The evidence for the neuroprotective benefits of dietary omega-3 fatty acids continues to mount. A recent MRI study found that older women with higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in salmon and other cold water fish, had more brain volume and suffered less cognitive decline than women with low blood levels of omega-3s. (For more information about the proven brain benefits of salmon and other omega-3 fish, and additional recipes featuring these fish, read this.)

Here is a simple but delicious recipe for wild salmon fillets that also incorporates sesame seeds and sesame oil, which have brain benefits as well. Lipophilic antioxidants such as those found in sesame seeds and sesame oil are expected to contribute to the prevention of age-related diseases. Sesame seeds are also a good source of the lignans found in flaxseed.

RECIPE FOR BRAIN HEALTH: Soy and Sesame Wild Salmon
serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs wild salmon fillet
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp roasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tsps canola oil
  • 1 scallion, chopped (for garnish)

Directions: 

  • In a bowl, mix together soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil, grated ginger, and sesame seeds with 2 tablespoons water.
  • Put salmon in a lidded container and pour 2/3 of the marinade mixture into the container. Reserve remaining marinade. Close the lid and shake gently, making sure the marinade has covered entire salmon. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • Heat frying pan coated with canola oil over high heat. Add salmon and lower the heat to medium. Cook for 5-6 minutes, until salmon is no longer translucent. Flip with tongs and continue cooking the other side, for another 5 minutes.
  • Pour remaining marinade into the pan. Cook over low heat until sauce has evaporated.
  • Remove from pan and serve with chopped scallions on top.

This recipe originally appeared in the ThinkFood cookbook and was created by Esther Chai of Ambitious Deliciousness.

For dozens more brain healthy recipes and information about brain healthy foods, check out this in-depth brain food and recipes section of our website!