Leftovers Make Lazy Sunday Suppers: Lemon Sesame Salmon Rice Salad

The inspiration:  An article in a recent Cook’s Illustrated, leftover salmon, and what my children wanted for supper.

I was reading a recent article in Cook’s Illustrated about cold rice salads. I’ve eaten cold rice salads – they’re delicious when done well. Keeping my audience in mind (my family) I kept it rather simple.

The innovation: A dish that is traditionally served hot, turning it into a salad and serving it cold.

Most people would think to serve salmon fillet, with a side of rice mixed with peas and carrots hot. I’d agree with them – if I was making the salmon the same day. I was using leftover salmon, and once I cook fish, I will not reheat it. It’s a personal thing – I am very wary of reheating proteins (especially fish) after they have been cooked and sitting in my fridge for a day.

I had several beautiful pieces of lemon-sesame salmon leftover, and when my kids requested “Mommy’s salmon and rice” for supper, I knew I wanted to make this. It’s hot outside, and the kids are in and out all day – something cold and easy to make was the ideal here.

My interpretation: Lemon- Sesame Salmon Rice Salad



Recipe for Salmon:

4 boneless salmon fillets (each one about 4-6 oz)

Juice from 2 fresh lemons

Salt and Pepper to taste

Sesame Seeds

Lay the fillets on a baking sheet (skin side down), and cover with lemon juice, salt, pepper and a thin, single layer of sesame seeds. ( Too many seeds and some will toast and some won’t) Bake at 350F for approximately 15 mins or until fish is cooked through but not dry. When fish is scraped with a fork, it should flake easily, and should look moist. Cool completely, then remove skin.


Rice with Peas and Carrots

3 C basmati rice, rinsed

5 cups vegetable stock

4 tsp extra virgin olive oil

16 oz package of frozen peas and carrots

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, add all the ingredients except the peas and carrots. Bring almost to a boil, then add peas and carrots. Bring to a boil, stir, then lower to a bare simmer. Cook covered for 25 mins, or until rice is soft. Turn off fire, leave sit for 10 mins, then transfer to a sheet pan. Spread out over sheet pan to cool, breaking any clumps of rice gently with your hands or a wooden spoon.

In a large pan, take the salmon and break into pieces, but do not mash – when you add the rice the fish will further break apart. Add the rice in batches, folding in the fish as you go.  Taste and readjust for seasoning at this point. This recipe makes 1 very full 9×13 disposable aluminum pan.  Refrigerate fully, and serve either cold straight from the fridge or at room temperature.





  1. This is exactly how I cook, especially in the summer. Cold rice (or whole grain), veggies and leftover anything with salad dressing. We eat salmon so often there’s always a new cool salad for us the next day. Good eating.

  2. perfect summer meal!

  3. I love leftover meals, they are my favorite. There have been some leftover dishes that I prefer to the first version.

  4. Tempted to eat that now!

  5. Great way to use up leftover salmon and looks great!

  6. Liked that you are serving it cold. It is perfect for the summer

  7. I haven’t had a cold rice salad, so great to make with leftovers

  8. simple and lovely use of leftovers

  9. You are so creative Sarah! And with leftovers too?! Yum!

  10. I have never made a rice salad, it is time I try it.


  1. […] chose to make our own interpretation of her Lemon Sesame Rice Salad, because it reminded us of a simple rice salad that our mom used to make when we were growing up. […]

Speak Your Mind