Did you ever think there could be a “healthy” teriyaki sauce? Certainly one without MSG is making progress. But, what about one without granulated sugar? Impossible! Well, I’m going to give you an alternative…dates, yes dates. This sauce consists of medjool dates as the sweetener. What a brilliant idea, don’t you think? Simply soak them in warm water for a few minutes, then dump them with some garlic, ginger, soy sauce and rice vinegar into the jar of your blender. Puree all of them together with some of the soaking water from the dates until smooth. That’s all there is to it. It goes together very quickly.
I’m sorry to say I didn’t invent the sauce. I saw it in a post on the blog “A Pinch of Yum” for 30-Minute Sesame Mango Chicken. It was too good to pass up. If you are not familiar with that blog, it’s worth a visit as she posts some great recipes, many of them healthy and vegetarian.
This is a thicker sauce than my own “old” favorite using maple syrup. You’ll find that recipe here from an earlier post in February of this year.
I marinated some wild caught salmon steaks (the first of the season) in the sauce, then sautéed them quickly. They were still slightly pink in the middle, just the way we like them. Served with a quick stir fry of asparagus and snap peas with a spoonful of roast garlic lemon butter it was a quick and delicious mid-week dinner. You’ll find the recipe for the roast garlic and lemon butter here.
- 15 Medjool dates, pitted and soaked in 1/2 cup of very warm water for 30 minutes
- 3/4 cup soy sauce, regular or low sodium
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced or grated
- Optional – pinch of red pepper flakes
- Optional – 1/4 cup sesame oil
- Soak the pitted dates in the hot water
- Dump the dates and rest of the ingredients (including the soaking water) into your blender and blend until very smooth.
- Pour into a container until ready to use.
This will keep in the fridge for at least a week, we found it got “hotter” and spicier the longer it sat.
Grilled or Sautéed Salmon with Teriyaki Sauce
I sautéed the salmon steaks but they would be equally wonderful on the BBQ.
- Marinate salmon steaks or fillets in the sauce for at least 30 minutes or up to an hour in the fridge.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of peanut or other vegetable oil in your skillet on medium high heat.
- Add the salmon, skin side down.
- Saute on medium high heat for about approximately 10 minutes total for every inch of thickness. We like our salmon on the rare side and they weren’t quite so thick, so I started the steaks skin side down and turned them after 4 minutes.
Asparagus and Snap Peas with Roast Garlic and Lemon Butter
- 1 bunch of asparagus, ends snapped and cut into pieces about the length of the snap peas. I used a spiral diagonal cut, turning the stalk a half way round after each diagonal slice. That exposed more of the inner part of the stalk to the heat, cooking is a bit faster.
- About 3-4 cups of snap peas, stringed if necessary and cut in half lengthwise
- 4 scallions, cleaned and cut in half lengthwise, then into pieces the same size as the asparagus and peas.
- 2 tablespoons of roast garlic and lemon butter, (or 2 garlic cloves, finally minced, plus the zest and juice of one lemon, and 1 tablespoon of butter)
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium low heat.
- If not using the roast garlic butter, add the minced garlic to the pan and saute until softened but not brown.
- Add the asparagus to the pan and turn up the heat to medium high. Saute for about 4 to 5 minutes until bright green and beginning to soften.
- Add the snap peas to the pan and saute for an additional 3 to 4 minutes until everything is bright spring green and slightly softened but still crisp.
- Finish with the roast garlic butter or add the lemon zest and juice plus the tablespoon of butter. Continue to heat until everything is coated with sauce.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Salmon, asparagus, and fresh peas…this meal is the essence of spring. What are you serving to celebrate the season?
I’m taking this to share on Fiesta Friday #66 hosted by Angie. If you would like to see what is on the menu, come pay a visit to the party.
I will have to try this, that Salmon looks so mouthwatering. I’m a big fan of dates as a sweetener and use them in my greens. Just one or two, finely diced. (which is always so much fun to do, trying to dice or slice dates.) I bet the flavor of this sauce was incredible. Thanks!
They stick to the knife don’t they? Good idea to try them in greens. I’m going to try that, bet it is delicious. I blend one in a smoothie if the fruit is tart to give a touch of sweetness but otherwise haven’t used them much. I think that is about to change.
A brilliant way to use dates and love that you have access to wild salmon – so much better for you than farmed fish!
Hello, the season just opened so we are only just beginning to see it. Frozen just can’t compare and I try to avoid the farmed.
Gorgeous fish Liz! I just love the asparagus right now too.
Hi Julie. Asparagus means spring to me…and the first strawberries, yum! How are you doing?
Hi Liz! I agree asparagus and strawberries are spring! I’m doing well. Still on one crutch for another 4 weeks but counting down! Hope all is well with you!
Countdown has started! Only a few more weeks. I love your recent posts.
I am doing well, a bit scary to find the carcinoma but I had a good plastic surgeon. I don’t think anyone will even notice anything after a few more weeks. I am grateful for the advances in medicine the past decade. All of us are living longer and more active lives.
I didn’t catch that news Liz! So scary. I’ll look back and catch up with a bit.
Excellent idea! Finally I can finish up that bag of dates! They’re starting to dry up! And we’ve been trying to eat more fish. So your recipe can’t possibly be any more timely. Thanks, Liz! 😃
Even the old dried ones will plump up in hot water. Let me know how you like it.
I use my GIANT (Costco) package of dates really just for green smoothies as a healthy sweetener…. this is lovely with salmon- great! Thanks 🙂
They are sweet aren’t they? I find one in a smoothie is enough.
Wow! What a great idea, Liz. This looks so mouthwatering. 😀
Thank you, inspired by a post elsewhere though. Wish I could claim it.
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Needed to use salmon (https://lummiislandwild.com/our-seafood/reefnet-wild-keta-salmon-portions/) I had this week, and I feel so lucky I found your recipe! This sauce is to die for, and the roast butter and garlic sauce was certainly a welcome addition, too! You’ve got a real knack for this. A new spring favorite, for sure.
Thank you so much for your kind comment. I am so glad you enjoyed it. Salmon is a favorite at our house as well.
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