Serves 4-6
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes

For the maple sriracha cashews:

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil 

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil 

  • 1 1/4 cup raw cashews 

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup 

  • 1/2 teaspoon sriracha, or more if you like it spicy 

  • Sea salt 

  • Freshly ground black pepper 

For the salad:

  • 1 small red onion or 2 shallots, sliced 

  • 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar 

  • 1 grapefruit 

  • 2 oranges 

  • 1/4 cup citrus juice 

  • 1 tablespoon cashew butter 

  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil 

  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup 

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 

  • Sea salt, to taste 

  • Freshly ground black pepper 

  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed and torn into small pieces 

For the sesame-crusted salmon:

  • 3 tablespoons black sesame seeds 

  • 3 tablespoons white sesame seeds 

  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt 

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil 

  • 1 1/4 pound skin-on Alaska sockeye salmon fillet 


 This sesame-crusted Alaska salmon salad features wild-caught sockeye salmon encased in black and white sesame seeds, along with orange and grapefruit, pickled onion, and maple sriracha cashews, all on a bed of tender kale.

  1. To make the maple sriracha cashews, heat the avocado oil and sesame oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add the cashews and cook, stirring frequently, until they start to brown. Add the maple syrup and sriracha along with a few pinches of sea salt and a couple of grinds of black pepper. Continue to cook and stir frequently until the nuts are coated in a sticky glaze and not much liquid remains in the pan. Transfer the cashews to a parchment-lined plate and cool completely, then break up any large clumps. Maple sriracha cashews can be made up to two days ahead and stored in an airtight container.

  2. To make the salad, begin by prepping the pickled onions. Place the sliced onions in a bowl, pour in the rice vinegar, and toss well. Let the onions pickle while you prepare the other ingredients, tossing them a couple more times to make sure they pickle evenly. Pickled onions can be made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Drain before adding to the salad.

  3. Next, prepare the citrus. Peel the grapefruit and oranges by slicing off segments of rind with a sharp knife, reserving them for making the dressing, until no peel or pith remains. Slice the fruit into rounds, halving the rounds if they’re large.

  4. To make the dressing, squeeze the reserved citrus peels into a measuring cup to yield 1/4 cup of juice. Add the cashew butter and a splash of hot water and whisk until smooth, then whisk in the toasted sesame oil, maple syrup, and ground ginger. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  5. Place the kale in a large bowl and pour the dressing on top. With clean hands, massage the dressing into the kale until the greens are softened and reduced in volume. Top the massaged kale with the citrus slices, maple sriracha cashews and drained pickled onions.

  6. To make the sesame-crusted salmon, preheat the oven to 300°F. Mix the black and white sesame seeds, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl. Slice the salmon fillet crosswise into four to six pieces. Place each piece of salmon skin-side up in the sesame seed mixture and press gently to cover the other side with the seeds.

  7. Heat a large cast iron or other oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the avocado oil. Add the salmon skin side down and sear for 3-4 minutes to crisp up the skin. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 2-5 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked to your liking. Place the salmon on top of the salad and serve. 


Recipe Credit: Becky Winkler of A Calculated Whisk