Quinoa-Crusted Salmon with Spicy Orange-Miso Sauce

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We had extra quinoa in the refrigerator from the day before and wanted to do something different. A friend had told us about a quinoa crusted salmon that he made, and it inspired us. Try to get wild caught Alaskan or Atlantic salmon if you can.


Ají amarillo paste is a spicy Peruvian yellow chile paste. It’s available in many supermarkets and online at amazon.com. We used Santa Cruz Chile and Spice Company's Green Chile Paste (You can order direct at www.santacruzchili.com). It turned out great!

Serving size: 4
Time: 40 Minutes


  • 2 tablespoons mirin

  • 2 tablespoons sake

  • 1/4 cup ají amarillo paste (see Note)

  • 2 tablespoons shiro (white) miso

  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice

  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

  • Four 6-ounce skinless center-cut salmon fillets

  • Salt

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil

  • 1 small cucumber—peeled, seeded and diced


1. Preheat the oven to 400°. In a small saucepan, bring the mirin and sake to a boil. Whisk in the ají amarillo paste, miso and orange and lime juices and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, season the salmon with salt and pepper. Press 2 tablespoons of the quinoa onto the skinned side of each fillet.

3. In a large, ovenproof, nonstick skillet, heat the canola oil. Add the salmon fillets, quinoa side down, and cook over high heat until the quinoa is browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the salmon until almost opaque throughout, about 4 minutes.

4. Using a spatula, carefully transfer the fillets to plates, quinoa side up. Spoon the diced cucumber alongside and serve with the orange-miso sauce.





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