Weeknight Cooking

Dinner To(morrow) Night: Smoked Salmon Soba + Butternut Salad

March 28, 2012

Inspiration for tomorrow night's dinner: a painter's palette and a multivitamin, in food form. Bright pinks, oranges, greens aren't just cheering on the plate, they're incredibly good for you! That they're pretty to look at it just icing on the cake. Silk squash ribbons and a wholesome bowlful of meaty salmon and toothsome soba -- why anyone would bother swallowing one of those horse pill vitamins when you should just eat wonderful food is beyond me. 

Let it be noted at the outset -- this is not technically a dinner tonight. It's actually dinner to(morrow) night, because the salmon needs 12 or so hours in the fridge. But get it going tonight while having a little wine and bread and cheese, and have sweet dreams about how lovely tomorrow's dinner will be. Since it takes a little extra planning, plan to make extra! Leftovers make the extra planning even more worth it.

The Menu 

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Hot Smoked Salmon Soba and Asian Greens Salad by cheese1227



Butternut Squash Salad by amanda

The Grocery List

2 small butternut squash
1 pound filet of wild salmon
1 pound buckwheat soba
4 cups of tat soi, spinach leaves, or even pea shoots
A handful of wood chips for smoking

We're assuming that your well-stocked kitchen has mirin, soy sauce, sugar, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, garlic, sherry vinegar, five spice powder, and sesame oil. If you don't, go on out and pick some up! 

The Plan

Let's start out by saying that you mustn't be intimidated by the fact that this salmon is smoked. You can do it! Follow cheese1227's advice and check out this video from the New YorK Times: 3 minutes in, Jill Santopietro shows you how to jimmy rig a smoker in your own kitchen! Hopefully yours is a little bigger than hers.... FUN! Sometimes you should just goof around a little bit with dinner, this meal is one of those times. 


1. Make the squash salad! Have some for dinner, along with other nibbly things from your fridge and cupboads. Like cheese, or something. 

2. Cut the salmon into four even pieces and brine it for one hour. 

3. Remove the salmon from the brine and put it into the fridge. 

4. Watch that home-smoking video, and practice rigging it up!


1. Go about your day, and feel free to brag about the delicious dinner you're going to have tonight. 

2. Arrive home! Smoke your salmon. Feel incredible pride. Marvel at own resourcefulness. 

3. Toss together the soba salad and serve with the leftover butternut squash salad. A beautiful, healthy meal to be proud of. 


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  • Lacy Loar
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Miranda Rake

Written by: Miranda Rake

Miranda is a writer and editor in Portland, OR. She has a sweet, curious toddler, and is passionate about all of the usual things like farmers markets, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and swimming in the sea. She hates leaf blowers and writing in the third person. Until recently, she owned and operated a small jam company, as is typical for a Portland-based millennial like herself.


Lacy L. September 27, 2019
I just received my Demeyere home smoker and I am so excited! The salmon has been marinated, and I bought the wood chips...BUT, do you soak the wood chips? It looks like in the Food52 video you do, but the directions don't specify. On my wood chips package, it says you can do it both ways for the grill, but that is not a stovetop smoker. I would think you DO soak them to get the smoke, but can you please respond and tell me which way to go???? Thanks!
LLStone March 29, 2012
I have everything to make this - including the smoked salmon we smoked the other night. Good idea - I'm doing it tomorrow eve.