Categories: Eats, Life Style

Firecracker Salmon

Hey, What’s Cookin’?


We’ve talked about the incredible nutritional benefits of salmon in the past. All types of salmon (such as Atlantic, sockeye, Coho, and Chinook) provide a good source of high quality protein and the heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon is fairly low in calories, too.

Just so you know, much of the Atlantic salmon sold in the U.S. is farmed. Read the labels carefully to learn the country of origin (Canada, Chile, Norway, and the U.S.) because laws regarding farming practices vary by country. But be sure to learn where any wild-caught Atlantic salmon comes from as well. There is no U.S. source of wild-caught Atlantic salmon. Commercial fishing for wild Atlantic salmon is prohibited in the U.S. because wild population levels in the eastern U.S. are extremely low.

Although all wild-caught salmon is expensive (and the prices will only increase) buy it if at all possible. The superior taste and nutritional profile of wild-caught salmon makes it worthwhile. But then again, don’t raid your retirement funds just to put salmon on the table!  Just do the best you can. Maybe instead of farmed salmon twice a month, you watch the sales (yes, wild-caught salmon does occasionally go on sale!) and have wild-caught once a month. It’s a reasonable tradeoff!

Whew! Purchasing salmon sure can be complicated. So when you decide to have salmon for dinner, try this recipe for Firecracker Salmon–it’s an uncomplicated way to prepare it, but an incredibly delicious way to eat it!


Firecracker Salmon

Adapted from: a recipe from Taste of Home
Serves: 4


  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs low sodium soy sauce
  • 4 tbs organic chili sauce or ketchup
  • 2-3 tsp sriracha (adjust to suit your heat preference)
  • 2 tsp brown sugar (or brown sugar substitute) 
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 4 6-oz. wild-caught salmon fillets, with skin on
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions, both white and green parts


  1. In a jar with a lid, add the garlic, ginger, olive oil, soy sauce, chili sauce, sriracha, brown sugar, crushed red pepper, smoked paprika, and black pepper. Shake well to combine.
  2. Pour half the marinade into a glass baking pan that will hold all the fillets in one layer. Add the fillets to the marinade, turning to evenly coat them. Refrigerate the remaining marinade.
  3. Cover fillets with plastic wrap and let marinate in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 375° F. Heat an ovenproof skillet over medium heat with a small drizzle of oil.
  5. Sear fillets for 2-3 minutes on both sides, undisturbed, to give them a crust. Remove seared fillets to a plate and repeat with remaining salmon.
  6. Return all fillets to the ovenproof skillet (or an oiled baking dish), skin side down, and brush tops with reserved marinade.
  7. Bake salmon for 8-10 minutes, or until cooked to your preference.
  8. Sprinkle the Firecracker Salmon with scallions and sesame seeds, and serve.


Notes: Would you rather grill the salmon?  Then follow this procedure:

  1. Preheat your grill to approx 400° F (high heat). Use a grill pan meant for fish and vegetables; lightly oil it with safflower oil before use.
  2. Placing the salmon on the grill pan, skin side down and quickly brush tops with reserved marinade.
  3. Cook for 4-5 min until fish flakes easily or is cooked to your preference. Serve sprinkled with scallions and sesame seeds, as above.




Photograph via Pinterest

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