This jerk salmon recipe is huge on flavor and easy to make with salmon fillets marinated in a spicy Jamaican jerk marinade then pan seared.
Looking for an easy salmon recipe that will absolutely WOW you with flavor? Look no further than this incredible Jerk Salmon, my friends. You are going to love this one.
This jerk salmon recipe is made with thick cut fillets of salmon that we marinate in a vibrant, fragrant, spicy Jamaican jerk marinade that develops tons of addictive flavor.
Scotch bonnet peppers are key here, with their fiery heat and fruity flavor, adding so much to the overall spiciness of the dish. Spicy food lovers will rejoice when they try this salmon.
Whipping the jerk marinade together is as simple as tossing everything into a food process or blender. Just pour the marinade over the salmon, then pan sear the fillets until they're done to your liking. You can also bake the salmon if you prefer.
I like skin-on salmon fillets, as I love the crispy skin that is nicely seared in a good, hot cast iron pan. I also love to toss in cherry tomatoes and extra peppers to blister them up for serving alongside the salmon.
It's a quick and easy weeknight meal for you, one you'll find yourself returning to over and over again. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Let's talk about how we make jerk salmon, shall we?
Jerk Salmon Ingredients
FOR THE JERK MARINADE
- Scotch Bonnet Peppers. These add a fruity flavor as well as a level of fiery heat. Use habanero peppers as a substitute.
- Vegetables. Red onion, garlic, scallions.
- Liquids. Soy sauce, vinegar (use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar to your preference), olive oil, orange juice, lime juice.
- Spices. Ginger, brown sugar, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, thyme, salt and black pepper.
- FOR THE SALMON
- Salmon Fillets. Skin on. This recipe also works with skinned salmon fillets or whole salmon.
- Olive Oil. For cooking.
- Extras. Cherry tomatoes, extra Scotch Bonnet peppers, fresh chopped herbs, spicy chili flakes.
How to Make Jerk Salmon - the Recipe Method
Make the Jerk Marinade. For the marinade, add all of the ingredients to a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
Marinate the Salmon. Score parallel lines across the salmon skin with a sharp knife. Set it into a large dish. Pour the jerk marinade over the salmon and rub it into the flesh. Cover and marinate for 2 hours in the refrigerator. When ready to cook, remove salmon, tap off any excess marinade, and discard the marinade.
Sear the Jerk Salmon. Heat a large cast iron pan or skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add cherry tomatoes and whole Scotch bonnet peppers to the pan and stir. Sear the salmon, skin side down, for 6-7 minutes, or until the fat begins to render and the skin becomes crispy.
Flip the Salmon. Stir the tomatoes and peppers. Flip the salmon and cook the salmon another 6-7 minutes, or until salmon cooks through to your liking.
Garnish and Serve. Garnish with chili flakes and fresh herbs and serve.
Boom! Done! Your jerk salmon is ready to serve! Looks delicious, doesn't it? You'll get a lot of amazing spicy flavor from the jerk marinade, particularly with the fiery Scotch bonnet peppers, which I love. Wonderful heat level.
Recipe Tips & Notes
- Internal Temperature. Salmon should have an a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees F when measured with a meat thermometer.
- Heat Factor. Medium-Hot. Scotch Bonnet peppers have a wonderful fruity flavor and high heat level equivalent to habanero peppers, which you can use in place of the Scotch bonnets. Core out the peppers for lower heat, or omit them if desired for much less spiciness. You can include more if you'd like. I love them.
- Baking Method. You can also bake the salmon on a baking sheet or in a baking dish in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes with some of the marinade, tomatoes and peppers, until cooked through.
- Serving. I love to serve mine with a side of rice, like Jamaican Rice and Peas. Absolutely delicious combination.
That's it, my friends. I hope you enjoy my jerk salmon recipe. So good! Let me know if you make it. I'd love to hear how it turned out for you. We really love this recipe. Keep it spicy!
If you’d like to learn more about Jamaican cooking, check out the following books, which I have found to be educational and informative. They inspired this recipe.
- Original Flava, Caribbean Recipes from Home, by Craig and Shaun McAnuff (affiliate link, my friends!)
- Jamaican Cookbook – Traditional Jamaican Recipes Made Easy (affiliate link, my friends!) – No photos, but easy to follow with some good recipes.
Try Some of These Other Jamaican Inspired Recipes
- Jamaican Jerk Chicken
- Jamaican Curry Chicken
- Jamaican Jerk Seasoning
- Jerk Marinade
- Sazon Seasoning
- Jamaican Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce
- Rasta Pasta
Try Some of My Other Popular Salmon Recipes
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Jerk Salmon Recipe
FOR THE JERK MARINADE
- 4-6 Scotch Bonnet peppers chopped
- 1 small red onion chopped
- 4-6 garlic cloves chopped
- 4 stalks scallions ends trimmed
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup vinegar use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar to your preference
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Juice from 1 large orange about ¾ cup orange juice
- Juice from half a lime
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme or use fresh if available
- Salt and pepper to taste I usually use 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon black pepper
FOR THE SALMON
- 4 6-ounce salmon fillets skin-on
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- Extra Scotch Bonnet peppers, or use habanero peppers
- Fresh chopped herbs, spicy chili flakes
- For the marinade, add all of the ingredients to a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
- Score parallel lines across the salmon skin with a sharp knife. Set it into a large dish.
- Pour the jerk marinade over the salmon and rub it into the flesh. Cover and marinate for 2 hours in the refrigerator.
- When ready to cook, remove salmon, tap off any excess marinade, and discard the marinade.
- Heat a large cast iron pan to medium-high heat and add the olive oil.
- Add cherry tomatoes and whole Scotch bonnet peppers to the pan and stir.
- Sear the salmon, skin side down, for 6-7 minutes, or until the fat begins to render and the skin becomes crispy.
- Stir the tomatoes and peppers.
- Flip the salmon and cook another 6-7 minutes, or until salmon cooks through to your liking.
- Garnish with chili flakes and fresh herbs and serve.