spicy honey-glazed salmon on a plate

Are you and your family in the mood for something spicy and exciting, yet you, the chef, still want to make sure you provide a lean, healthy protein that will nourish those bodies while tickling those taste buds? Then you’ve got a great recipe on the line with this one. "We love salmon in our house and also chili, so this recipe was a win-win," says chef and recipe developer Susan Olayinka of The Flexible Fridge, adding: "It’s so easy to make and has great flavor."

She’s not being fishy when she calls it as easy one: assuming your fish is fresh or already thawed, this recipe requires all of five minutes of prep time and less than 25 minutes of baking. Do the math, and you’ll find that means less than 30 minutes from the time you step into the kitchen until you’ve got your entrée ready to go. And in the meantime, you can round out the meal with sides. "[The salmon] pairs well with some fresh pasta, or salad, or rice," says Olayinka. And thanks to the quick char you’ll put on the fillets near the end of cooking, the salmon looks great on the plate, too. No one has to know how easy it was, right?

Gather your ingredients

ingredients for spicy honey-glazed salmon

Assuming that you already have the salmon fillets on hand, you probably already have everything else needed for this recipe in your kitchen. All told, it calls for salmon fillets (you figured that out already), sesame seed oil, chopped garlic, red chili flakes (aka red pepper flakes), honey, soy sauce, and salt.

And note that while the portioning as laid out below is for two servings, you can easily scale this recipe up to prepare many fillets at the same time for a dinner party or just to serve your large family.

Prepare the salmon and the glaze

glaze and spices spread on the fish

Start off by preheating the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, then pat the salmon fillets dry. Next chop the garlic and measure out your liquid ingredients and spices.

Now place the salmon fillets in an oven-safe dish (glass or ceramic, and you can use parchment paper if you want to make cleanup a bit easier), and then drizzle over them 2 tablespoons of sesame seed oil, 1 tablespoon of honey, and 1 teaspoon of soy sauce. Then sprinkle over 1 teaspoon of chili flakes, 1/8 of a teaspoon of salt, and those chopped garlic cloves.

Spread seasoning evenly over both side of the salmon fillets with brush, lifting the fish up to get plenty of glaze underneath and on the sides.

Bake then broil the salmon

cooked salmon filets in a dish

Pop the fillets into the warmed oven on a center rack and bake the fish for 20 minutes. Then remove the dish from the oven and quickly use a brush to apply extra marinate from baking pan to the fish (the liquid around the fillets) and then put the dish back in the on the top rack of the oven. Now broil the salmon for 3 minutes to give a charred finish.

Remove the fillets from the oven and garnish them with a sprinkle of additional red chili flakes before serving, then serve and enjoy!

Safe salmon handling tips

a large packaged salmon filet

Salmon is a pretty forgiving fish to cook, overall, but heed Olayinka’s advice when she says: "Not overcooking is key!" Overcooked salmon will be tough and lacking in taste. On the other hand, undercooked fish can be unsafe. (Not looking at you, sushi, we know you have different standards and methods!) For safety, you need your salmon to hit an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit (via: Thermo Meat) when checked with a food thermometer — just keep in mind that meat and fish keep cooking for a bit after pulled from heat, so you can stop the cooking when the thermometer reads a few degrees less than that.

And to defrost frozen salmon, submerge the bagged, sealed fish in cool water, ideally under 40 degrees Fahrenheit, so it can thaw but at temperatures still cool enough to resist bacterial growth (via: Food 52).

Spicy Honey-Glazed Salmon Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seed oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes, plus more for serving
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. Pat the salmon fillets dry.
  3. Place the fillets in an oven-safe dish, then drizzle over them the sesame seed oil, honey, and soy sauce. Then sprinkle the chili flakes, salt, and chopped garlic cloves.
  4. Spread seasoning evenly over both side of the salmon fillets with a brush.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the dish from the oven and use a brush to apply extra marinade from baking pan to the fish.
  7. Then broil the salmon for 3 minutes to give a charred finish.
  8. Remove the salmon from the oven and garnish with additional red chili flakes before serving.

Nutrition

Calories per Serving 990
Total Fat 67.3 g
Saturated Fat 13.1 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 217.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 10.8 g
Dietary Fiber 0.4 g
Total Sugars 8.8 g
Sodium 526.0 mg
Protein 81.5 g