Crispy Rice Salad With Salmon and Saffron-Honey Vinaigrette on a table in a Studio
(Rey Lopez for The Washington Post/food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post )
The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Crispy Rice Salad With Salmon and Saffron-Honey Vinaigrette

Meaty salmon, crispy rice, crunchy radishes and tender greens come together in a salad that’s full of texture. A dressing seasoned with saffron and honey adds a silky, tangy finish.

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Refrigerate leftovers for up to 2 days.

Staff writer G. Daniela Galarza.


measuring cup
Servings: 2-3 (makes about 6 cups)
  • 2 or 3 center-cut, skin-on salmon fillets (1 pound total), patted dry
  • Fine salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups cooked white rice (day-old is preferable)
  • Pinch saffron threads
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 cups (2 ounces) leafy greens, such as Little Gem lettuce or spring mix
  • 4 small radishes, thinly sliced
  • Fresh parsley, dill or chive sprigs, for garnish (optional)


Time Icon Total: 25 mins
  1. Step 1

    Lightly season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper and place them skin side down in a 12-inch nonstick skillet. Set the skillet over medium-high heat. (There’s no need to preheat the pan; heating the salmon gradually will help the skin crisp without buckling.) Cook, uncovered, until the skin is browned and crisp, about 6 minutes.

  2. Step 2

    Decrease the heat to medium and transfer the salmon to a plate. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil to the same skillet, followed by the rice. Use a silicone spatula to spread and press the rice into an even layer along the bottom of the pan. Place the salmon skin side up atop the rice and cook, uncovered, until the rice is golden brown, 15 minutes. (The salmon will cook as the rice crisps; remove it after 10 minutes if you like your salmon medium, otherwise it will be medium-well done after 15 minutes.)

  3. Step 3

    Make the dressing: Meanwhile, in a small bowl, crush the saffron threads between your fingers. Add the boiling water and let steep for 1 minute. Whisk in the vinegar and honey and pour in 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly to form an emulsion. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  4. Step 4

    To serve, break the salmon and rice into large chunks using your hands and layer them on a platter with the greens and radishes. Pour the dressing evenly over the top, garnish with herbs, if desired, and serve family-style.

Nutritional Facts

Per serving (based on 3; 2 cups)

  • Calories


  • Carbohydrates

    36 g

  • Cholesterol

    70 mg

  • Fat

    25 g

  • Fiber

    1 g

  • Protein

    34 g

  • Saturated Fat

    4 g

  • Sodium

    221 mg

  • Sugar

    6 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

Staff writer G. Daniela Galarza.

Tested by Kara Elder