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Recipe courtesy of J Chef Joe

Pistachio-Crusted Chinook Salmon with Ginger-Cardamom Yogurt Sauce, Glazed Beets and Grilled Summer Squash

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 15 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Inactive: 5 min
  • Cook: 45 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Ginger-Cardamom Yogurt Sauce: 

1/2 cup regular yogurt

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt

2 to 3 tablespoons Ginger Syrup, recipe follows

1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped

1 tablespoon sushi ginger, finely chopped, plus 2 teaspoons liquid

10 to 15 cardamom pods, seeds removed and finely crushed

Zest and juice of 1 lime, plus more juice to taste

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Glazed Beets:

4 to 6 medium beets (or 2 to 3 large)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup cider vinegar

2 tablespoons ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1/4 cup apple or cranberry juice

1 tablespoon corn starch 

Zest and juice of 1/2 orange

Grilled Summer Squash:

1/4 cup olive oil

1/8 cup balsamic vinegar

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 small summer squash (or 4 large), such as zucchini, yellow zucchini, paddy pan or zephyr, sliced in half or thirds depending on size

Pistachio-Crusted Salmon:

Four to six 6-ounce fillets wild Chinook salmon (or other wild salmon)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil

1 1/2 cups coarsely ground shelled pistachios

Juice of 2 limes

4 tablespoons cold butter, broken into pea-size pieces

Candied Ginger, for serving, recipe follows

Ginger Syrup and Candied Ginger:

1/2 cup sugar, plus more for candying

One 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced into coins


  1. For the ginger-cardamom yogurt sauce: Combine the yogurts, Ginger Syrup, cilantro, ginger, cardamom and lime juice in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, and then adjust the seasoning with a little more lime juice, if necessary. Keep cold until ready to serve.
  2. For the glazed beets: Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Boil the beets until fork tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain the beets, reserving about 1 cup of the cooking liquid, and then peel and quarter. 
  3. Stir together the reserved cooking liquid, sugar, vinegar and ginger in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and let the sugar dissolve in the liquid, about 3 minutes. Whisk together the apple juice and cornstarch in a small bowl until the cornstarch is fully dissolved, and then pour into the saucepan with the orange juice and zest. Bring back to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer and cook until the starch is cooked out and the mixture thickens, another 5 minutes. Toss the beets in the glaze to coat. Keep warm. 
  4. For the grilled summer squash: Preheat the grill or grill pan to medium-low. Mix together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and some salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Toss the summer squash in the oil and vinegar, shaking off any excess, and then grill until grill marks appear, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove and set aside. 
  5. For the pistachio-crusted salmon: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cut parchment paper to fit the size of a large saute pan, and then fit inside the pan and place the salmon on top. Sprinkle the fillets with salt and pepper, and then drizzle with olive oil and lightly press the pistachios onto the fish. Squeeze the lime juice on top and dot with cold butter. 
  6. Cook the salmon in the oven until just opaque, 6 to 8 minutes, depending on your desired doneness. 
  7. To plate, place grilled squash on the plate, top with glazed beets, and then lay the salmon over the vegetables. Spoon a little yogurt sauce onto the plate and garnish with candied ginger. Serve immediately.

Ginger Syrup and Candied Ginger:

  1. Combine the sugar with 1/2 cup water and the ginger in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced to a syrup-like consistency. Let cool slightly, and then strain the syrup. 
  2. Add some sugar to a bowl and toss in the cooked ginger coins until fully coated. Remove, shaking off the excess, and set on a plate to dry slightly.