Salmon and Broccoli Rice Bowls with Citrus-Shoyu Glaze
Don’t let the long title scare you, these salmon and broccoli rice bowls with citrus-shoyu glaze are so easy and quick to pull together and are so satisfying, you’ll be making them once and week and craving them every day in between.
This is one of my go-to dinners. It’s quick, easy, nutritious, flavorful, full of texture, and seriously yummy. Hits all of my dinner points.
I have a funny story about this recipe, actually. Especially for someone who write a blog called “scratch eats”. After one of my babies was born, I can’t remember which, I received a meal with salmon and veggies on rice, and the salmon had this amaaaaaazing sauce on it that I couldn’t get over. So I asked what it was, and … it was Panda Express Orange Chicken sauce. You guys, my jaw might have actually hit the floor. First of all, I didn’t even know you could buy the sauce in a bottle, and second, WHAT? How does this stuff make my salmon taste so good? Ok, I don’t want to sound pretentious here, but I am Japanese and I know fish. And I looooooooove fish. And I like to think I make it well. But how did this processed bottle of who-knows-what beat me out? So I sheepishly bought a bottle and poured it all over my salmon for the next few months because you do whatever you need to when you have a newborn in the house.
But then one day, I finally built up the courage to look at the back of the bottle that I was so intentionally ignoring, and I looked … and searched … and was kind of dumbstruck when I realized where isn’t even any orange in there. No citrus at all. And I just knew this wasn’t right, and there has to be a way to make it better.
And oh, I did. I made it better. And guess what? It has 4 ingredients, and they’re good. It seems too simple to be real, but sometimes, the best things are simple. And this is one of those things. I went with lemon because it has a much more pronounced tangy bite than orange, and it’s so easily accessible to most people. But lime works beautifully, and oh man if you can find yuzu or kabosu please, please, please use it. It will knock your socks off. And if you need a gluten-free or soy-free version, you can use tamari or coconut aminos. With coconut aminos, you’ll get a different, slightly sweeter flavor, but it’s still delicious. And with all soy products, I highly recommend finding non-GMO verified and organic products. My favorite soy sauce is this organic Japanese kikkoman shoyu.
And don’t feel tied down to the broccoli. It’s one of my favorite vegetables for this dish, but you could use almost anything with it. A variety is also great. I tend to stick with broccoli because it’s easy, it pairs beautifully with salmon, and I’m confident my kids will eat it. Plus, broccoli is super good for you (check out its awesome health benefits here!)
When choosing salmon, look for salmon that has an even color. The redness depends on the breed, so don’t stress too much about that. Make sure there are no brown spot or any other discoloration. And where possible, choose wild and line caught.
I serve this dish with white or brown rice, depending on my mood and how much time I have. Just remember to use Japanese short grain rice, it’s my favorite. And if you’re using brown rice, soak it ahead of time for proper nutrient absorption. Don’t skimp on that step!
Ready for some salmon bowls?
- 4 salmon fillets
- 2 head of broccoli*
- fine sea salt to taste
- neutral tasting oil such as refined coconut oil
- minced green onions, optional
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- juice of 1/2 a lemon** (reserve the other half in case to taste)
- zest of 1/2 lemon**
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1/4 soy sauce***
- 4 servings of cooked short grain (brown**** or white) rice
- Peel the stems of the broccoli and cut the stems and florets into bite sized pieces. Bring a medium saucepan with about 1 inch of water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add a pinch of salt to the water. Add all of the broccoli, cover with a lid, and let steam until the broccoli is tender but still bright green and slightly toothsome, about 5~6 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Pat the salmon fillets dry with a paper towel or clean kitchen towel and season both sides lightly with salt. Heat a 12 inch skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 teaspoons of oil to the pan. Once the oil is shimmering, add the fillets to the pan with space in between to ensure even cooking, and let cook on the first side until a golden brown crust forms, about 2~4 minutes. Carefully turn the fish over and cook the other side. Depending on the thickness of the your fillet, you may need to cover with a lid and let steam a little to finish cooking through. The internal temperature should be 125~130°F. It will continue to cook through once removed from the skillet. If you wait for a higher temperature, you'll get dry, overcooked salmon. Remove the salmon from the skillet and let rest.
- Meanwhile, with the pan still hot, add 1/4 cup of water, scraping up browned bits, and then add the ginger, lemon juice and zest, maple syrup, and soy sauce to the skillet. Stir frequently and let simmer until slightly thickened. Let cool slightly. Taste for balance, and add more citrus or soy sauce or maple syrup if needed. Serve the salmon and broccoli over rice, sprinkle with some minced green onion if using, and pour about 1 tablespoon of the glaze over the bowl.
- *you can use any vegetable you like for this, but you'll have to adjust cooking time and method
- **Any bright, tart citrus will work well here.
- ***If you need a gluten free or soy free alternative, make sure to use tamari or coconut aminos. With the coconut aminos you'll get a different flavor, but it works well in this dish. Use the maple syrup sparingly.
- ****if using brown rice, make sure it is soaked for proper nutrient absorption.