Turmeric Salmon with a Grapefruit Tamari Glaze
Happy 2021! I am here to gift you the lovely gift of a delicious AND nutritious gluten-free entrée!
If you’re in love with gluten like me, I promise that you won’t even miss it with this dish. This salmon is bold. It’s bright and it has a fierce attitude. If you’re not strictly gluten-free, you can use any kind of soy sauce of your choice in this glaze. If you are celiac or intolerant of gluten, please make sure to use a certified gluten-free Tamari. And finally, all my Whole30 people, you can enjoy this dish too if you use coconut aminos!
I’m linking some below from Amazon, but they’re pretty common at Trader Joes and Whole Foods as well if you want to just go grab a bottle. They’re supposed to have a mild slightly “sweeter” essence than a typical salty, rich soy sauce or tamari. Whichever one of these you do decide to use, I think they all go nicely with the tart, bitter, zesty grapefruit juice that makes up the heart of the glaze.
The glaze itself is tart, rich, salty, sweet, a little spicy (cue the ginger,) a little bitter and zesty. Then, we have this magical turmeric salmon, which is shockingly flavorful for being so simple and easy to make. I’ve tried turmeric dishes before and I usually find them a little too overpowering for my taste. I like when the turmeric is complimented by other strong flavors and aromas, instead of just being the one stand out flavor in a dish. The flavor and fat in the salmon go beautifully with the turmeric, and on top of that, the turmeric actually brings yet another earthy depth of flavor to our tart glaze. To sum it up: you have to try the glaze with this fish. It just works.
If you’re a visual learner, you can watch how to make it in a nutshell on my Instagram reel.
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What should you serve as a side? Anything fresh, crunchy and crisp! You can go with my cabbage salad, dressed with a simple avocado or olive oil and lime juice dressing. I ended up just buying a bag of pre-sliced cabbage and carrot slaw at the store and served it as my salad with cilantro, scallions and that aforementioned lime/oil dressing, plus a few Cara Cara orange slices. You could also do fried cauliflower rice, or if you’re not Whole30, go with a hearty quinoa with fresh bell peppers for brightness and crunch.
Turmeric Salmon with a Grapefruit Tamari Glaze
For the glaze:
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
- 1 tsp finely grated ginger
- 1 tsp finely grated garlic
- 1/2 tsp grapefruit zest
- 3 tbsp Tamari, coconut aminos or reduced sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
For the salmon:
- .9-1 lb fresh salmon cut into equal-sized fillets
- turmeric powder to taste, to be dusted generously onto all sides of the salmon fillets
- Salt to taste, for seasoning
- Coconut oil for pan
- Chopped scallions for topping, optional
- Chopped cilantro for topping, optional
- Put a sieve or fine mesh strainer over a sauce pan. Pour the grapefruit juice into the strainer, separating the seeds and pulp from the juice. Discard the pulp and leave the juice in the sauce pan.
- Place the sauce pan onto a stove top and turn the heat on medium high. Add the garlic, ginger and grapefruit zest. Allow the grapefruit juice mixture to come to a boil, then add the tamari (or the substitute of your choice) and apple cider vinegar. Let the mixture come to a boil for 2-3 minutes, until reduced by 1/4. Then, reduce it to a simmer.
- As the glaze is simmering, dry the salmon fillets on all sides with a paper towel. Season all sides (skin included) generously with salt. Then, sprinkle turmeric powder on all sides (skin also included!) Don't be shy here with the seasoning!
- Heat a large skillet over high heat. Season the skillet with 1 tbsp of coconut oil. Allow the oil to come to a shimmer (should be piping hot!) then place the salmon fillets skin side down onto the pan. Sear for 3-4 minutes, until the skin is golden brown and crisp. Flip the salmon onto the other side and let it sear for another 2-3 minutes, until golden brown. Then, tilt your pan and allow the oil to well up around the edges. Sear the sides of the salmon in the oil for 30 seconds-1 minute. Once all sides are seared, adjust the heat to medium and flip the salmon so the skin side is down against the heat.
- Check on the glaze. It should be reduced by about 2/3 by now, and have a glossy, glazey consistency. If this is the case, remove the pan from the heat. Put a seive or fine mesh strainer over a bowl and pour the glaze through the strainer to separate the smooth glaze from the aromatics. Discard of any pulp or strained out aromatics.
- Raise the heat on your salmon pan to medium high. Pour half of the glaze onto the salmon fillets so that the top of each is fully coated (each fillet should get about a quarter of the glaze.) Use a pastry brush or rubber spatula to fully coat the sides of the fillets in the rest of the glaze. Flip and coat the bottom as well. The glaze will begin to bubble on the bottom fo the pan. Feel free to grab a spoon and pour the bubbling glaze over the salmon as it continues to reduce in the skillet. You don't want any of it to go to waste!
- Plate the salmon with some chopped scallions and cilantro, plus a side of your choice (I prefer something fresh and crunchy like my cabbage salad with a lime and avocado oil dressing and cara cara oranges, but that's just me!) Enjoy immediately!