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Crispy Salmon with Soy Tamarind Sauce

The salmon is coated in cornstarch and pan-fried until a crisp, outer shell forms and then it is served with a side of garlic sautéed spinach and jasmine rice topped with a sweet and sour soy tamarind sauce.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Keyword fish, fish sauce, salmon, seafood, soy, spinach, tamarind
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 521kcal


For the soy tamarind sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons tamarind paste*
  • ¼ packed cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce

For the sautéed spinach:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 ounces baby spinach, washed and dried
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed

For the crispy salmon:

  • pound salmon filet, cut into 4 servings
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • Jasmine rice, for serving


For the soy tamarind sauce:

  • Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the vegetable oil and heat through.
  • Add the ginger and garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the soy sauce, tamarind, brown sugar, fish sauce and ⅓ cup (75g) of water, whisking to combine.
  • Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

For the sautéed spinach:

  • Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through.
  • Add the spinach and sauté until wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

For the crispy salmon:

  • Season salmon with salt and pepper. Sprinkle cornstarch over pieces and pat so that it covers all parts of the salmon. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.
  • Once hot, shake off excess cornstarch from salmon then add the fillets of salmon skin side down in the pan.
  • Sear the salmon on each side until cooked through, about 4 minutes on each side. Be careful that the oil doesn’t spatter, if it begins to spatter, turn the heat down to medium-low.
  • Remove the salmon from the pan to a plate and set aside.

To serve:

  • Serve the salmon on a bed of rice and spinach. Ladle the tamarind sauce over the top and serve immediately.


Calories: 521kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 17g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 931mg | Potassium: 1188mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 8025IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 120mg | Iron: 4mg