Here’s the thing: I sort of have this obsession with cooking salmon. I love it. It’s a healthy, go-to meal that can be made in 10 minutes on one baking sheet with minimal work and clean-up… which is probably why I overdo it. Sadly, I think I’m the only one in my family who really enjoys it. Everyone else tolerates it, but I’m certain they secretly dread when I say we’re having salmon for dinner (well, some- ahem Ian- are in fact very vocal about it). So can you blame me for being super excited about the fact that I made this ginger soy salmon for dinner tonight and we DEVOURED it?! Like, the kids actually ate it and cleaned their plates. People went back for SECONDS. If that’s not enough of a reason to make this pan-fried salmon recipe, here are a few more:
- it’s perfectly cooked, tender and flaky
- the ginger soy glaze is a blend of flavors! (garlic, ginger, and tangy orange)
- it’s a healthy, ultra delicious meal that can be ready in less than 30 minutes
- by using tamari and stevia (or monkfruit sweetener), this is completely gluten-free and sugar-free, the perfect keto salmon recipe!
how to make ginger soy salmon
Ginger soy salmon and sauteed spinach with fennel is actually an easy main dish, yet special enough for any kind of gathering with your people. And anyone (keto or not) will enjoy it!
for the ginger soy glaze
Make the ginger soy glaze on the stovetop by combining the ingredients and letting it simmer down for a few minutes. Here’s what you’ll need:
- tamari (a gluten-free, soy sauce alternative)
- apple cider vinegar
- fresh, grated ginger
- minced garlic
- stevia (drops or granular) or monk fruit sweetener
- orange or mandarin (juice only)
- xanthan gum (this one’s optional, but if you want the glaze thickened, a pinch of xanthan gum will do the trick)
I usually end up with a little bit of extra glaze, which you can spread on the salmon at the end, or toss it into the sauteed spinach (both amazing options!).
how to cook the ginger soy salmon
A quick pan-sear (the trick is to use a scalding-hot skillet!) followed by a few minutes in the oven, bring the salmon to the perfect temp: crisp on the outside but moist and tender in the center.
I always opt for fresh or frozen wild salmon because it has a better nutritional profile (and taste!) than farmed fish. For this recipe, I typically use Sockeye, but other salmon varieties work great too.
- Cut the salmon fillet into portions about 2 inches wide. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Heat the skillet (or oven-safe pan) until it’s really hot (I let it heat for about 6-8 minutes).
- Place coconut oil into the hot pan, let it melt for a few seconds, and then place each of the salmon sections into the pan, skin-side up.
- Fry for about 20-30 seconds, then flip them onto their skin side. Quickly brush a teaspoon amount of the glaze onto the top of each piece of fish. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then transfer the pan into the oven to bake the salmon for another 3 minutes or so.
- Remove from the oven.
If you prefer your salmon more on the medium side, immediately remove it from the pan. Otherwise, you can let it sit and cook for a couple more minutes before transferring it to a plate.
about that sauteed spinach with fennel
This is the perfect side to serve with the ginger soy salmon because it also takes just a few minutes to prep. Sauté the fennel in ghee/butter/coconut oil first, allowing it a few minutes to cook and soften. Add the leftover ginger soy glaze, then add in the spinach and cook just until it wilts. That’s it!
how to cut fennel
Do you use fennel? It’s kind of overlooked but it has a nice light flavor that resembles licorice and anise. It’s very low-carb and high in fiber, which makes it ideal for a keto diet. Plus, it tastes mild and fresh, and you can use both the fennel bulb and the fronds! To cut it:
- Cut the fronds from the fennel bulb (save them- they’re great in salads!)
- Peel away any blemishes from the bulb.
- Sit the bulb on its base, then cut from the top down, the long way, to slice it in half.
- Remove the fennel core, then slice the bulb into the size of pieces you need (for this sauteed spinach, we use small, bite-sized pieces).
Here’s a quick how-to for you, if you prefer to watch how it’s done!
more reasons to love this keto salmon recipe!
This is a great keto salmon recipe because it’s already low-carb, high-fat, and easy to increase those fats even more! You can sauté the spinach in straight MCT oil or serve it with extra butter. You can even add some coconut oil to the ginger soy glaze and still have a tasty, enjoyable dish.
Want some more healthy fat and omega-3’s? Don’t skip the salmon skin! This pan-fried salmon method cooks the salmon skin so it’s perfectly crisp (the only way I’ll ever eat it)!
Enjoy this one, friends! I mean, if my three-year-old loved it, I’m certain you will too. 😉
you might also love…
- a cajun shrimp kale caesar salad (keto-approved and dairy-free!), for a zesty and mildly spicy spin on the classic
- these easy and flavorful coconut chocolate chip tahini cookies to curb those cookie cravings!
- this bulletproof matcha latté for a creamy, (light) caffeine pick-up!
ginger soy salmon
- salmon fillet (about 1 lb. or a bit larger), cut into 2-inch-wide portions
- 4 tablespoons tamari sauce
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated (about 2-3 teaspoons)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (or 2 teaspoons of minced garlic)
- 1 teaspoon granulated stevia*
- 1 medium orange or mandarin, juice only
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- a pinch of xanthan gum (optional)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- optional garnishes - sesame seeds and chopped green onion or chives
sauteed spinach and fennel
- 1 tablespoon ghee (or grass-fed butter)*
- 1 fennel bulb, sliced
- 4 cups fresh spinach
- remaining ginger soy glaze + 1 tablespoon tamari (optional)
ginger soy salmon
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Heat a large, oven-proof pan or skillet over medium-low heat for up to 10 minutes. You want it really hot! If it's not hot enough, the salmon will stick.
- While the pan and oven are heating, place the tamari, vinegar, ginger, garlic, stevia, orange/mandarin juice and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan. Heat the mixture over medium heat until it comes to a simmer. Reduce to low and let it cook (reduce) for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the xanthan gum (optional) to thicken.
- Place the coconut oil in the hot pan and let it melt for a few seconds. Touch a corner of the salmon to the skillet to test if it's hot enough - it should sizzle. Place each piece of salmon into the skillet, skin side up. Allow it to cook for about 30 seconds, then carefully flip each piece over so they are now skin side down.
- Cook for about 1-1/2 minutes. As it's cooking, quickly (and carefully avoid any splashing oil!) brush about a teaspoon of the glaze onto each of the tops of the salmon pieces.
- Remove the skillet from the stovetop and transfer it directly into the preheated oven. Bake the salmon for 3-4 minutes.*
- Remove the pan from the oven. If you like the salmon extra done, allow it to sit in the pan for a couple minutes to cool and continue cooking. Otherwise, remove each piece from the pan and let them cool on a plate.
- Garnish the salmon with toasted sesame seeds and/or chopped green onion/scallions.
sauteed spinach and fennel
- In a large pan, heat the ghee (or oil/fat of choice) over medium heat for 2 minutes.
- Add the sliced fennel and the remaining ginger soy glaze (you can add a tablespoon of extra tamari if there's not much glaze left). Cook the fennel in the glaze, stirring it occasionally, for about 4-5 minutes until it softens.
- Turn off the heat and mix in the spinach. Cook it in the hot pan just until it wilts.
- Remove from heat and serve it with the ginger soy salmon.
*don't skip the heat time for the skillet, otherwise the salmon will stick (even with oil)
*to substitute monk fruit sweetener for the stevia: use 1 tablespoon of monk fruit sweetener
*you can also use coconut oil, MCT oil or olive oil for the sauteed spinach but ghee or butter will have the best flavor
*if you're unsure if the salmon is done, always opt to take it out of the oven versus leaving it in to cook longer since it will continue to cook after you remove it from the heat (and overcooked salmon is worse than undercooked in my opinion)
*This meal has more grams of protein than fat, but you can easily add extra fats and calories to this dish: sauteé the spinach with a tablespoon of MCT oil or add a serving of grass-fed butter to the salmon or spinach.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 202Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCarbohydrates: 5.6gNet Carbohydrates: 3.6gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 19g