I recently went to glaze my salmon with my usual Sweet and Spicy Salmon Glaze when I realized I was out of soy sauce. The soy sauce gives it a nice deep salty flavor that I knew I would miss if I substituted with regular salt, so I used a hefty sprinkle of this smoked sea salt. We’ve decided that we might like the glaze with smoked sea salt even better than soy sauce!
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A couple of notes on sesame oil and soy sauce. I’ve become a bit of a soy sauce and sesame oil snob. No more store brands for me when it comes to these. When compared to store brand or generic sesame oil or soy sauce, a name brand like Kikkoman Less Sodium Soy Sauce is much, much more flavorful. The store-brand has merely a salty flavor in comparison. Try it side by side and you’ll know what I mean! I like either Kadoya or Sun Luck Pure Sesame oil.Jump to Recipe
I love to cook large pieces of salmon so I can have leftovers to make my quick and easy crispy salmon patties!
My Salmon glaze recipe is really a “non” recipe for me. I just brush on all the ingredients, but I’ve put some ingredient quantities together for you in the recipe below.
Smoky, Sweet & Spicy Salmon (Scroll down for the full recipe card)
- About a half–hour before you need to cook the fish, remove it from the fridge to come to temperature. Start with two large, thick pieces of salmon.
- Sprinkle them generously with fine smoked sea salt on the top and sides.
- Give them a slathering of gochujang sauce and spread it over the top and sides with a pastry brush, or your fingers. (Lately, I’m a huge fan of Chung Jung One Gochujang Korean Chili Sauce (this kind) because it dispenses and spreads easily. The gochujang paste can be pretty thick and harder to spread.)
- Next, sprinkle brown sugar generously over the top and a dusting of granulated garlic.
- Now it needs some vinegary heat, so squirt Sriracha all over the fish and use a pastry brush to mix it and slather all the glaze over the tops and sides of the fish.
- Allow it to sit and marinate until it comes to room temperature, or about twenty minutes or so.
- When you are ready to grill, bake or broil, give the salmon one last brush with the glaze that slid off the fish and give them delicate drizzles of honey and sesame oil. Not a lot, I just zigzag it over the tops. It helps give it those dark crispy edges and caramelized spots on the top, and a hint of sesame flavor!
Smoky, Sweet and Spicy Salmon Sunday Glaze
- Cast iron, salt blocks, a pan to cook salmon in the oven or on the grill.
- Measuring spoons.
- Pastry brush
- Thermometer and/or fork to test for doness
- 10 oz salmon fillets Skin on, two large fillets. (If there is no skin, it will cook much faster!) Cook up large fillets so you have leftovers for salmon patties!
- ¼ tsp smoked sea salt Or enough to generously salt each filet.
- 2 tbsb sriracha Or, you can use all gochujang. You don't really need both hot sauces but we like the combo.
- 1½ tbsp gochujang Or, use all sriracha. You don't really need both hot sauces but we like the combo. I use Sempio *gochujang.
- 1½ tbsp brown sugar Raw, turbinado sugar works fine as well. (sprinkle extra brown sugar on top if you prefer a more sweet than spicy glaze, and a browned, caramelized top)
- 1/2 tsp granulated garlic Optional
- 1 tbsp sesame oil I like Sun Luck or Kadoya sesame oil. They add much more flavor than store brand.
- ½ tbsp honey Optional (also great to drizzle over the top of the glazed raw salmon for a sweeter, less spicy glaze)
- Rinse filets and pat completely dry. Salt each filet generously with smoky sea.
- Mix brown sugar, garlic powder and hot sauce(s) in a bowl or zip-top bag and combine well. (If you don't like a lot of spice, reduce to about ¾ TBSP each hot sauce)
- Brush about 1-2 tbsp of the hot sauce mixture on each salmon filet covering the top and sides. (More or less depending on how thick your fish is.) I like to brush it on and let it sit until it gets to room temperature, or just get the chill off of it for even cooking. (About 20-30 minutes or so.) Add more glaze, or reapply before grilling or baking if desired. A lot will run off.
- Right before you put the fish on to cook, drizzle a bit of sesame oil and honey over the tops. (I prefer Sun Luck or Kadoya sesame oil to this store brand… it's all I had.)
- We use salt blocks on the grill and skin-on salmon fillets. The fillets we get from our fish market are large and thick and stand up beautifully to this glaze. If your fillets are thin, you may want to brush on a lighter amount of glaze.
- Some people like to cook their salmon on lower heat, but we like to get our salt blocks up to 500° before adding the fish, skin side down on the top rack of our grill. You can also put it in a baking dish or rimmed sheet in the oven at 450°-475°. For thick salmon, over an inch thick, you will want to grill it for about 6-7 minutes with the lid closed (NO PEEKING) then check the temp or do the fork test (explained below). Overcooked salmon can be dry, so set a timer!
- *Never-fail salmon fork test: Stick the tines of a fork just over halfway into the fish and hold it there for ten seconds. Remove and carefully tap it on your wrist (our tounge) and if it's nice and warm, the fish is done. If the tines are still cool, cook it a couple minutes at a time checking it with the fork test frequently. Overcooked salmon is not great. The USDA currently recommends 145°, but you may like it more or less cooked. Nice thick filets usually take us anywhere from 10-15 minutes tops. ***Fillets without skin will cook much faster!
Don’t forget to cook extra to make salmon patties tomorrow! What is your favorite salmon recipe? I’d love to see your salmon so #salmonSunday and tag me on Instagram!