Recipe + Video: Seared Ponzu Salmon with Spinach & Shimeji Mushrooms

This recipe won 1st place (and the $300 prize) at my company’s healthy holiday cooking competition!! I am so excited to share it with you – it is quick, easy, and healthy! This would be great to cook for upcoming Valentine’s day!

Actually, I made this recipe myself in Japan. I was alone in Tokyo for work (without family) during the holiday times so I cooked this dish many times as a treat to myself! It is super yummy – please try!

For the holidays, many Chinese families do not celebrate with the typical turkey or ham. Instead, fish is always eaten at Chinese holidays! It is for good luck and prosperity.

Fish may seem complicated, but it is easy to cook healthy, delicious meals when you use high-quality ingredients. This is the key to cooking my Seared Ponzu Salmon!

The dish is very simple so I hope you are able to follow along with the video! If not, I have written the instructions below.


Serves 2-3
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes

  • 2 filets of sashimi-grade Salmon
  • 1 bundle of organic Spinach
  • 2 bundles of organic Shimeji Mushrooms
  • About 1/2 cup of Ponzu

+ Oil and S&P not counted

  • Instead of salmon, tuna is GREAT with this same recipe! I ate this so much in Japan, I would switch between salmon and tuna. Salmon is usually more affordable
  • If you do not have ponzu, you can substitute with soy sauce and lemon juice! But ponzu is so versatile (stir fry, seasoning, dip) – I recommend you add it to your pantry (link)
  • You can use any combination of vegetables, but spinach + shimeji mushrooms is SO good, please try it. You can get shimeji mushrooms at any asian grocery store for about $2 a pack
  • Of course, this tastes best over fluffy rice
Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Cut, wash, and prep your veggies because the cooking time is very fast
– Remove the base of the mushroom bundles
– Crumble apart the mushroom stems
– Wash and drain thoroughly
– Cut off base of Spinach
– Chop remainder spinach in 1-2 inch pieces
– Wash and drain thoroughly

2. Sear the salmon to your desired temperature – since it is sashimi-grade, you can cook it as much or as little as you want!
– Set your stove to high and allow the pan to heat up
– Once the pan is hot, add some oil of your choice (i.e. Olive Oil)
– Then once the oil is hot, add the salmon filets
– Let the salmon sear for ~30 seconds. Then add few tablespoons of ponzu
– Since the salmon is sashimi-grade, you can actually eat it entirely raw! This means you can cook it as much or as little as you want. I like to leave the insides raw because it melts in your mouth! It is easy to see how cooked the salmon is because the sides will begin to turn opaque. It cooks VERY quickly so be careful not to overcook it
– Flip it over about 45 seconds in if you are OK with the middle being raw! Pour a few more tablespoons of ponzu
– When the salmon is cooked to your desired temperature/taste, you can remove it from the heat. If I am serving people who do not like raw meat, I will push the salmon to the side while I cook the veggies to cook it some more

3. Saute the veggies in ponzu sauce
– Add the mushrooms and pour the remainder of ponzu sauce
– Stir the mushrooms around for about a minute for them to get tender
– Then, add the spinach. Stir it around with the mushrooms to wilt it. This takes about 45 seconds

4. Plate and Serve!
– Plate the vegetables
– Lay the salmon filets on top
– Serve with rice!
– You can pour the remainder Ponzu sauce from the pan (which has slightly thickened) over your rice. Yum!

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