Everyday Meals

Crispy Salmon With Cucumber-Tomato Salad and White Barbecue Sauce

Active time: 25 min. Total time: 45 min.
Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 1 salmon fillet, about 1 1/4 cups salad)

If you aren’t drizzling white sauce on more than just barbecue, you should be. Case in point? This easy, crispy salmon dinner. Don’t bash skin-on salmon until you’ve tried it like this. Cooking the skin-on salmon over a relatively low heat allows the skin to render and crisp up, while the flesh stays tender and soft. The salad, though, with its pickle-like flavor from the vinegar, is the kicker here. Seasoning the cucumbers first gives them so much flavor from the start, resulting in a side that’s bright and adds vibrance that complements the salmon. The white barbecue sauce ties everything together, and even though it’s primarily mayonnaise, it doesn’t feel heavy. If you don’t want to make white sauce, buy some from your favorite barbecue joint or the grocery store. Serve with a glass of white wine.



  • 6Persian cucumbers
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 4(6-oz.) skin-on salmon fillets (about 1 1/2-in.-thick)
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup multi-colored cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1(4-ounce) block feta cheese, broke into shards
  • 1/2 cup White Barbecue Sauce (recipe follows)
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh chives

White Barbecue Sauce

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

How to Make It

Step 1

Prepare the White Barbecue Sauce: Whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, lemon juice, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and smoked paprika in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Step 2

Cut cucumbers in half lengthwise; remove seeds with a spoon. Place cucumbers, cut side down, on a cutting board, and smash with the side of a knife. Roughly chop into 1-inch pieces, and place in a large bowl. Season with sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Stir to combine, and let stand 15 minutes. 

Step 3

While cucumbers marinate, season salmon fillets evenly with remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Place, skin side down, in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-low. Cook, lightly pressing on salmon every so often with a fish spatula, until skin is golden brown and crispy and salmon is cooked to desired degree of doneness, 10 to 15 minutes. Flip fillets, and remove skillet from heat. Transfer fillets to a large plate, and set aside.

Step 4

Drain cucumbers, and add back to large bowl; add vinegar and oil. Add tomatoes, onion, and feta, and gently toss to combine. Drizzle salmon and salad with White Barbecue Sauce, and top with chives. 

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