Everyone loves how salmon is a naturally flavorful protein. And, thanks to its refreshing and subtle taste, salmon can be even more enhanced with the right ingredients. So, whether you’re making dinner for two, or entertaining a large group, choosing high quality salmon and the right seasoning is key. If you love the flavor of salmon but are also looking for ways to add a little kick to it, you need to know how to season it properly.
This tasty fish is so versatile that it goes with almost any kind of seasoning. You can make a flavor combination as strong or as delicate as you want, with some basic salt and pepper or some bold cajun seasoning. You can do a marinade, a rub, or a sprinkle of curry on top. Choosing the perfect seasoning doesn’t have to be tricky to navigate. So, this post is dedicated to the best ways to season salmon so you can spice it to your heart’s desire!
A complete Guide to The Best Ways to Season salmon
Spices Sprinkled on Top
Sometimes less is more. Sprinkling a few of your favorite spices on top of your salmon can add a rich flavor to your meal. It’s an easy, no-fuss way of enhancing the tastiness of the dish. It delivers great results and it only takes a few minutes to do so. This is a great way to cook your salmon since all you need to do is add your choice of butter, oil, or cooking spray. Then off to a grill and place the seasoned salmon on the skin side. Short cook time, strong flavors, and easy seasoning. That sounds like a deal!
Here are some of the best spices to sprinkle on top of your salmon:
This rustic blend from Louisiana packs a punch, and will make your taste buds tingle. It’s bold, it’s hot, and it goes very well with salmon! Just be careful not to sprinkle a little too much. You might end up craving a couple of gallons of water by the end of the meal.
For a more Eastern flavor, there are several curry blends to choose from. And, thanks to the mix of sweet and savory spice curry offers, it’ll add a unique taste to the dish.
Cumin + smoked hot paprika
This spice combination is for those who crave an earthy flavor that still has a spicy edge to it. The warmth of the cumin mixed with the smokiness of the paprika will add a smoked peppery flavor to the delicate salmon.
Classic salt and pepper + aromatic herbs and lemon
Traditional flavors are timeless, and the taste of fresh herbs with squeezed lemon is hard to beat. The classic salt and pepper combo goes perfectly with the fresh herbs too. Plus, squeeze a little lemon juice or add a few lemon slices on top to add some acidity to the dish and it will make this classic even better! Remember, you can always use kosher salt if you need an alternative.
For more ideas, see this list of the best spices for salmon.
Making a spice rub can be an amazing way of making sure the salmon ends up completely coated with your preferred seasoning. Since the mixture is never too heavy, it doesn’t slow down the baking time and it allows for some robust flavors. For a classic baked salmon recipe, after rubbing the seasoning, you should simply put the salmon fillets into the oven for 10 to 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Easy, peasy!
All you need to do is put your desired spices into a small bowl, along with a dash of olive oil for the moisture, and mix until it turns into a consistent blend. Then get your salmon, rub it with the spices, and let it rest at room temperature for a few minutes. Make sure even the thickest part of the fish gets coated with the seasoning rub, too. The end result should be a thoroughly soaked salmon, with the pinkish meat covered by all of the spices. It’s a simple way of making sure you get the boldest flavors. You’ll find a couple of ideas below!
Sweet and spicy flavor punch
This is a wonderful blend to make into a rub because of the depth it gives to the taste of the fish. You should mix brown or coconut sugar alongside some chili flakes or hot paprika into the small bowl, adding olive oil or melted butter to help it rub onto the salmon better. It’ll be a big hit for any salmon lover!
Subtle rub with garam masala
Garam masala is a spice mix that will add tremendous flavor to the salmon, without overpowering it. Using delicate and earthy hints of coriander, nutmeg, and cardamom, it accentuates the tastiness of the fish while adding a much comforting earthiness to it. It’s perfect for a winter night!
This is a way to season salmon that adds an immense amount of flavor but can take considerably longer to prepare. Leave the salmon to marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to six hours. Its longer prep time makes this option the most suitable for those who like to spend more time in the kitchen. Once the fish is completely marinated, send it straight to the oven or grill and carry on as usual. However, just remember to avoid lemon juice when making a marinade. Its acids can accidentally cook the salmon while it marinates. You’ll find some ideas down below!
Garlic and salmon make for a very tasty pairing, especially if left to marinate for a good amount of time. You can use garlic butter, olive oil, and a little bit of rosemary or other fresh herbs of your choice to make a light and flavorful dish.
Honey and soy marinade
If bold flavors are your personal preference then you should definitely consider combining honey and soy sauce to create an indulgent marinade mix. This blend will caramelize on the surface of the fish, providing the dish with a lovely crunch as a contrast to the softness of the salmon.
Spicy mustard marinade
The sweetness of the mustard goes perfectly with the spiciness of some heavy-duty chili flakes. This combination will provide the fish with an intense flavor, especially if you let it marinate for a couple of hours. Pair this bold blend with a delicious grilled salmon and you will have yourself a home-run!
Glazed Salmon Seasoning
When you want a smooth, creamy, and indulgent texture to add to your salmon, a glaze presents itself as the optimal choice. This way to season salmon will leave it shiny and ready to be enjoyed. You just have to prepare a homemade glaze, brush and coat the fish with it, then cook it in your preferred style. Baking or grilling your salmon when it’s glazed will add a nice texture to it and enhance its flavor!
Honey and garlic glaze
Sweet and savory always match. Pat your salmon fillets dry, add your preferred spices, and broil the fish on the glaze mixture for about 6 minutes. It’s quick, tasty, and leaves the fish tender and sweet!
Who said BBQ was only for red meats? This sauce is perfect for preparing glazed salmon, thanks to its sweet and smoky flavor. It adds a nice tanginess to the subtle taste of the fish. The kids will love it! You can pair the BBQ sauce with soy sauce, for an Asian fusion dish, or honey, for a sweeter hint to your meal.
Glazed Teriyaki salmon
Teriyaki sauce is sweet, earthy, and truly bold. Its strong flavors enhance the natural richness of the salmon, taking an already tasty meal to the next level. This combination is a staple of many restaurants, and as soon as you make it you’ll wonder why it took you so long to cook it.
A tasty sauce can be added to any already baked salmon. It’s amazing how the sauce runs through the tender and warm meat, inviting you to your meal. This way of seasoning adds a lot of flavors and a creamy texture to any salmon dish. This makes it the perfect companion for your next meal. Here are some of the best ones!
Lemon and butter sauce
The acidity of the lemon, paired with the softness of the melted butter, makes for a fresh and creamy pairing. It’s the perfect sauce for a not-so-cold day when you want a little warmth that doesn’t feel too heavy.
Creamy white wine sauce
If you like to add a little booze to your meals, consider trying a white wine sauce, as it pairs nicely with the delicious salmon. You can add aromatic herbs and a tad of Parmesan cheese to make it a fresh yet indulgent combination. You’ll quickly add a nice flavorful kick to your fish!
Which way to season salmon do you enjoy the most?
We hope that you’ve learned a little about the best ways to season salmon. Hopefully, you decided to get adventurous in the kitchen to figure out your favorite. However, it’s okay to love them all, though! Each way of seasoning is different and might work the best at specific times of the year. It all depends on your personal taste and seasoning preferences!
Feel free to try out any of the ideas featured in this post and let us know if you enjoyed them. Remember you can always search for more salmon recipes here on the BluGlacier blog.
Happy seasoning, everyone!