Easy weeknight dinner: Salmon Bowl

This humble meal will make you feel like you’re in Japan. A simple bowl of buckwheat noodles, sautéed zucchini, and salmon combine to create this perfect meal. In Japan, a traditional breakfast might include grilled fish and miso soup. This is a great recipe for experiencing a typical Japanese morning. 

You may be unfamiliar with buckwheat noodles, and so we encourage you to familiarize yourself with this healthy ingredient. You can find it in most health food stores or the ethnic aisle of your supermarket.  A healthy carbohydrate source, it’s a nice way to add variety instead of the usual brown rice or whole wheat bread sources of meal time starch. With a hearty texture and a flavor many people like, it only needs to be tossed in a drizzle of soy sauce to be enjoyed. Buckwheat has a lower glycemic index number than rice, which means it is digested slowly and helps to prevent rapid spikes in your blood sugar level.

Another common ingredient in Japanese cooking is ginger which contains chemicals that may reduce nausea and inflammation. Most Japanese cooking uses the fragrant combination of green onions, ginger, and soy sauce. Sautéed together, these ingredients make this salmon bowl flavorful. Together they create a nice marinade or dipping sauce for fish or other grilled foods. It’s a great light, non-fat way to add flavor! Serve this bowl with chopsticks and a side of miso soup or other grilled vegetables for an authentic touch. 

Salmon Bowl (1 entrée serving; 2 half-sized entrée servings)

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 zucchini, sliced in triangles
  • 2 green onions, sliced small, divided white and green parts
  • 2 teaspoons oil (divided, 1 tsp each)
  • 1 oz buckwheat noodles
  • 1/2 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce or sesame oil (optional)
  • 1-inch fresh ginger, peeled, and sliced thin
  • 1/4 pound (4 ounces) salmon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds

1. Fill a small pot with water and set on high flame to boil. Meanwhile, slice the zucchinis lengthwise into a 1/4 inch thickness. Then, cut diagonally into triangles. Slice the green onions, separating the white parts from the green.

2. In a non-stick pan, place a teaspoon of oil and add the white parts of the green onions with the zucchini triangles. Cook on a medium to high heat for 3-5 minutes or until tender. Constantly move zucchini to prevent too much browning. Partially cover for 1-2 minutes with lid to speed up cooking. Once cooked, set aside and keep warm. With caution, wipe out the pan with a paper towel.

3. When the water begins to boil, add the buckwheat noodles and cook about 3-4 minutes or until noodles are tender. Read the package directions to get the most accurate cooking time for your buckwheat noodles. Once cooked, drain noodles and toss with soy sauce. Add sesame oil or fish sauce if desired. Set aside. 

4. Once you put the buckwheat noodles in the pot, begin to cook the salmon. First, place a teaspoon of oil in the nonstick pan and add the green parts of the green onions and the sliced ginger. Let cook for 1 minute, then place the salmon, flesh side down, on top of the green onions and ginger. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until the center is no longer translucent and flakes with a fork. 

5. Begin assembling the bowl, by placing the noodles at the bottom.  Then, place the zucchini triangles around the sides of the bowl, and the salmon on top. Top with additional green onions and sesame seeds. Eat with chopsticks for a Japanese touch.  

1 serving

2 servings

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