Curry Salmon Salad with Spinach and Apple

A hearty and healthy fall dish that only takes 20 minutes to prepare.  {gluten-free, paleo friendly}

A hearty and healthy fall dish that only takes 20 minutes to prepare. {gluten-free, paleo friendly}

Right now the Apple Fest is happening at Central Market. I couldn’t resist their sweet aroma the other day, and ended up with a huge bag of apples as I walked out of the store.

To enjoy those sweet crispy Fuji apples, I’ve made a curry salmon salad. The salmon is dusted with curry powder and baked until flaky, then served with spinach and cranberries, brought together with a refreshing sweet sour dressing that has a hint of savory.

It might seem perfectly natural for you to add apple into a salad, but it is a small adventure for me.

Growing up eating raw fruits every day, I don’t usually cook with them. Back in China the only cooked fruit I ate was the pineapple on a Hawaiian pizza. I also consider adding any sort of sweetener, such as powdered sugar or chocolate, on fruit so strange. Aren’t they already sweet enough? After eating my first peach cobbler, I realized cooked fruits with sugar DOES taste great.

Oh well, when it comes to home cooking, I still prefer to enjoy fruits at their natural raw stages.

A hearty and healthy fall dish that only takes 20 minutes to prepare. {gluten-free, paleo friendly}

Perfect temperature to bake salmon

There are many theories on the perfect oven temperature to bake salmon. After many experiments, I found out all the temperature settings work. You can go as high as 290 degrees C (550 F) as low 65 degrees C (150 F).

You can choose almost any temperature depends on how long you’d like to spend on baking. The only thing that matters most is do not overcook.

Salmon is a fatty fish and can tolerate heat pretty well. But high heat will squeeze out the juice faster and potentially led to a dried out texture. The timing becomes crucial when you pan fry, broil, or grill salmon. The fish will be overcooked if you leave it  in the pan for a few more seconds.

On the other hand, lower temperature setting is best if you like your fish fully cooked. You have bigger margin of error as well. Look at the beautiful result created by sous-vide cooking. Even if you leave the salmon in the oven 5 minutes longer, it won’t be a big issue. The downside is, you need much longer time. A hour and half, in the case of sous-vide cooking at 150 F. I always appreciate a perfectly cooked salmon, but this is not something I want to do to fix a quick weekday dinner.

I usually cook fish with high heat on stovetop, because it requires less time and yields crispy skin. I like my salmon medium rare so overcooking is usually not an issue. But I do like to bake salmon when I feel lazy.

Moist Baked Salmon

In this recipe I chose to use 150 degrees C (300 F). It gives me plenty of time to prep the dressing and get ready for dinner while the fish is in the oven. I was using wild caught Sockeye salmon from SizzleFish. The fillet is very thin and lean, so it only took me 15 minutes to bake. If using a fattier and larger cut, and you’d like to get dinner ready faster, you can bake the fish at 230 C (450 F). Just remember to keep an eye on the fish and check it frequently.

Need more healthy seafood dishes? Check out Honey Soy Sauce Glazed Salmon, Tomato Shrimp Stir Fry, Shrimp Chow Mein, and Oven Fried Fish Curry Noodle Soup.

A hearty and healthy fall dish that only takes 20 minutes to prepare. {gluten-free, paleo friendly} Curry Salmon Salad with Spinach and Apple   Print Prep time 5 mins Cook time 20 mins Total time 25 mins   Author: Maggie Zhu Recipe type: Main Cuisine: Fusion Serves: 2 Ingredients Salmon

  • 2 pieces salmon
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder (I used Madras curry powder)
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot or red onion
  • 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 6 cups baby spinach, rinsed and dried
  • 1 big fuji apple or other sweet apple you prefer, sliced (*footnote 1)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup toasted cashew


  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees C (300 F).
  2. Pat dry salmon with paper towel and place into a baking dish, skin side down. Brush the top with a thin layer of oil (*footnote 2), sprinkle with curry powder and sea salt. Bake for 15 to 25 minutes, until cooked to desired doneness. Using a fork to gently break the salmon into flakes.
  3. Combine all the ingredients for the salad dressing in a small bowl. Whisk to mix well.
  4. Right before serving, add spinach, cranberry, and salmon in a large bowl. Add half of the dressing. Gently toss to mix well. Taste the salad and add more dressing if needed. Add toasted cashews.
  5. Serve immediately with the rest of dressing on the side.

Notes (1) I like to leave the apple skin on for its fiber and color. You can peel the skin if you don’t like its texture.

(2) Leave the skin on and you don’t need to brush oil on the skin side. Once the salmon is cooked, you can easily pull the meat from skin by using a fork and leave the skin attached to the baking dish. 3.5.3208
The nutrition facts are calculated based on 1 of the 2 servings generated by this recipe.

Curry Salmon Salad with Spinach and Apple Nutrition Facts