Bright and Crunchy Salmon

Bright & Crunchy Salmon with Frizzled Shallots
Photo: Linda Pugliese

Melt-in-your-mouth salmon is the foundation for this Thai-inspired entrée for two. Mint, cilantro, and basil lend delicate yet dynamic flavor to balance the rich fish; cucumbers, watermelon radish, fried shallots, and roasted peanuts bring intrigue and crunch. This recipe is featured in the cookbook Salad Freak: Recipes to Feed a Healthy Obsession ($26.99,


  • 1 orange, such as Cara Cara or blood

  • 1 lime

  • 12 ounces wild-salmon fillet, cut into 2 portions

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon Lacto-Fermented Fresno Chiles or 1 thinly sliced fresh jalapeño or serrano chile

  • 1 recipe Frizzled Shallots, plus 1 ½ cups reserved shallot oil

  • 1 watermelon radish (or 3 smaller radishes)

  • 3 Persian cucumbers

  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce

  • 1 big handful combined fresh mint leaves, cilantro leaves, and Thai-basil leaves

  • ½ cup roasted and salted skin-on peanuts, for serving

  • ½ cup crispy rice cereal, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Cut 1/2 orange and 1/2 lime into thin slices and put in a 9-inch square baking dish, a small rimmed baking sheet, or a heatproof skillet. Place salmon on top and sprinkle with salt and chiles. Pour all but 2 tablespoons of reserved shallot oil over salmon. Bake until salmon is opaque throughout, about 25 minutes. Remove from oil and, once cool enough to touch, break into bite-size pieces.

  2. Use a mandoline to thinly slice watermelon radish; set in a bowl of ice water until slices are extra-crunchy. Slice cucumbers and put in a large bowl.

  3. Into a small bowl or measuring cup, juice remaining 1/2 orange and 1/2 lime; add rice vinegar, fish sauce, and remaining 2 tablespoons shallot oil. Taste for seasoning.

  4. Drain and pat dry radish; add to bowl with cucumbers. Add flaked salmon and herbs, drizzle with just a few tablespoons of dressing (being careful not to overdress), and toss. Serve the rest of dressing on the side to preserve crunchiness of ingredients. Put on serving plates or a platter and top with frizzled shallots, peanuts, and rice cereal.

Cook's Notes

Excerpted from the new book Salad Freak: Recipes to Feed a Healthy Obsession ($26.99,, by Jess Damuck, published by Abrams. Text © 2022 by Jess Damuck. Photography by Linda Pugliese.

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