Poached Salmon with Sesame Ginger Quinoa

Poached Salmon with Sesame Ginger Quinoa 

Salmon is one of my favorite proteins! Easy to cook, rich in omega-3s that are anti-inflammatory to the body, help to lower cholesterol levels, reduce high blood pressure, and improves mental health. Poaching is one of the simplest ways to cook salmon. The salmon remains wonderfully tender and delicious. You can experiment with different poaching liquid combinations as well. 

Quinoa - what is it exactly? Well, officially, it’s a seed. However, it can be prepared just like whole grains such as rice or barley. It tastes great on its own, but is delicious when tossed in salads, stir-fries, or even to coat protein. It provides all 9 essential amino-acids, making it a complete protein. It’s also gluten-free and cholesterol free.

Cooking quinoa is super simple. Just remember that it’s a two-to-one ratio, just like rice. For every cup of quinoa, you will need 2 cups of water or broth. This will yield 3 cups of cooked quinoa. Rinse raw quinoa in cold water, and then bring the 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of water to a full, rolling boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to a gentle simmer. Cover and let it cook for 15-20 minutes, depending on the package instructions. Once your timer is up, fluff with a fork. Simple! My favorite thing about quinoa is the texture.

This dish has delicate Asian flavors and a hint of heat. It's a great way to serve salmon when you're in the mood for something a little lighter. This recipe is quick and easy - about 30 minutes in the kitchen for a delicious, protein-packed bowl of goodness. Let's get cookin!

What you Need:

  • 1 tbsp grated ginger, and 1 inch of ginger, sliced thinly
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sesame oil, divided
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 heads baby bok choy, sliced in quarters
  • 1 red jalapeño pepper, seeded
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 pieces of salmon, about 6 oz each
  • 3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • fresh cilantro 
Simple, delicious ingredients for a protein-packed meal

Simple, delicious ingredients for a protein-packed meal

What To Do:

  • Grate 2 inches of peeled ginger, or until you have about 1 tbsp grated ginger.  

  • Heat 1/2 tbsp sesame oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the grated ginger, cook about 1 minute until softened. Add the rinsed quinoa, and toast lightly for about 2 minutes. Stir frequently. Add 2 cups water and 1/4 tsp salt. Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium low. Cover and let the quinoa cook about 12 minutes. The quinoa should be fluffy and tender, absorbing the water. 
  • Add the sliced bok choy, 1/2 of the sliced jalapeño, and half of the green onions to the quinoa. Cover and allow the bok choy to wilt. 
  • In another saucepan, bring 3/4 cup water (you can also try broth), 1 inch sliced ginger, and 1/2 sliced jalapeño to a boil over medium heat. Add the salmon. Cover and cook the salmon just through, about 4 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish. Use a slotted spatula to transfer the cooked fish to a plate. 
  • Stir in 3 tbsp soy sauce, juice of 1 lemon, the remaining green onions, and 1 tbsp sesame oil into the poaching liquid. Stir to combine.
Adding soy, sesame oil, jalapeño, green onion, and lemon juice to the poaching liquid is perfect for simmering down to a delicious sauce for the poached salmon. 

Adding soy, sesame oil, jalapeño, green onion, and lemon juice to the poaching liquid is perfect for simmering down to a delicious sauce for the poached salmon. 

  • The poaching liquid will now simmer down into a sauce. Fluff the quinoa with a fork, and serve it with the salmon. Drizzle with the soy mixture and top with torn cilantro. 

This combo is so yummy! The tiny quinoa pops in your mouth, and the gentle flavors of sesame and ginger are perfect with the moist, flakey salmon. The sauce brings just enough salt and acid to the protein, and the quinoa soaks it all up. What I love about dishes like these is learning new techniques. Now you can poach other fish, or incorporate quinoa into your meals! :) Hope you give this a try and have a great week :) xoxo 

If you've tried any recipes from the blog, let me know! You can tweet me on Twitter @bac_blog or on Instagram @_brokeandcooking! :)