Salmon is a widely liked oily fish that boasts a rich content of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. There are so many dishes that utilize salmon and among them, a good broiled salmon recipe is well-sought after, and that’s what I’m here to provide you with.
Despite the overwhelming popularity, it’s an easy and quick weeknight meal, date night too! It’s an elegant meal done in 10-15 minutes including prep time and broiling. So, come learn my favorite recipe for broiled salmon, and you won’t be bored at all!
The Reason You Will Love Broiled Salmon
Salmon boasts the ability to increase your serotonin level that promotes “good mood” and protects the nervous system. Moreover, its high content of vitamin B assists in improving psychological health. Additionally, salmon is one of the most multitasking proteins which is also enriched in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Broiled salmon is easy to cook and delicious at the same time.
Its crumbly layered crust is full of various textures, whereas the inside will amaze you with tenderness. The moist fillet is such a mouthwatering dish and at the same time a healthy meal for lunch and dinner. Even for the people who are struggling with their health and weight loss journey, eating this healthy, low-calorie fish is also on par with clean diets like keto, low-carb, gluten-free, paleo, etc.
That’s because broiled salmon helps to control hormones and regulate appetite. Although additional sides, sauces, etc. make this dish more eye-catchy and improves satiety, they also increase the calorie and fat content and that lowers the healthy factor of broiled salmon. For the best broiled salmon recipe make sure you don’t add any unnecessary extras.
How to Choose Fresh Raw Salmon?
While shopping salmon for the “broiled salmon” dish, wild ones are the most suitable as they are enriched with high omega-3 oil content. Another reason to pick wild salmon without worries is that since you will cook it for a prolonged period, parasites would not be a concern. You can easily distinguish between reddish-pink wild salmon flesh and light pink or orange hued farmed salmon flesh.
Though wild salmon is a bit more expensive, the price is worth it. I prefer chinook, sockeye, or coho salmons for this dish. Keep in mind that you should not buy a salmon that has grayish flesh and a sour fishy smell. Fresh salmon should smell like a sea-breeze, just slightly salty and fishy. You should check out other ways to tell if the salmon has gone bad.
Also Read: Best Grill Pan Reviews for Your Kitchen
Is It Better to Broil or Bake?
Baking salmon could mean you end up with an overcooked and dry fish. This also takes a longer time. However, by taking the broiling path, the tenderness and juiciness remains the same. This juicy taste is maintained because the salmon is cooked directly from the heating element on top of the oven, sizzling it until bronzed. This bronzing boosts the salmon’s taste immensely.
While broiling salmon it will change from translucent(red/raw) to turbid (pink) as it cooks. Broiling is different from baking, where hot air cooks the food and heat is transferred inefficiently. Though some experts suggest baking then broiling to keep the protein itself. Salmon’s fat content makes it an ideal fish for broiling and you shouldn’t miss the chance.
Additionally, you might have a question: “Do you keep the skin on when broiling salmon?” The skin of the salmon always adds an extra layer of flavor to the dish. Moreover, it will season the fillet and will also seal all of the juices while broiling it. As a result, you end up with a fragrant, melt-in-mouth dish of broiled salmon.
How Do You Broil Salmon?
There are only two simple steps to this dish:
- Marinade: combine all the coating ingredients and gently toss with salmon
- Broil: broil with the skin side down until cooked (as per recipe)
The Best Temperature for Broiling Salmon
Ideally, 500-550℉ is the standard heat but if it’s set at 450℉ that will also work. But any top rated broiled salmon recipe will tell you to go with high heat as it gives the best output. Make sure to use an oven thermometer to check that the heat is just right before you pop the salmon fillets in it.
The key to this juicy mouth watering dish is this high heat from the top of the oven. The lovely bronzed caramelized texture that forms on top of the salmon that looks so delightful also indicates that the fish is cooked properly.
How Long Do You Broil Salmon?
The average time it takes to broil salmon is 8-12 minutes, but you also need to check by yourself whether it has cooked thoroughly or not. By 10 minutes, you should be checking with a sharp and thin knife poked into the thickest part of the fillet.
Let me remind you of one thing: broiling is a more rapid process than baking, therefore there’s a possibility that you’ll burn your salmon at a moment’s inattention. Since this takes little time, try to keep an eye on the fish constantly.
How Do We Know When the Salmon Is Done?
When the flesh of the salmon fillet goes from the consistency of firm, raw flesh to soft cooked meat and also shreds easily with a fork, then you can say the salmon is considered as cooked. Additionally, bronzing on top of the salmon means that it has achieved the desired flavor.
Usually fish takes less time to cook than meat. So, there is nothing to worry about if guests show up without any prior notice, you can just start on the broiled salmon dish while they’re finishing up their drink. By the time they’re looking peckish, your main dish will be steaming and ready.
Recipe of Broiled Salmon: Cooking Steps
The recipe I’ve got for you today would serve 4 people. Prepping for it would take as little as 5 minutes, and broiling would take up to 15. Within less than half an hour, you’d end up with a hearty American main dish. What’s better, despite using fatty fish in this easy broiled salmon recipe, each serving of this dish only contains as little as 274kcal.
Tools Needed to Broil Salmon
- A sheet pan to broil the salmon fillets
- A mixing bowl
- Cooking spray or silicone brush for greasing
- Serving plates
- A sharpened knife and an accompanying chopping board to chop and mince herbs
- 4 freshly picked salmon fillets (with or without skin)
- 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil/vegetable oil.
- 11/2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 11/2 tablespoon soy sauce (normal)
- 1/2 teaspoon zested lemon peel
- 2 teaspoon juice of a fresh lemon
- 2 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley (you may add extra for garnish)
- 11/2 teaspoons fresh thyme/rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon of table salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper for spiciness
- 1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
- For garnish: uniform wedges of fresh and vibrant lemon
Making the Marinade for a Simple Broiled Salmon Recipe
If you cook regularly or have an inherent love for the art, you know that a good marinade can change the whole look and taste of a dish. For this reason, make sure you pay close attention to how I mix the marinade for broiling salmon.
Take your mixing bowl and pour the extra virgin olive oil, brown sugar, soy sauce, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper, and garlic in it. Simply mix them together so the marinade is as homogenous as possible without any obvious lumps.
Aside from mixing it with care, also pick the ingredients with the attention they deserve. I make sure to buy only the freshest lemons and zest and squeeze out the lemon juice myself. I also just grab most of the herbs from my own potted herb garden, so they’re the freshest!
Onto the Broiling
- Firstly, make sure you set your broiler to preheat.
- Now, prep your sheet pan or broiler pan. You can either use a cooking spray to grease it, or use a silicone brush dipped in oil to do it.
- In the next step, make sure to mix the marinade.
- Place the uniformly thick salmon fillets into the mixing bowl and carefully coat them in the marinade. There’s no need to let the fillets sit on the mixture. You can proceed to broiling.
- Next, place the salmon fillets onto a prepared sheet pan. Broil them for 8-12 minutes, or until the salmon is bronzed and glazed. Lastly, garnish with chopped parsley and lemon wedges.
- Garnish this lovely dish with thyme/chopped coriander/rosemary sprinkles and lemon slices.
- Finally, serve this dish with sides like rice, spaghetti, pasta, veggies, etc.
Garnish and Serving
Nowadays, rather than savoring the taste, most people worry about how their dish is going to look as an instagram post. While I find that the taste of a dish is the top priority, I can’t deny that good presentation only enhances the taste, and garnishing has a large part to play there.
To serve this dish, I would suggest using either a clear plate or a solid colored plate. A subtly marbled, mild colored plate would work as well. On top of this neutrally colored plate, the pink of salmon, yellow of the lemon and the green of the garnish would pop wonderfully.
You can serve this on top of carb sides. Make use of your electric spiralizer and make some zoodles that would look wonderful under the cooked fish. Or, you could go the traditional way and place the fillets on top of a bed of lettuce with your favorite salad toppers.
What to Serve With Broiled Salmon?
Different types of carbs such as sesame rice, basmati rice pilaf, mushroom risotto, cilantro lime rice dishes, spaghetti, linguine, light lemon pesto pasta etc. are the most common sides served with this broiled salmon. However, if you’re not looking for carb-laden sides then Asian coleslaw, French-inspired potato salad, buttery garlic beans, cauliflower tabbouleh etc.
Asian cucumber and peanut salad all are also good in combination with broiled salmon. If you totally want to forgo carbs, here are my favorite vegetables to serve with broiled salmon:
- Roasted or steamed broccoli
- Green beans sauteed with lemon and garlic
- Roasted Brussels sprouts
- Baked asparagus
Variations of Broiled Salmon
Who doesn’t love the variation of a meal? it can be boring sometimes to eat the same dish in the same way. Also, sometimes I crave the intense punch of a specific flavor, such as lime zest, chili or garlic, in which case I add or increase that ingredient in the recipe. There are also some popular variations of broiled salmon, such as:
Mexican-style: The process is the same as the normal broiled salmon, however the marinade mix is slightly different. Aside from the ingredients I’ve listed already, chili powder, cumin, paprika, onion powder, and garlic salt should be added to the mixture to your taste.
Asian style: This also uses a different marinade. Add honey, rice vinegar, grated ginger, sriracha, ground black pepper, sesame seeds, etc. could be added to the marinade.
Cilantro lime: use lime zest, lime juice instead of lemon and replace thyme with cilantro for a fresher, sharper tasting broiled salmon.
Quick Tips for Broiling Salmon
- To make sure you don’t have to prepare the marinade anew every time you crave broiled salmon, prepare the marinade in bulk and pour in an ice cube tray. Just pop out one of the cubes before you cook, thaw it and marinade the fillets with it.
- If you don’t want the skin on the salmon, use a skinning knife to take it off. Start from an inch off the edge and start cutting the skin only with a sharp knife. Grab the skin with a paper towel, and get under the flesh and point the knife slightly at a downward angle, and peel the skin away from yourself in a zigzag motion.
- There’s another way to remove the skin- by cooking. When you cook the salmon in a frying pan, the skin peels off after a few minutes of frying. But that’s not pertinent to this broiled salmon recipe.
- Once you’re done cooking, broiled salmon can be preserved in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days. I personally prefer to store broiled salmon in a class container.
- Additionally, marinated fillets can sometimes be stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours if you forgo the lemon juice. However, if the marinade contains lemon juice, it’s unwise to store it for more than 30 minutes.
- To reheat your broiled salmon, place it in the microwave along with a small pot of water on the side. This water will steam and make sure the salmon is not overcooked or dried out.
- If you’re wondering whether to flip the salmon, the easy answer is no, it doesn’t need to be flipped to ensure even cooking. However, you might want to flip if this is your first time cooking this dish and you’re worried about burning one side.
Do you know why I absolutely love this simple, hearty broiled salmon recipe? Because it’s so easily customizable! You can change the marinade ingredients and proportions to give it a more personal touch, and serving it with different sides makes it taste like a whole new dish!
Aside from that, it’s such a healthy dish because it uses less oil than frying, and swapping out carbs with vegetables means you can look forward to losing a few inches off your waistline! That said, what’s your favorite variation and sides to serve with broiled salmon? Come on, tell me!
Lastly, you can also use my tips to garnish the broiled salmon to your heart’s content and turn it into an instagrammable dish. Aesthetic, healthy and tasty, what more do you need from a recipe?