Salmon with a Tomato, Cucumber and Cilantro Salad

Salmon with a Tomato, Cucumber and Cilantro Salad

Hello, family, friends and strangers! After a one-year hiatus, during which I continued to pay Squarespace $10 per month to keep my site online, I am back! I can't promise the exact frequency with which I will be posting, but I assure you it will be more than once a year like this past year when I spent most of my free time posting fleeting content through my Instagram stories (@jenspinky). 

August 7, 2018 marks the date I deleted my Instagram app from my phone. No, I didn't go so far as to delete my account. I'm not ready to part with my bread pictures or Wyatt stories, and I don't think I ever will delete Instagram for good just for the sake of keeping the content in one place. 

What will I do with my reclaimed hours? Here are my planned activities:

  1. Read more
  2. Write more
  3. Climb the same amount (I don't think I could climb more)
  4. Cook and eat legit meals that do not solely consist of bread, butter, and eggs
  5. Make deep work a habit (I highly recommend the book)

Today I accomplished all five! #1 - I got out of bed at 2am because I couldn't fall asleep and ended up reading "About Love," my favorite Chekhov story; #2 - I am writing right now; #3 - I climbed at Great Western Power Company; #4 - I made the thing that's pictured above; and #5 - I did 2 hours of deep work for work.

The thing you care about is #4, and probably specifically how it is made. On to the recipe...

Serves 4. Adapted from a NYTimes Cooking recipe.


  • 4 salmon fillets, 4-6 ounces each, with skin-on
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, divided into 3 and 1
  • 1 garlic glove, smashed
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced into rings
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 cup cilantro, tender leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
  • salt, to taste


  1. Combine soy sauce, brown sugar, 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, and smashed garlic in a small saucepan. With heat on medium-low, reduce the sauce until it is syrupy. Don't burn the garlic! Discard the garlic (or keep it, I don't care). Pour the sauce into a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Pat salmon fillets dry with paper towels so the skin will get crispy. Salt both sides of the fillets with salt. Broil for 5-7 minutes, or until the internal temperature is around 130 degrees F. The skin should be charred and bubbling.
  3. Toss shallot rings with remaining 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar. Add cucumber, tomatoes, cilantro, sugar, sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, and salt (to taste). Mix well. Taste and decide if you want to add more vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, and/or salt. 
  4. Spoon the salad to a large serving platter and top with the salmon fillets. Drizzle the sauce over the fillets.
  5. Enjoy with a bowl of rice and good company!
Hamburger Buns

Hamburger Buns

Duck Porridge

Duck Porridge