Three pieces of Salmon with Chinese Pesto.


Salmon with Chinese Pesto is one of those Asian fusion recipes that has been a favourite of mine for years. I only make it a few times a year since my recipe collection is vast but it qualifies for both a quick weekday dinner and a main course for dinner with friends. I love those kind of recipes!

The Chinese pesto sauce is made is a pan on the stove so the salmon can be steamed, baked or grilled. That means you can make it year round with your preferred method of cooking. The salmon is to be marinated for thirty minutes and I don’t deny that always improves the flavour. When I’m entertaining I can plan accordingly but for an everyday dinner I think of marinating as something to aspire to. Most likely my salmon will get five or ten minutes in the marinade while I’m getting the rest of my meal together, and it’s always as delicious as I remembered.

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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.

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Chinese Pesto – The Asian Pantry

Don’t pass over all the wonderful recipes because of unusual ingredients. Nowadays there is hardly any ingredient you can’t get your hands on fairly easily, just go and look for it. A well stocked pantry for Asian cooking is pretty simple and opens up a whole new world of possibilities in the kitchen. Expand your pantry to expand your repertoire.

I do a lot of Asian cooking so when I started cooking gluten free I searched out all the ingredients I wanted and over time I put it together in this post, The Asian Pantry. For this recipe you need fresh cilantro, ginger, sesame oil and dry sherry.

SICHUAN PEPPERCORNS – Is it worth it to go and buy Sichuan peppercorns? Well that’s up to you. I’m pretty sure my supply is twenty years old so that means I don’t use it too often. You can substitute an equal amount of regular black pepper and enjoy this recipe without them.

Once you buy some new ingredients you’ll want more recipes to use those ingredients. The Asian Pantry post lists each individual ingredient followed by links to many recipes using them. If you find a new favourite be sure to let me know in the comments.

Dinner Club – Salmon With Chinese Pesto

This salmon could be part of dinner for entertaining or have you Ever thought of starting a Dinner Club? Check out this post on How To Start a Dinner Club and invite some friends for dinner (or virtual dinner) to cook together and talk about making it a regular get together. Culinary adventures await you no matter what dietary restrictions you live with.

If I was creating a fusion menu and making this Salmon with Chinese Pesto as the main course it might look like this.

This salmon 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. My love affair with Asian and Asian Fusion all started when my husband gave me one of his cookbooks, Pacific Flavors.

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

Originally posted April 2016, updated February 2021

More Recipes – Asian Fusion

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Salmon with Chinese Pesto

This is a simple recipe to make when you've got cilantro in the fridge yet it's special enough to make for friends.
Author: Cinde Little
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: asian
Keyword: Salmon with Chinese Pesto
Servings: 4 people


  • 4 4-oz salmon filets


  • 1 Tbsp gluten free soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp dry sherry
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp finely minced ginger


  • 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 gluten free 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 cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp water


  • 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.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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