Low-Carb Pan Seared Salmon & Kale Salad

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For a light and delicious dinner, you can’t beat this low-carb Pan Seared Salmon & Kale Salad, with a wasabi sesame dressing that is irresistible.

Salmon is one of my favorite types of fish to serve because it has so many different preparations. Its great in a stir fry, or with any type of Asian dressing.

Salmon & Kale

I like to pan-sear salmon fillets and serve them with a light salad, Kale is perfect for this dish because it doesn’t wilt easily when you add a dressing, and it really makes the dish feel substantial, even though it’s quite light.

The dressing for this dish is made with Lee Kum Kee Wasabi-Flavored Sesame Dressing. It’s a great dressing on its own, but I like to add soy sauce to it, to thin it out a bit and tame down the wasabi.

How Do I Massage Kale?

If you’ve never tried this technique before of massaging kale leaves, you definitely have to give it a try. The olive oil and lemon juice tends to roll off the leaves if you skip this step.

What you’re doing is just intentionally rubbing the oil into each leaf, which also helps to break down the fibrous nature of the kale. The resulting salad is much softer and easier to eat than raw kale.

It takes about 3 minutes to properly massage the kale, to get the leaves nice and pliable.

Seared Salmon & Kale Salad

How to Pan Sear the Salmon

Pan searing is an easy and fast way to cook salmon. It takes only around 5 minutes per side to cook a salmon fillet on the stove top.

Salmon is not as delicate as a piece of sea bass or cod, but when it’s overcooked, it really loses its appeal. It gets tough and dry. So it’s important to keep a close eye on it. It should be nice and crisp on the top and bottom, yet barely cooked through in the center.

It takes just 4-5 minutes per side to cook salmon fillets to perfection (depending on thickness). Make sure to salt and pepper both sides of the fish before you place them on the pan.

The pan should be over medium-high heat, and the oil shimmering, before you put in the fillets. Then allow them to sizzle, untouched, for the full 4 minutes before turning them. That’s what creates the perfectly crisp exterior that is so divine.

Add the dressing with a basting brush just at the end of cooking. It only needs 30 seconds to one minute per side to seal in the flavor.

Possible Substitutions

If you’re not into the wasabi sesame dressing, the olive oil and lemon juice is enough to make a great kale salad. The dressing just really boosts the flavor.

If you aren’t a fan of kale, you can use cabbage or spinach instead. I like all three of these versions, but the kale holds up better to the dressing, so it’s still my preference.

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pan seared salmon and kale salad

Pan Seared Salmon & Kale Salad

This low carb pan roasted salmon and kale salad is light and flavorful, perfect for lunch or dinner.
5 from 5 votes
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Kale, Salmon
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 253kcal
Author: Laura


  • 2 tbsp Lee Kum Kee Wasabi Flavored Sesame Dressing
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 12 oz skinless salmon fillet cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 tbsp olive oil divided
  • 4 cups kale leaves tough stems removed
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 2 tbsp slivered almonds
  • sesame seeds for garnish


  • Mix the sesame dressing and soy sauce in a small bowl.
  • Salt and pepper the salmon fillets.
  • Heat half the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering. Place the salmon fillets onto the pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes per side. Brush the fillets with the sesame dressing, liberally on both sides, and cook for 1 more minute per side. Remove from heat.
  • Combine the kale leaves, remaining olive oil and lemon juice in a large bowl. Massage the dressing into the leaves of kale with your hands until the leaves are thoroughly coated. Add the remaining sesame dressing, green onions and slivered almonds to the bowl and stir well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • To plate, add the kale to each plate and top with a piece of salmon. Sprinkle with sesame seeds for garnish.


Calories: 253kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 312mg | Potassium: 810mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 6787IU | Vitamin C: 82mg | Calcium: 128mg | Iron: 2mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Pan Seared Salmon & Kale Salad
Low-Carb Pan Seared Salmon & Kale Salad

6 thoughts on “Low-Carb Pan Seared Salmon & Kale Salad

  1. Alisa Infanti says:

    5 stars
    I am not a huge kale fan on it’s own so I combined it with some cabbage to sweeten it up a bit and it went deliciously with the salmon

    • Laura says:

      You can definitely swap out the kale for cabbage if you don’t like it. However, massaging the kale really does help quite a bit.

  2. Candice says:

    5 stars
    Exactly the healthy freshness we were looking for.. such a delicious recipe! And love how easy it was to make. The salmon came out so flavorful and perfect, and the kale was great!

  3. Marlynn says:

    5 stars
    I love all of the delicious flavors in this dish! And your tips for cooking the salmon are so helpful. Thanks!

  4. Mahy says:

    5 stars
    I was just thinking what to make with my salmon. I have some waiting for the dinner of a lifetime! 🙂 Can’t wait to use your recipe!

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