Vietnamese Grilled Salmon with Spicy Lime Dressing and Cilantro Aioli

Sound the dinner bell; fresh salmon season has begun!

Being from the Pacific Northwest, fresh, wild-caught seafood was a staple in our household and one that, sadly, I took for granted until I moved far away from the ocean.

I have fond memories of anticipating the first run of fresh salmon—an exciting time that we looked forward to each spring. Gratefully, even as a land-locked dweller, I can recreate that excitement thanks to increased awareness and demand for wild fish.

Keep your eye out for fresh Copper River sockeye or king salmon for a limited 3–5 week stint happening right now. Highly prized by cooks and eaters alike, its meat is extremely robust, with a meaty texture and buttery flavor, due to the fish’s drawn-out journey of over 300 miles in frigid Alaskan Copper River waters.

This delicious, high-quality protein provides a great way to get a massive dose of healthful omega-3 fatty acids and is also very high in vitamins D and B12. It’s serious brain food! For this fresh-tasting recipe, we’ve taken a fusion approach, with some traditional elements of Vietnamese cuisine.


Serves 4
4–6 oz. portions wild salmon
2 tablespoons cold-pressed sesame oil (not toasted) or other mild oil
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced shallot
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce

Spicy Lime Dressing
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon chili-garlic paste (other hot sauce of your choice), or to taste
1 green onion, thinly sliced

Cilantro Aioli
6 tablespoons mayonnaise, homemade or store-bought
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

4 wedges lime, for garnish


1. Combine all marinade ingredients for salmon in a shallow dish. Place salmon in marinade, turning to coat, and set aside for a minimum of 30 minutes, or refrigerate for up to one day.

2. Combine spicy lime dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Taste and adjust heat to your liking. Set aside in refrigerator.

3. Combine cilantro aioli ingredients in a separate small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside in refrigerator.

4. Preheat the grill to high. Clean grill grates with a wire brush and grease lightly with an oil-soaked paper towel. Remove salmon from marinade and brush off solids. Sear salmon, flesh side down on grill, for 5 minutes. Slide a spatula under filets and flip over to skin side. Continue grilling, skin side down, until skin is crisp and salmon is cooked through, approximately 5–7 minutes, depending on thickness of fish. Transfer salmon to a platter.

5. Spoon spicy lime dressing atop salmon. Serve each filet with a dollop of cilantro aioli and lime wedges.

*If you don’t have access to a grill, the fish can be roasted in a preheated 425 F oven for approximately 10–12 minutes.


To choose your organically grown and fresh ingredients wisely, use the following criteria:
·chemical-  and hormone-free meat
·wild-caught fish
·pastured-raised, organic eggs
·whole, unrefined grains
·virgin, unrefined, first-press organic oils
·whole-food, unrefined sweeteners
·pure, clean, spring water
·sea salt
·raw and/or cultured milk and cream products

Briana Goodall, CPC

Briana Goodall is Chef and Owner of Green Cuisine Personal Chef Service. Visit her website at

Related Topics

healthy recipes | whole food nutrition

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