Celebrate the warm weather with this flavor-packed jerk salmon recipe! This salmon is light, bursting with flavor, and great as a main or added to your favorite summer salad.
One of my go-to recipes for the family is jerk salmon. I've been making it for years. It's one recipe that even people who don't like fish will eat. I love how it is light, better for you, and so incredibly flavorful.
I usually do it as a dry rub, but this time I turned it into a marinade.
What is jerk salmon
This dish salmon coated in Jamaican jerk seasoning. Typically, jerk seasoning is used to make delicious, moist, and flavor-packed chicken. Here, we take the same principles and apply it to salmon. It is not traditional, but a wonderful way to make a light meal perfect for the warm weather.
The seasoning is a mix of spicy, sweet, and a little aromatic. Typically, I use a dry seasoning, but this time, I decided to go for a thicker marinade to infuse the jerk seasoning throughout the fish.
Ingredients in jerk marinade
My original jerk marinade was a simple one, but over time and lots of tweaking, I found my perfect combination.
- Brown sugar - This adds warm sweetness to the blend.
- Onion powder - One of the foundations of good flavor and a staple.
- Garlic powder - Another foundation flavor.
- Oregano - Adds an earthy aromatic flavor.
- Thyme - Adds an earthy, lemony, and peppery note.
- Cumin - Adds earthy nuttiness.
- Paprika - Adds subtle sweetness and smokiness.
- Allspice - Brings spiciness and aroma with slight sweet and peppery notes.
- Nutmeg - Brings warmth and sweet aromatic notes.
- Cinnamon - Creates a sweet spiciness.
- Cayenne - Brings a nice warm heat.
- Salt & pepper - To enhance the spices
- Oil - This brings the marinade together.
- Lime - Adds a bright citrus flavor and balances the sweetness of the brown sugar.
Why this recipe works
This recipe is great because it takes only minutes to make. It is just a matter of mixing the marinade together and slathering it onto the fish. You can marinade the fish for a few minutes or even half an hour or longer. Even if you decide to cook the salmon immediately, you will have an incredibly flavorful dish.
Your salmon will have a nice caramelized coating of seasoning on the outside which helps trap in the moisture. What is better than a juicy, flaky salmon filet with your meal?
What to serve with jerk salmon
We love to serve our salmon in a lot of different ways. We will have it as our main with lots of roasted vegetables, and a grain like quinoa or brown rice. Other times I will serve it on top of a salad. You can also shred the fish and load up tacos. There is really no limit as to what you can do with your fish!
Lightly grease the grill grate. This will help prevent sticking.
Because of the brown sugar, the outside will caramelize quickly. I recommend not placing the salmon on direct heat. Since the fish darkens quickly, you should check the fish not by the color, but by carefully checking flakiness.
When the fish is finished it should be opaque and very flaky. Be careful to not cut the middle of the fish as it will release all the juices and leave you with a dried-out fish.
You can store fully cooled salmon in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. You cannot freeze the cooked fish.
To reheat, you can use the microwave, or place in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes at 300F.
Grilled Jerk Salmon
- 1 ½ tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ⅓ cup Mazola Corn Oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons lime juice
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 4 salmon fillets
- Clean your grill and preheat.
- Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade except for the Mazola Corn Oil and the lime juice in a small bowl.
- Add the Mazola Corn Oil and lime juice into the bowl and stir well. If the mixture is too thick to coat the fish, you can add water, as needed.
- Coat the salmon fillets top and bottom with the marinade. Set aside for your desired amount of time (note, you can cook the fish immediately, but you should not marinate the fish for longer than 2 hours. If you are marinating the fish for longer, do not preheat your grill until you are ready to grill).
- Prepare your grill grate and place your salmon on the grill.
- Grill for about 5 - 6 minutes per side, or until opaque and flaky. Allow it to rest for a few minutes.
- Serve hot!