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Salmon with Chinese Pesto

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Salmon with Chinese Pesto is one of those awesome Asian fusion recipes. It is perfect for entertaining but easy enough to qualify for an everyday dinner. I’m not sure why but I always seem to make this dish in the spring.

The Chinese pesto sauce made is a pan on the stove so the salmon can be steamed, baked or grilled. Use your preferred method. The recipe suggests marinating the salmon for about thirty minutes, manageable in my mind but it doesn’t always happen in my kitchen.

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Pantry Basics – The Asian Pantry

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Photo of typical ingredients used in Chinese cooking, the start of your Asian Pantry. And a pic of Salmon with Chinese Pesto.
Salmon with Chinese Pesto, a delicious Asian fusion creation.

Do you pass over a recipe as soon as there is an ingredient you don’t have? Some days that’s fine. But when you are feeling adventurous and you want to expand your usual repertoire of meals you might need to expand your pantry.

I do a lot of Asian cooking so I wrote this post, The Asian Pantry about the gluten free ingredients I searched out. If you like Asian food you need to go beyond just gluten free soy sauce and ginger (fresh, frozen or minced in a jar). For this recipe you need fresh cilantro, sesame oil and dry sherry.

Once you buy some new ingredients you will want a few other recipes to use them in. Try some of these:


Chinese Onion Bread
Chinese Onion Bread -photo credit Jim Little



SICHUAN PEPPERCORNS – You go find the Sichuan peppercorns and I’ll work on posting another recipe to use them in. Until you find them (or if you aren’t going to look) just substitute an equal amount of regular black pepper.

Everyday to Gourmet – Salmon with Chinese Pesto

This salmon could be part of dinner for entertaining. Ever thought of having a Gourmet Dinner Club? You can read my post about that or just invite friends for dinner. Choosing a main course dish I’ve made a few times lets me focus on nice side dishes to create a great menu. My menu might include:

Asian Fusion – Beyond Chinese Pesto

This recipe is adapted from one of my favourite cookbook authors and cooking instructors, Hugh Carpenter. I’ve attended a few of his cooking classes and own several of his cookbooks including Pacific Flavors and Chopstix.

Let me know in the comments below if you tried any of these Asian fusion recipes.


4-4 oz salmon filets
1 Tbsp GF soy sauce
1 Tbsp dry sherry
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp finely minced ginger
Thickening - 1 Tbsp cornstarch & 1 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp finely minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp finely chopped green onion
2 Tbsp GF soy sauce
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
½ tsp salt
½ tsp crushed Sichuan peppercorns (or substitute with more black pepper)
¼ tsp finely ground black pepper
1 Tbsp vegetable oil


Combine soy sauce, dry sherry, sesame oil and ginger then pour over salmon in a shallow bowl. Marinate for 20 minutes.
Fill a wok with a few inches of water and top. Line a bamboo steamer with a piece of foil and place inside the wok leaving space for the steam to come through. Cover the wok and bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat.
Place salmon on the foil, cover and steam until the it is firm to the touch and flakes with a fork, 12-15 minutes depending on the thickness of the salmon.
While the salmon is cooking make the Chinese Pesto.
Combine cornstarch and water in a small dish, set aside.
Combine ginger and garlic and set aside.
Combine remaining sauce ingredients in a measuring cup and set aside.
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Sauté ginger and garlic for 30 seconds then add lemon juice mixture. Bring to a low boil and reduce heat. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and continue stirring as it thickens. Remove from heat, pour over salmon and serve.


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