Developing and testing recipes during the day often makes me want the simplest, quickest dinner possible; enter the sheet pan dinner (SPD). One pan, minimal clean-up, and not much brain power needed, I veer towards an SPD more often than not.
This recipe takes “minimalism” a step further by using a jarred teriyaki sauce. You can easily make your own, like in this teriyaki steak recipe.
Getting the Teriyaki Saucy
Since teriyaki is made with sugar, the sauce should be glossy and glaze the salmon. If your sauce is too thin, heat the remaining teriyaki sauce in a saucepan over medium-high while the salmon bakes. Bring to a boil and cook until sauce coats the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes.
Salmon That’s Sheet Pan Ready
When you are buying salmon, ask for center-cut pieces of the fillet that are 6 to 7 ounces each. The center-cut pieces are fairly even in thickness, so they will also cook evenly. Don’t ask to have the skin removed since it serves as a little extra insulation from the heat of the pan when you are cooking the salmon.
Say Goodbye to Dry Salmon
The most common mistake people make when cooking salmon is overcooking it to the point of dryness. If you cook it until the center is opaque, your fish is already overcooked!
The best way to test doneness is to use a thermometer, which, when inserted into the center of the fish, should register between 130°F and 135°F. If you don’t have a thermometer, insert a paring knife into the thickest part of the fish and peek. The center should look pale pink and translucent, while the outside should look opaque. As the fillets rest, they continue to cook.
Once the salmon is out of the oven, let it rest. The interior may be slightly undercooked, but the exterior is hotter. After a few minutes, the inside and outside temperatures come into balance, and homeostasis occurs so that the fish is cooked evenly all the way through. The texture will be silky and delicious!
Winner Winner, Sheet Pan Dinner
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Turn on the oven:
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Prep the vegetables:
Cut all but one of the scallions into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Thinly slice the remaining scallion and set aside.
Toss the bok choy and scallion pieces with oil and 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Arrange the seasoned bok choy, cut side down, in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet along with the scallion pieces.
Start baking the bok choy:
Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes.
Prep the salmon:
Move the bok choy and scallion pieces to edges of the baking sheet and place the salmon fillets in the center, about 1 inch apart from each other. Sprinkle the salmon evenly with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Brush 2 tablespoons of the teriyaki sauce evenly over the salmon.
Return the sheet pan to the oven and bake at 375°F until the bok choy is tender and a thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of salmon registers 130°F, about 18 to 20 minutes.
Finish the and serve:
Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons of teriyaki sauce over the salmon and bok choy. Serve with rice and sprinkle with sliced scallion.
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