Asian Salmon

Asian Salmon with the best Asian glaze!

This Asian Salmon recipe is sweet and spicy, tender, juicy and packed with flavor from a marinade that doubles as the Asian glaze – NO DOUBLE WORK; and my favorite part – it’s complemented by bright, refreshing  Blueberry Salsa! This Asian Salmon recipe is easy, healthy and makes a fabulous every day dinner but is crazy delicious enough for company!

Asian Salmon on a plate with sticky Asian glaze

Asian Salmon Recipe

This Asian Salmon is one of many salmon recipes I have coming your way!

When I was 14, my family took a vacation to Alaska.  It is one of the most gorgeous places I have ever seen – so picture perfect – crystal clear water, sprawling blue skies, mountains blanketed in trees as far as you can see, even dolphins jumping in the otherwise calm ocean.   Once my parents tasted a piece of this icelandic heaven, they have returned every year to go fishing.   In fact, they will just be landing back home when this posts.   And with them will be boxes of salmon.

Before they flew to Alaska, they needed to make room in their freezer for their new captures, so I was more than happy to relocate their remaining Alaskan salmon and create THIS Asian Salmon Recipe.

This Sticky Asian Salmon recipe is pretty much amazing.  And pretty much more delicious than the best restaurant salmon you have ever tasted.  Now, I realize that’s a tall claim.  But I stand by it.  You’re just going to have to trust me until you make it yourself :).

top view of  Asian Salmon fillet on a square plate

Sticky GLAZE for Asian Salmon

The Asian Salmon is what it is due to the enticing Asian Sticky Sauce.  It is made with apricot preserves, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, brown sugar and sriracha = LOVE!   I may or may not have licked my plate clean.

Ingredients for Sticky Asian Glaze:

  • Apricot preserves:  they are my secret ingredient in many sauces as they offer subtle fruity flavor instead of just adding more sugar. 
  • Soy sauce:  please use less sodium soy sauce so your Asian Salmon isn’t too salty.  You may substitute tamari for gluten free sauce. 
  • Rice vinegar: use unseasoned rice vinegar for best result. 
  • Sesame oil: adds a nutty sesame flavor.  You can find sesame oil in the Asian section of your grocery store. 
  • Brown sugar:  is the sweet ying to the soy and rice vinegar yang.
  • Asian chili sauce you can use Sambal Oelek or Sriracha.  Use more or less to taste. 
  • Seasonings:  Garlic powder, onion powder, ground ginger and pepper round out our sticky Asian sauce with their complex flavors.

What to Serve with Asian Salmon

The Asian Salmon slathered in plate licking worthy sauce is complimented, brightened, and enhanced by the sweet, refreshing easy salsa of blueberries, pineapple and red bell peppers mixed with a smidgen of apricot preserves.  Please make them together  because the multi-dimensional sweet and spicy salmon with the fresh salsa make each other better – even if you didn’t think it was possible!

This  Sweet and Spicy Asian Salmon with Blueberry Pineapple Salsa will make you feel as if you’ve been transported to the finest restaurant in Alaska, eating the finest fish prepared by the finest cook – AKA -you!  From personal experience, it may or may not leave you licking your plate clean.

Asian Salmon is also delicious with rice, Asian noodles, stir fried vegetables or Asian Salad.

front view of Asian Salmon dinner with blueberry salsa

How to make Asian Salmon

  • Make Asian salmon marinade.  Whisk together all of the marinade/sauce ingredients EXCEPT for the cornstarch. Add ⅓ cup of marinade to a freezer bag with salmon. Reserve the rest to make the glaze.
  • Let salmon come to room temperature.  Marinate salmon at room temperature for 30 minutes.  This allows the salmon to come to room temperature so it will cook evenly. 
  • Pat off excess marinade. Pat salmon dry with paper towels before adding to the skillet because moist salmon are more likely to stick to the pan.
  • Wait for a hot pan:  Heat ½ tablespoon sesame oil in a nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until the oil is shimmering but not smoking.  A hot pan doesn’t mean high heat, otherwise your salmon will burn on the outside and remain raw on the inside.  Instead, a hot pan means waiting until your pan is hot before anything touches the pan.  A hot pan keeps the salmon crispy on the outside and seals in the moisture.
  • Transfer salmon to oven.  I love searing my salmon on the stove then transferring it to the oven.  This method produces BOTH a caramelized seared crust and evenly baked salmon. If you don’t have an oven proof nonstick skillet, you may use a regular nonstick skillet and transfer fish to baking pan lined with foil after searing.
  • Bake salmon. Bake salmon until the salmon reaches an internal temperature of 130-135°F and is slightly firm to the touch, about 4 to 7 minutes, depending on thickness. Remove salmon to a plate, and tent with foil while you prepare the sticky Asian Glaze.
  • Make Sticky Asian Glaze. Whisk in 2 teaspoons cornstarch to reserved marinade/sauce then add sauce to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until thickened. Spoon sauce over Asian Salmon and with salsa.
side view of best Asian Salmon with sticky Asian sauce

Helpful Tips for Asian Salmon Recipe

Should I leave the skin on my salmon? 

Salmon skin is completely safe to eat.  In fact, the skin contains more of the same minerals and nutrients contained in salmon, so it is highly nutritious. It is up to you if you leave the skin on or off or purchase skinless salmon.  If you purchase salmon with the skin on, you should sear it with skin side up first, then flip it skin side down.  This way it goes into the oven with the skin side down which will protect the salmon from drying out.

Do I have to rinse my salmon first?  

Actually, you should NOT rinse your fish before baking!  The USDA cautions: “do not rinse raw fish, seafood, meat, and poultry. Bacteria in these raw juices can splash and spread to other foods and surfaces. Cooking foods thoroughly will kill harmful bacteria.”

WHAT PAN SHOULD I USE TO COOK ASIAN SALMON?

I prefer to use a nonstick skillet because the salmon can become sticky due to the Asian marinade.  You may also use well seasoned cast iron skillet or any heavy duty bottom pan.  Stainless still is probably the trickiest because the salmon is more likely to stick.

How to Keep Salmon from Falling Apart?

Let your salmon cook undisturbed so it can sear properly and develop the charred, caramelized crust.  After the maillard reaction takes place, the caramelization will make the salmon automatically detach from the pan. Don’t disturb the salmon before this reaction or it will fall apart.

Can I Make Asian Sticky Sauce Ahead of Time?

Absolutely!  You can whisk together the Asian Sauce ingredients and store, covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  Do not add salmon to the marinade until ready to cook.

CAN YOU FREEZE COOKED SALMON FILLET?

Yes!  If you have leftover Asian Salmon, you can freeze it for up to 3 months.  To freeze, place salmon fillet in a freezer size, bag, squeeze out excess air to preserve freezer burn, label and freeze.  When ready to use, defrost salmon completely in the refrigerator before reheating in the oven or grill.

Can you eat salmon while pregnant?

BAKED Salmon is safe to eat during pregnancy but pregnant women should not eat raw salmon, including sushi.  They should also take care when handling raw salmon because raw fish can contain harmful bacteria and even parasites.

Looking for more Salmon Recipes?

top view of spicy Asian Salmon recipe

Sweet and Spicy Asian Salmon with Blueberry Pineapple Salsa

This Asian Salmon recipe is sweet and spicy, tender, juicy and packed with flavor from a marinade that doubles as the Asian glaze – NO DOUBLE WORK; and my favorite part – it’s complemented by bright, refreshing  Blueberry Salsa! This Asian Salmon recipe is easy, healthy and makes a fabulous every day dinner but is crazy delicious enough for company!
Servings: 3 -4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 9 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound salmon fillets

Sweet and Spicy Marinade/Sauce

Easy Blueberry Pineapple Salsa

  • 6 ounces blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 5 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon apricot preserves, melted

Instructions

  • Whisk together all of the marinade/sauce ingredients EXCEPT for the cornstarch. Add ⅓ cup of marinade to a freezer bag with salmon. Reserve the rest. Marinate salmon at room temperature 60 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the salsa by tossing all the salsa ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Refrigerate.
  • OVEN DIRECTIONS: When ready to cook, heat oven to 425°F. Heat ½ tablespoon sesame oil in a nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat (you may use a regular nonstick skillet and transfer fish to baking pan lined with foil after searing). Pat salmon dry and add salmon to skillet; sear for 1-2 minutes per side. When well browned on each side, transfer the skillet to the oven.
  • Roast until the salmon reaches an internal temperature of 135°F and is slightly firm to the touch, about 4 to 7 min, depending on thickness. Remove salmon to a plate, and tent with foil while you prepare the sauce.
  • GRILL DIRECTIONS
  • Lightly grease grill and heat grill to medium heat. Pat salmon dry. (If salmon has skin, remove skin after grilling). Grill, uncovered, for 4 to 6 minutes per 1/2-inch thickness or until fish begins to flake when tested with a fork. Turn the fish once halfway through grilling. When done, remove from grill and let rest while you prepare the sauce.
  • To prepare the sauce, whisk in 2 teaspoons cornstarch to reserved marinade/sauce then add sauce to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until thickened. Spoon sauce over fish then top with salsa.

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30 Comments

  1. Sophia @ NY Foodgasm says

    OMG REAL Alaska Salmon that is amazing! You live such an interesting life, it is so cool your parents are in Alaska! I never eat Salmon, have never been much of a fish person, but I think I would like this! You are ever so talented Jennifer!

    • Jen says

      Thanks Sophia! If you don’t usually eat salmon, this recipe is a great one to try because its so much more than just “fish.” I think you would like it! Thanks as always or your kind words, you are awesome!!

  2. Melissa Smith says

    I would have never thought about this kind of pairing in a million years. But oh my word does it look good! Definitely trying out this weekend since I was going to pick up some salmon this weekend anyways.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Melissa! I hope you do end up making it this weekend, you won’t be disapointed! Please let me know how you like it!

  3. Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life says

    That is some serious deliciousness! We are going to Alaska next month and I am hoping for some good salmon while I am there! Pinning and sharing! If you have a free moment, I would love it if you would come link it up with us at Foodie Fridays!

    • Jen says

      Hi Michelle, I’m going through old emails and I don’t know how I missed your comment. sorry about that! I hope you have a fabulous time in Alaska! And thanks for pinning/sharing! I would love to link up at Foodie Fridays, thank you so much for the invite!

  4. Rach @ EazyPeazyMealz says

    Jen, I think I know you! I am from Ramona, and friends with Ashley (Ashton) Olsen. I am almost positive you are the Jen Sabin I know. Anyway, lovely blog. Awesome recipe. Pinned. New follower.

    • Jen says

      Rachel, yes, that’s me!!! I’m sending you a PM right now 🙂

    • Jen says

      Yes, the fruit by itself is super delicoius! I was doing the same thing! You’ll love this combo!

  5. Jessica P says

    That blueberry pineapple salsa looks amazing!

  6. Amy says

    We had your Sweet and Spicy Asian Salmon tonight. Everyone LOVED it!!! Wecooked it outside on the grill and it was just delicious. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Jen says

      I am always excited to hear when someone likes one of my recipes and especially excited when they are the first to comment and let me know – like you! Thank you for bringing a big smile to my face this morning! I am so happy everyone loved it and I be it is delicoius grilled!

  7. Krysta says

    Making this right now! Found the recipe on Pinterest last night and knew it was something I would love. My salmon is marinating as we speak!

    • Jen says

      Awesome Krysta! So happy you are making this. Let me know how it turns out!

  8. Jeni says

    So many delicious summer flavors! I am so excited to try this!

    • Jen says

      Thanks Jeni! Yes, perfect for summer. Can’t wait to hear after you try it!

  9. Carrie B says

    Hi Jen, new follower and I also live in Carlsbad! I am going to get the ingredients for this recipe to make tonight, it looks amazing! Have a great day!

    • Jen says

      Hi Carrie, that is so cool you live in Carlsbad! I am so happy you found my blog, welcome! I am heading to the store too, maybe I’ll run into you 🙂 Can’t wait to hear how the salmon turns out, hope you love it!

    • Jen says

      Hi Ellie! Yes, the blueberries with the sweet and spicy salmon are an AMAZING combo! I hope you love it!

  10. Alyssa says

    What could I use instead of apricot preserves? I don’t have that on hand.

    • Jen says

      Hi Alyssa! Apricot preserves are a major part of the sauce so using anything else would change the recipe. You could try orange/pineapple preserves if you have them but it will not taste exactly the same. Sorry I can’t be of more help!

  11. pam says

    This looks amazing. I’m curious to what you served as sides with this? I’m thinking a simple rice pilaf , and possibly a salad or vegetable?

    • Jen says

      Hi Pam, I think your suggestions of rice pilaf and salad and vegetable sound perfect! Bok choy with be great, stir fried carrots, broccoli and/or peppers, coconut rice and if you want to get more adventurous, here is a link to my Asian Salad: https://carlsbadcravings.com/asian-salad-recipe/

  12. Kathi says

    This is a marvelous dish! I made this evening for dinner and my husband and I just loved it! Salmon is a favorite of ours and eat it a lot, so always looking for new recipes. This is better than any restaurant! Thank you again for another wonderful dish! I’ve made so many of your recipes and each one has been awesome!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment Kathi, I’m honored you’re loving my recipes! I’m so pleased this Asian salmon was another hit!

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