vibrant color to every plate and a punch of flavor.
Enjoy this honey sesame salmon with your favorite grains, veggies, salad, or garlic bread! It’s a stunning dish for those who want a change from the usual midweek chicken dinner or when you want to impress the dinner guests!
Why you’ll love this sesame salmon recipe
Sesame crusted salmon is a real treat for all the Asian-cuisine lovers out there. It’s also a great recipe to try if you’re new to making Asian-inspired dishes. Here’s why you’ll love it:
- Healthy. This sesame seed crusted salmon is a complete meal. Salmon is known for being a healthy choice of protein and can be paired with an array of veggies and salad.
- Restaurant-quality! You won’t need or want to book a table at your favorite Asian restaurant once you’ve made this sesame seed salmon for your family.
- Great flavor and texture. The rich marinade infuses into the salmon, making it incredibly tender and flavorful while the sesame seeds offer great crunchy texture.
- Eye-catching! Serve this dish proudly for those special occasions or when you want to impress! It really looks the part.
Ingredients for sesame seed crusted salmon
This salmon with sesame seeds recipe combines ease with sophistication. The marinated salmon with sesame crust is truly mouth-watering. Here’s everything you need:
- Salmon – Always use fresh salmon filets from a trusted source. It should have a mild, neutral smell. If it smells ‘fishy’ then it’s likely to have turned bad.
- Salmon marinade – Combine sesame oil, honey, low sodium soy sauce, minced garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes for the marinade.
- Sesame seeds – Black, white, or a combination of these colors can be used for this salmon sesame recipe and will give a pretty appearance. You will need more for garnish.
- Ginger dressing (Optional) – Combine peeled and chopped carrot, grated ginger, sweet white miso or yellow miso, unseasoned rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, and a neutral oil, such as vegetable oil, grapeseed oil, corn oil, or canola oil.
- Optional garnish and add-ins – Scallions, Thai chili, micro greens, and avocado all make delicious garnish and add-ins for this sesame seed salmon.
- Spicy. Increase the kick of heat to the marinade by including chopped chilies and jalapenos into the marinade mixture, or a splash of sriracha.
- Low-carb. Serve this sesame salmon over riced broccoli or cauliflower rice as a low-carb meal option.
- Noodles. Sesame salmon recipe is also just as delicious when served over a bread of freshly boiled noodles.
How to make salmon with sesame seeds
Full transparency: this dish is a three part recipe. But don’t run away!!! The three parts are preposterously easy and TOTALLY worth the effort because this salmon is insanely delicious. Ready? Here’s the breakdown:
- Marinate the salmon. It is just as easy as it sounds. Whisk together some ingredients (think sesame oil, honey, soy sauce, etc.) and pour it over the salmon filets. Just make sure the salmon is in a baking dish or a zip-closure bag. <– Duh. 😉
- Make the carrot-ginger sauce. Add some carrots and ginger to the bowl of a food processor and pulse away. Add in some miso, a splash of rice vinegar and a drizzle of sesame oil, then blend it up. With the processor running, slowly add in the oil and process until everything is silky smooth.
- Bake. Remove the salmon from the marinade, transfer it to a baking dish, sprinkle it with sesame seeds and bake until opaque and cooked to your liking.
- Plate everything together. Grab a plate and pile on the black rice. Top it with all the veggie fixin’s. Generously dollop the carrot-ginger sauce ALL over the plate. And then drizzle some in your mouth (because it’s that good). Slap on the salmon. And DEVOUR. The end.
See, not too bad, right?!
Tips for the best salmon:
- For the most flavor, marinate the salmon overnight. If you’re pressed for time you can get away with marinating it as little as 30 minutes, but it obviously won’t be as packed with flavor.
- You can use either black, white or a combination of sesame seeds for the honey sesame salmon. I used a combination for aesthetic purposes only.
- The carrot-ginger sauce uses sweet miso. I’ve seen it as labeled as white miso or ‘shiro’ miso, but if you aren’t sure, just look for the word ‘sweet’.
- Make sure you use a neutral flavored oil in the carrot-ginger sauce! Grapeseed, corn, canola or vegetable oil are all fine. If you use a flavored or scented oil such as olive oil, it will overpower the other ingredients.
- If you want a sauce that is thinner, and more dressing-like in consistency, simply add in more oil (with the processor running), one tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is achieved.
- The amount of time the honey sesame salmon needs to bake will depend on the thickness of your salmon and your desired level of done-ness. 12-15 minutes as indicated in the recipe is an approximation.
- If you want a crispier top on your salmon, switch the oven to high broil during the last minute or two of baking. Just make sure you keep a VERY CLOSE eye on it to avoid burning!
FAQs: frequently asked questions
Is it better to bake salmon sesame uncovered or covered?
Salmon can be cooked uncovered or covered. Many prefer to cover salmon with foil as a way to ensure a tender and juicy result. That said, marinating the salmon filets before baking will also tenderize the meat.
Always stick to the guided recipe time and cooking temperature and keep a watch on the salmon during any broiling to prevent burning and drying out.
What do sesame seeds taste like?
Sesame seeds are mild with a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. The mild flavor profile allows sesame seeds to be paired with a variety of foods without overpowering any other ingredient. Sesame seeds are often added to dishes for crunchy texture instead of actual taste.
What should you season sesame salmon with?
This sesame glazed salmon is flavored with an Asian-inspired marinade, consisting of sweet, savory, and spicy ingredients which provides a delicious balance to the dish. Since salmon is a naturally rich and flavorful fish, it doesn’t require much seasoning.
In addition to the marinade, I’ve also sprinkled sesame seeds on the tops of the salmon with sesame seeds, salt, and pepper. The sesame seeds add a touch of sophistication and delicious crunch.
Why use sesame seeds on salmon?
The sesame seeds add a slight nutty flavor to the salmon and also add great texture. The combination of black and white sesame seeds also makes this sesame salmon recipe quite eye-catching!
Serving salmon with sesame seeds
There’s no shortage of what you could serve with this sesame baked salmon – steamed or grilled veggies, salad, slaw, or grains.
I serve this sesame baked salmon over black rice with vegetables and a drizzle of sweet and zingy carrot-ginger miso dressing. However, any choice of grains, like quinoa, work great too. Garnish the salmon with extra sesame seeds, scallions, Thai chilis, and sliced avocado for a truly remarkable and impressive meal!
Side dishes to serve with sesame seed salmon
Sesame glazed salmon is intended to be served as a hearty and filling main meal that you can enjoy for lunch or dinner. It’s great with black rice, bell peppers, and edamame beans with a ginger carrot miso dressing.
A fresh and light leafy green salad or asian cucumber salad will also make an ideal pairing for this Asian sesame salmon.
Storing sesame honey salmon
- Store leftover sesame crusted salmon filet in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Make the optional dressing a day in advance and store it in an airtight container in the fridge, if you wish.
Can you freeze it?
Yes! Once the salmon with sesames has cooled completely, transfer it to an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge to reheat and serve.
Reheat leftover sesame honey salmon on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil in a 325-degree oven for 15 minutes or until salmon is warm throughout.
Healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring or bland! Add this Honey Sesame Salmon & Asian Black Rice Salad to your fit and fabulous food line up!
Until Thursday friends, cheers – to livin’ that clean life.
More simply delicious salmon dinners!
Honey Sesame Salmon recipe 👇
Honey Sesame Salmon with Asian Black Rice Salad & Carrot-Ginger Sauce
Optional Garnishes & Add-ins: Scallions, Thai Chili, Micro Greens, Avocado
- Marinate the Salmon: In a small bowl whisk together the sesame oil, honey, soy sauce, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Place the salmon filets in a large Ziploc bag and pour the marinade over the salmon, turning to coat. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.
- Meanwhile make the Dressing*: Add the carrots and ginger to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add in the remaining ingredients, except the oil and blend pureed, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. With the motor running, slowly stream in the oil, and process until smooth*.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean up.
- Bake the Salmon: Remove the salmon from the marinade and transfer the salmon, skin side down, to the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the tops of the salmon with sesame seeds and season generously with salt and pepper. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes depending on thickness, or until opaque. Optional: for salmon with a crispier top, broil the salmon on high for the last 2 minutes of baking. Just make sure you watch the salmon VERY closely to avoid burning.
- To serve: Spread some of the dressing on serving plates. Top with rice, veggies, salmon and optional garnishes. Enjoy!