Gochujang Salmon with Pandan Rice

By Jeri Mobley-Arias
October 21, 2022 | Updated on October 4, 2023

This glazed gochujang salmon with pandan rice recipe is easy-to-make and highly flavorful! Made with a sweet and spicy gochujang sauce and paired with an incredibly fragrant and flavorful coconut-pandan rice.

If you are looking for more recipes with gochujang, then be sure to check out my Sweet and Spicy Gochujang Wings and Creamy Gochujang Pasta recipes, next!

glazed-gochujang-salmon-with-pandan-rice

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Glazed gochujang salmon is one of my favorite ways to put this type of fish to good use. It’s so flavorful, and one of those feel-good meals. The cherry on top is pairing it with coconut-pandan rice; the flavors will send your taste buds an explosion of flavors, and you will be wishing you doubled the recipe.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Highly flavorful – Between the sweet and spicy salmon and fragrant coconut-pandan rice, this gochujang salmon bowl is a knock-out meal with so much beautiful flavor.
  • Makes for great leftovers – Double the recipe as this makes for a great next-day meal.
  • Health benefits of salmon – Salmon is rich in omega 3 fatty acids (among other health benefits); an essential fatty acid that we can only get through foods we consume, and helps protect our eyes, nerves, and brain.

What is Gochujang?

Gochujang is a Korean fermented pepper paste, fundamental to Korean cooking. The consistency is thick and paste-like, deep red in color, has a spicy-sweet flavor, and comprised of red chili pepper flakes, fermented soybeans, glutinous rice, and salt.

Gochujang can be found at varying levels of heat and used to add depth to foods like meats (bulgogi), soups and soft tofu stews (soondubu jjigae), noodles, hot and spicy rice cakes (tteokbokki), vegetable side dishes (banchan), bibimbap sauce, and Korean fried chicken.

gochujang-glaze-before-and-after

What is Pandan?

Pandan is a plant that grows all throughout Southeast Asia. It’s used in a lot of desserts and savory dishes and is higher fragrant–floral and nutty–and incredibly delicious when infused with rice.

This gochujang salmon is paired with pandan-coconut rice, where Jasmine rice is cooked with pandan leaves, aromatics, and coconut milk.

It’s similar to the Malaysian version of Nasi Lemak, with the exception of shallot, ginger, and garlic, which is traditionally not added.

Once the rice is cooked, pandan leaves are removed and discarded. The use of the leaves is simply to infuse its flavor onto the rice and trust me, the flavor is unbelievably delicious.

Dry Brine Salmon

This recipe calls for dry brining–or dry-cured–salmon. This technique is a sushi chef secret in which salmon is covered in sugar and salt for a short duration to draw out moisture to the surface, firm up the texture, make it more vibrant, and pack it with flavor.

If you tend to overcook your fish, dry brining is perfect, as it leaved more room for error, keeping the fish moist during cooking.

You can dry-brine any type of fish and I highly recommend you try it as it dramatically increases the flavor and texture of the fish.

How to Brine Salmon

Dry brining is simple and only takes 15 minutes. It calls for a 1:1 ratio of kosher salt to cane sugar. I use 1 tablespoon of salt to 1 tablespoon of sugar.

To dry brine, simply:

  1. Pat dry fish to remove excess moisture.
  2. Sprinkle with kosher salt and sugar all over the fish, even the skin.
  3. Leave to sit for 15 minutes.
  4. Rinse well with cold water and continue with seasoning fish.

Cooking Temperature for Salmon

When it comes to making salmon, It is useful to know that there is a difference between farm versus wild salmon in terms of cooking temperature and how it affects the texture of salmon.

  • Wild salmon – Best cooked to 120°F.
  • Farmed salmon – Higher in fat than wild salmon and best cooked to 125°F.

To get an accurate reading, I always use a digital thermometer as this ensures reliable and perfect doneness every time.

gochujang-salmon

How to Make Gochujang Salmon with Pandan Rice

  • Make the rice: Rinse the rice and leave in the rice pot, set aside. In a skillet, add oil and sauté shallot, garlic, and ginger over medium-high heat for 3 minutes or until shallots are soft. careful not to brown mixture, this is just to sweat the aromatics.
  • Add aromatics mixture to the rinsed rice along with salt, pandan leaves, canned coconut milk, and water. Stir until ingredients are well-mixed and place in the rice cooker to cook.
  • Dry-brine salmon: Pat salmon filet dry, removing any excess moisture. In a small ramekin, combine kosher salt and sugar and stir to mix. Liberally coat the entire filet with salt and sugar mixture. Set aside for 15 minutes, then rinse with cold water and pat dry.
  • Preheat oven to Broil. Set racks 6 inches from the broiler
  • Gochujang Glaze: Add gochujang, honey, sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and water to a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
  • When salmon is ready, drizzle with ½ tablespoons avocado oil and lightly season with kosher salt. Place on a baking sheet and broil for 4 minutes. Remove from oven and brush ½ of gochujang sauce over the top. Place in oven again for 3 minutes. Then remove one last time and brush with the ½ of remaining sauce. Cook for another 2 minutes or until salmon is cooked through .
  • Once rice is cooked, discard pandan leaves and ginger coins. Fluff rice with a fork and just before serving.
glazed-gochujang-salmon

Tips Tricks and Customizations

  1. Keep a close eye on it while broiling. The fillet should cook for roughly 5-8 minutes. Cooking time will vary based on your oven and thickness of salmon.
  2. Be sure to use canned coconut milk. This is not the same as coconut milk found in the refrigerated section of the grocer. Canned coconut milk is richer in flavor and contains fat from the fruit.
  3. Keep salmon fillets thin. Thinner fillets will absorb more flavor while marinating yielding highly flavorful salmon.
  4. Don’t remove salmon skin before cooking. Keeping the salmon skin on helps keep the flesh intact as it cooks. If you prefer not to eat the skin, simply remove it after cooking.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find pandan leaves?

Your best to find pandan leaves is at an Asian market, typically in the frozen section.

Do I have to use canned coconut milk for the rice?

Yes, use canned coconut milk is concentrated and richer in flavor. Carton coconut milk, which is typically found in the refrigerated section of the grocer, is heavily diluted with water. I use Aroy-D canned coconut milk which can be found at Asian markets.

Do I have to brine the salmon?

You don’t, but I highly suggest you do as it intensifies the flavor of the fish. Try this technique on any type of fish and you won’t go back.

Looking for more Salmon Recipes?

Loving This Gochujang Salmon Recipe?

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glazed-gochujang-salmon-with-pandan-rice

Gochujang Salmon with Pandan Rice

5 from 3 votes
This glazed gochujang salmon with pandan rice recipe is easy-to-make and highly flavorful! Made with a sweet and spicy gochujang sauce and paired with an incredibly fragrant and flavorful coconut-pandan rice.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 2 people
Author Jeri Mobley-Arias
Course Dinner
Cuisine Asian

Ingredients

Salmon

  • pounds salmon filet, skin on
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon cane sugar
  • ½ tablespoon avocado oil

Pandan Rice

  • tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons shallot, minced
  • 2 coins ginger, sliced ⅛-inch thick
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 2 leaves pandan, tied into a knot
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup canned coconut milk, I use Aroy-D
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Gochujang Glaze

  • 3 tablespoons gochujang
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 teaspoon water

Garnish

  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Scallions, chopped

Instructions

  • Make the rice: Rinse the rice and leave in the rice pot, set aside. In a skillet, add oil and sauté shallot, garlic, and ginger over medium-high heat for 3 minutes or until shallots are soft. careful not to brown mixture, this is just to sweat the aromatics.
  • Add aromatics mixture to the rinsed rice along with salt, pandan leaves, canned coconut milk, and water. Stir until ingredients are well-mixed and place in the rice cooker to cook.
  • Dry-brine salmon: Pat salmon filet dry, removing any excess moisture. In a small ramekin, combine kosher salt and sugar and stir to mix. Liberally coat the entire filet with salt and sugar mixture. Set aside for 15 minutes, then rinse with cold water and pat dry.
  • Preheat oven to Broil. Set racks 6 inches from the broiler
  • Gochujang Glaze: Add gochujang, honey, sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and water to a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
  • When salmon is ready, drizzle with ½ tablespoons avocado oil and lightly season with kosher salt. Place on a baking sheet and broil for 4 minutes. Remove from oven and brush ½ of gochujang sauce over the top. Place in oven again for 3 minutes. Then remove one last time and brush with the ½ of remaining sauce. Cook for another 2 minutes or until salmon is cooked through (time may vary depending on your oven and thickness of salmon). See notes for ideal temperature for salmon.
  • Once salmon is cooked, top with leftover sauce and garnish with toasted sesame seeds and chopped scallions.
  • Once rice is cooked, discard pandan leaves and ginger coins. Fluff rice with a fork and just before serving.

NOTES

Ideal internal temp for salmon
  • Wild salmon – Best cooked to 120°F.
  • Farmed salmon – Higher in fat than wild salmon and best cooked to 125°F.
Keywords broiled salmon, glazed gochujang salmon, gochujang glaze, gochujang salmon, gochujang salmon bowl, salmon bowl
Did you make this recipe?Leave a comment below and tag @whisperofyum on Instagram and hashtag it #whisperofyum!
glazed-gochujang-salmon-with-pandan-rice

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5 Comments

  1. Jalen says...

    5 stars
    Found you on instagram and instantly came to your website to pick out recipes. This was my first one and ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!!! I used Alaskan salmon and paired it with some steamed broccoli. 10/10

  2. Shay says...

    5 stars
    THIS WAS INCREDIBLE!
    First time cooking with Gochujang and the flavours were phenomenal!
    Also the rice!!!! I could have just the rice on its own.
    A 10/10 dish!

  3. Bailee says...

    5 stars
    This was excellent. First time brining salmon and I noticed a huge difference in taste and texture. I really liked the gochujang sauce. Also, first time cooking with pandan and glad I could find it at a local asian market and oh my goodness, the rice was so good. I will be making this again and again.

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jeri-mobley

Hey, I'm Jeri!

At Whisper of Yum, we explore ALL cuisines - comfort foods, classics, elevated originals. If you love food like me, I invite you to settle in to this place, where swoon-worthy food is attainable + inspo for your next meal awaits.

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