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Seared Salmon With Citrus Asparagus Stir-Fry

Seared Salmon With Citrus Asparagus Stir-Fry 4.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Dinner in Minutes Jun 2, 2020

A simple seared salmon fillet turns this light spring stir-fry into a meal. The herbs, peppers and seasoning for the asparagus can be adjusted to suit what you have on hand. Try crushed red pepper flakes in place of jalapeño and parsley in place of cilantro. Also try this stir-fry with a seared skirt steak, like the one in the related recipe, or a seared or baked tofu steak.

Correction: An earlier version of this recipe included an incorrect amount of sesame seeds. Sesame seeds are used in the stir-fry, but not in the preparation of the salmon. The recipe has been corrected.

Storage Notes: Store asparagus and salmon in separate containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • For the stir-fry
  • 3 cloves garlic, divided
  • 1 medium jalapeño chile pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and thinly sliced on a diagonal about 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, from 1 to 2 lemons, divided
  • Zest of 1 lemon, 1 generous teaspoon
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems (about 1/2 bunch)
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • For the salmon
  • 4 (4- to 5-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, divided (may substitute extra-virgin olive oil)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Lemon wedges, optional, for serving


Make the stir-fry: Slice 2 cloves of garlic into thin slices. Mince or grate the remaining 1 clove.

Heat a large, dry skillet over medium-high heat until a drop of water sizzles on the surface. Add the jalapeño, sliced garlic and olive oil, stirring constantly, until the garlic just begins to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Add the asparagus. Sprinkle lightly with salt and cook, tossing occasionally, until the asparagus begins to brown around the edges, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the soy sauce and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice and cook, stirring constantly, until the asparagus is coated in sauce, but still firm, about 1 minute.

Add the minced garlic, lemon zest, the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice and the ginger. Toss to combine and cook, continuing to toss for 1 minute, or until ginger is fragrant.

Remove the pan from heat. Transfer asparagus to a platter and toss with cilantro and sesame seeds.

Make the salmon: Pat the salmon dry with paper towels. Rub the sesame (or olive) oil over both sides of each fillet. Season the skin side with a pinch of salt.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until a drop of water sizzles when it hits the surface. Add the fillets, skin side up and cook until just lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn the fillets over and reduce the heat to medium. Generously sprinkle the fillets with ground pepper.

Cook until the salmon looks almost cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes; you can check using the tip of a sharp knife or just by looking at the sides of each fillet, where you should see a slightly darker center. The cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the fillet and the desired doneness. Remove the fish from the skillet and keep warm.

Divide the asparagus among four plates and top each with a salmon fillet. Serve with additional lemon on the side, if desired.

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Recipe Source

Stir-fry recipe adapted from Bon Appetit (May 2019). Salmon recipe from recipe editor Ann Maloney.

Tested by Ann Maloney.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 381

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 27g 42%

Saturated Fat: 6g 30%

Cholesterol: 60mg 20%

Sodium: 404mg 17%

Total Carbohydrates: 8g 3%

Dietary Fiber: 3g 12%

Sugar: 3g

Protein: 27g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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