BBQ Salmon – Asian Style

By Michelle Nowicki, Nutritionist

Although summer is winding down there are still more good days to Barbecue. This BBQ salmon recipe is chock full of flavor and healthy ingredients. See the recipe and ingredient benefits below:


1.5 Pounds wild salmon fillets cut into 4 pieces

For the Marinade (reserve ½ for later):

  • 1 & ½ Tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • ½ Teaspoon wasabi paste
  • 3 Tablespoons Tamari soy sauce
  • ½ Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 Teaspoon olive oil
  • Zest of one medium lemon
  • Juice of one medium lemon


  1. Brush the grilling rack with oil or cover it with foil to keep the salmon from sticking. Heat the grill.
  2. Whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Place the salmon skin side down on a plate and drizzle half of the marinade onto the salmon. Set aside half of the marinade for later. Allow the salmon to marinate for 15 minutes.
  3. Place the salmon skin side down on the hot grill and discard the marinade that the fish was sitting in. Grill for about 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Turn carefully with a spatula and grill for about 5 minutes more until the salmon remains slightly raw in the center. It will continue to cook a little after removed from the grill.
  4. Transfer the fish to a clean flat plate, skin side down, and spoon the reserved marinade on top. Remove the skin and serve warm.

Yield: approximately 4 servings.

Key Ingredient Benefits

Wild Salmon Salmon is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, with about half in the form of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and a slightly lower amount in the form of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Salmon also has a relatively small amount of omega-6 fats, providing a good ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. EPA has the ability to lower inflammation. Studies have shown that increased intake improves cardiovascular health, high blood pressure and inflammatory autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. DHA is essential for proper brain function and helps maintain brain serotonin. Low levels have been associated with ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease and depression. DHA also supports the nervous system. Juvenon’s pure, toxin-free, pharmaceutical grade Omega-3 fish oil provides significant amounts of the two fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA). It is formulated as a soft gel capsule, coated for improved digestion.

At more than 100 IU per ounce, salmon is also an excellent source of vitamin D. Vitamin D has been shown to have anti-inflammatory benefits, supports cognitive function, and helps lowering the risk of several types of cancer, including breast, colorectal, and prostate. A recent study indicates that Vitamin D may play a key role in reducing the symptoms of depression in women. Juvenon’s Youthful Energy formulation provides 1000 IU per serving. Salmon is also a good source of selenium, which has antioxidant properties.

Contamination with mercury, pesticides, and persistent organic pollutants (POPS) has become a problem in salmon habitats, however, wild-caught Alaskan salmon has been found to be one of the lowest at risk for contamination and regular consumption. Southeast Alaskan chum, Coho, Kodiak Coho, pink, sockeye, Chinook, pink, and chum salmon are all good choices.

Ginger contains very potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols which may explain why some people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis experience less pain and more mobility with ginger consumption. Ginger also has been effective in reducing gastrointestinal distress and can help eliminate gas (carminative effect) and relax and sooth the intestinal tract (spasmolytic effect). Ginger also helps with motion sickness, reducing associated dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and cold sweats. Finally, ginger extracts have demonstrated antioxidant and anti-tumor effects on cells and may boost immunity.

Raw honey is a natural sweetener with powerful antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties. It contains small amounts of Propolis or ‘bee glue’ that honeybees use to seal their hive, making it safe from bacteria and other micro-organisms. Raw honey also contains phytonutrients which have been shown to possess cancer-preventing and anti-tumor properties.

Wasabi paste is a good source of compounds called isothiocyanates which have anti-cancer properties. Isothiocyanates appear to activate enzymes in the liver which detoxify cancer causing substances before they can do damage to the body. They also appear to interfere with the growth of cancer cells. Isothiocyanates also have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Furthermore, they inhibit platelet aggregation which may help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Tamari soy sauce, while still high in sodium, has a more robust flavor than salt and contains niacin (vitamin B3), manganese, and protein, although not in significant quantities. Note: if you have been told by your doctor to limit your salt intake, you may want to use less and/or a low sodium version soy sauce.

Sesame oil is made from sesame seeds and is an excellent source of polyunsaturated fatty acids including omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are important for growth and development and may help in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and arthritis. Polyunsaturated fatty acids play a role in lowering blood pressure, increasing good cholesterol, and helping maintain normal blood pressure. Sesame oil also contains phytonutrients, which have antioxidant properties and lignans, which have both antioxidant and antihypertensive properties. Sesame oil is also a good source of the antioxidant vitamin E and lecithin, a molecule that helps in the prevention of vascular diseases.

Olive oil, especially first cold pressed virgin olive oil, contains numerous antioxidant polyphenols in addition to monounsaturated oleic acid. Both help support fat metabolism and cardiovascular health. One of the polyphenols, apigenin, is associated with a decreased incidence of several cancers.

Lemons contain citrus bioflavonoids called limonoids that help the immune system and have antioxidant properties. Lemons are also a good source of flavonol glycosides, which have antibiotic properties, and a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and fiber. The vitamin C, potassium and limonoids in lemons may prevent inflammation, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, combat harmful free radicals, and help fight cancer. Don’t be afraid to include the inner white layer (pith) of the peel as it is a good source of concentrated nutrients. The pith of the lemon, as well as the pith of most citrus fruits, are additional sources of several nutrients (naringin, nobiletin, tangeretin), which have recently been demonstrated to have a significant effect on improving metabolism, increasing fat burning and weight reduction, and improving glucose and insulin levels. Naringin is one of the key ingredients in our Youthful Energy product. Different bioflavonoids have positive effects on different tissues. So, consuming a variety of citrus fruits will help promote health for different tissues and organs of the body.

Michelle Nowicki has a Bachelor of Science in Food and Nutrition, completed a dietetic internship at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and has a graduate degree from Yale University.