This Sweet & Spicy Garlic Ginger Salmon marries a simple, subtle salmon with garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, fish sauce, and tons of chili flakes. This 20-minute recipe is easy to prepare and make, and I promise you’ll make it repeatedly because you’ll find yourself craving the flavors!

A close up of a cooked slice of salmon with a brown marinade on a metal baking sheet.

After watching my friend LaRae make homemade kimchi, I knew I had to experiment with a salmon recipe that uses those flavors. This recipe is exactly that – kimchi flavors from before the fermentation.

If you want to be a little more adventurous, this recipe is a great way to experiment with more untraditional spices for fish like ginger, chili powder, and brown sugar like in this recipe.

Non-acidic marinades, like the one in this recipe, can be left overnight to infuse the salmon with flavor. Try to use an airtight container if marinating overnight.

Ingredients & Substitutions

To make the sweet and spicy salmon, you will need the following ingredients: soy sauce, red chili powder or flakes, brown sugar, garlic, fish sauce, ginger, olive oil, and salmon.

Ingredients for sweet and spicy salmon including soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, and ginger.

How to Make This Recipe

I have made this recipe with both Copper River Sockeye salmon and Prince William Sound Sockeye salmon and both came out great (links open in a new tab). The Copper River Sockeye is on the big flavor side, and the Prince William Sound Sockeye is on the mild side, so choose your own adventure.

Note: Depending on the type of salmon you use, you will need to adjust the cooking time. Sockeye salmon is one of the thinnest salmon types, so it does cook much faster than other types. And even among sockeye, there is a great variation in thicknesses.

Preheat your oven to 350F.

Then, add the garlic, chili powder, brown sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, ginger, and olive oil to a food processor. Process the ingredients until the garlic and ginger have broken down, and you have a smooth paste. See the photo below.

Note: You can make this marinade up to 1 week in advance. Keep it in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Before and after photos of a brown marinade in a food processor.

Pour the marinade over your sockeye salmon on a large baking sheet. You can also slice the filet into individual serving-sized pieces before serving.

A hand pouring marinade from a jar onto salmon and spreading it with a spoon.

Bake for about twelve minutes, until you see white proteins are starting to release from the salmon.

Before photos of salmon salmon covered in red marinad before and after baking it.

Your salmon should be perfectly cooked, and ready to serve!

A close up of two pieces of cooked salmon on a baking sheet with brown chili sauce.

This all depends on the type of marinade you use. Any marinade that’s acidic, like citrus juice or vinegar, should not be left overnight. These marinades should be applied a maximum of thirty minutes before cooking. Non-acidic marinades, like the one in this recipe, can be left overnight to infuse the salmon with flavor. Try to use an airtight container if marinating overnight.

Sides to Pair with This Salmon

Tried and tested salmon pairings include vegetables like green beans, broccoli, kale, and carrots. Salmon is also tasty served with starch such as potatoes, rice, or orzo. I like to pair this salmon with a simple vegetable side dish so as not to detract from the salmon and marinade!

More Salmon Recipes

Try these wonderful salmon recipes, or check out all my fish recipes here.

Sweet & Spicy Garlic Ginger Salmon

5 from 11 votes
Print Recipe Save
Make this 20-minute sweet and spicy salmon because it's simple to make, but make it over and over again because you'll find yourself craving the flavors. Inspired by kimchi spices, but pre-fermentation.
Prep Time8 minutes
Cook Time12 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Main
Cuisine: American, Asian
Servings: 4
Calories: 577kcal

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs. salmon Sockeye
  • 10  cloves garlic peeled
  • 1/4 cup red pepper flakes Korean chili powder, or shichimi togarashi
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 inches fresh ginger peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Instructions

  • Preheat to 350F.
  • Add the garlic, chili powder, brown sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, ginger, and olive oil to a food processor. Process until the garlic and ginger have broken down.
  • Pour the food processor mixture over the salmon. Bake for ~12 minutes, until the white proteins have released from the salmon.

Notes

You can use this recipe on any type of salmon. However, you will need to adjust the cooking time. Sockeye salmon is one of the thinnest salmon, so it cooks much faster than other salmon. And even among Sockeye salmon, there is a thickness variation.
You can make this marinade up to 1 week in advance. Keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Nutrition

Calories: 577kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 1295mg | Potassium: 1215mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 4452IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 4mg
Did you try this recipe?I’d love to hear what you think! Leave a Review to let us know how it came out, if you have a successful substitution or variation, or anything else.

17 Comments

  1. Salmon is my favourite fish. Ginger is one of my favourite spices. Put them together and I am getting hungry. Perfection.

  2. 5 stars
    I am so glad I decided to try this Sweet and Spicy Salmon, it was just delicious. All the flavors mingled together so nicely . The is a great recipe with an Asian flair I will keep forever.

  3. 5 stars
    Mmm what a great dish! I have to save this for later next time I make salmon…love the sweet and spicy combo and the kimchi inspired heat really kicks this up a notch!

  4. 5 stars
    I went on a salmon buying binge last week and was looking for new recipes to try on them. This is so timely, and we loved it!

  5. 5 stars
    What a winning combination of flavours! I love roasted salmon and I love kimchi. I think they’d go really well together.

  6. 5 stars
    I’m so glad I came across this salmon recipe! It’s just bursting with flavor in every bite, and I love how quick it was to make.

  7. 5 stars
    Gorgeous! And I love the flavor profile this creates of “kimchi before fermentation” – really uniquely delicious idea! I also appreciated some of the great tips here – like not salting your salmon more than about 5 minutes before baking, and also about the albumin as a hint at doneness – really helpful post!

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