One of my favorite things to cook over the fire is salmon, but this time we are going to marinate it and sear it off on the skillet. With this Garlic Soy Marinated Salmon recipe, you will get the savory umami paired with a citrus sweetness that really brightens a skillet cooked fish. It is super easy to make, and when done right, you are left with some crispy salmon skin that is to die for! Garnish it up with sesame seeds and scallions to finish, and let’s dive in!
How to Marinate Salmon
The first big hurdle for this Garlic Soy Marinated Salmon is the marinating part. How do you marinade fish? That is a great question, because it is quite simple. The first step is making a simple marinade. I make this Garlic Soy Marinade with soy sauce, garlic, mirin, ginger paste and a bunch of seasonings. I am shooting for a savory umami flavor that compliments the fattiness of salmon. Once you have the marinade ready to go, add the salmon to a food safe bag or bowl and pour in the marinade. Now, place the salmon into the fridge.
How long should you marinate salmon? This Garlic Soy Marinated Salmon only needs 20-30 minutes to marinate since we are using citrus juice. Most fish can easily marinate overnight if you are not using citrus juice. Since citric acid actually “cooks” seafood (think ceviche), the citric acid in this fish will begin to “cook”: our salmon. We do not want it to sit in the marinade for too long as it will make the fish too soft. You only need 20-30 minutes to get that flavor enhancing boost that the Garlic Soy Marinated Salmon needs.
Let’s cook this Garlic Soy Marinated Salmon
Next, we are going to get our fire hot with a cast iron skillet over top. The big struggle that some people have with fish is having the skin stick to the skillet/grill grate. The way to prevent this from happening is to add the oil right before cooking. Watch for the oil to form into small “ball” looking shapes almost like beads. This means that the oil is hot and is gliding on the top of the skillet; therefore, you salmon should not stick.
Once the skillet is oiled, I add the Garlic Soy Marinated Salmon to cook for 4-5 minutes skin side down. Flip the salmon over and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until it is 130F internal. If you are using wild caught salmon, I recommend only cooking to 120F internal. Most wild salmon won’t have the salmon fat content as other salmon. Once done, pull the salmon off and let rest for 2 minutes. Chop up some scallions and garnish the salmon with that plus lime wedges and some toasted sesame seeds.
This Garlic Soy Marinated Salmon is an easy backyard cook that will leave you wanting me. For me, this was one of my favorite recipes I have made in a while because it is simple and classic. Cheers and enjoy!
Garlic Soy Marinated Salmon
- 6 Salmon Filets
- Chopped Scallions for garnish
- Sesame Seeds for garnish
- Lime Wedges for garnish
Garlic Soy Marinade:
- ¼ cup of Soy Sauce
- 1.5 tbsp of Mirin
- 1.5 tbsp of Minced Garlic
- 1 tbsp of Ginger Paste
- 2.5 tsp of Brown Sugar
- 1 tsp of Sea Salt
- 1 tsp of Pepper
- ½ tsp of Cayenne
- 1 Orange juiced
- 1 Lime juiced
- 1 tbsp of Canola Oil
- In a bowl, mix together all your ingredients for the marinade. Add your salmon to a food safe bowl or bag, then pour the marinade over top. Make sure to mix around thoroughly as to get all parts of the salmon marinated. Marinate the salmon for only 20-30 minutes.
- Preheat your fire for direct grilling (around 400F). Add a skillet over the fire 2 minutes before cooking.
- Right before cooking, add 1 tbsp of canola oil and mix around the skillet. Pull out salmon and discard the excess marinade. Add the salmon to the skillet skin side down and cook for 4-5 minutes. Flip the salmon over and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until it reaches 130F. Once done, pull it off and let rest for 2 minutes.
- Garnish the salmon with sesame seeds, lime wedges and scallions. Serve and enjoy!
Derek is the driving force behind Over the Fire Cooking. He started cooking with live fire in 2016 and decided to start a social media page so his friends and family could follow the journey. Fast forward to today and Over the Fire Cooking has spread across multiple platforms with millions now following Derek’s fire cooking journey. He’s a southern fellow who enjoys everything from classic BBQ to Central and South American inspired dishes. Whatever he’s cooking up, it’s guaranteed to be so freakin’ delicious!