This spicy salmon marinade recipe makes the most flavorful salmon, made with soy sauce, spicy brown mustard, chili flakes and more. Super easy to make.
Get your salmon fillets ready, my friends. We're whipping up a new batch of Spicy Salmon Marinade today in the Chili Pepper Madness kitchen, and it's going to add a ton of bold flavor to your meal.
Salmon is one of my favorite fish. We probably eat it once a week. I love it anyway I can get it, baked, grilled, broiled, you name it. There are many ways to coax maximum flavor out of your salmon, and one of my favorites is with a good marinade.
A great salmon marinade will infuse the salmon with all sorts of extra wonderful flavor, and it's easy to whip together. All it takes is a bit of chopping and whisking a few ingredients together in a small bowl. Then, marinate!
There is a nice bit of spiciness here, just the way I like it, but the heat is not overwhelming. Salmon is delicate and flaky and highly flavored, perfect for a touch of spicy heat. However, you can easily adjust it to your own preferred level. So easy to customize!
You just need a bit of extra time to let that salmon soak up all those wonderful flavors, so plan ahead if you can! Alright, are you ready for some salmon?
Let's talk about how to make salmon marinade, shall we?
Spicy Salmon Marinade Ingredients
- The Liquids. The Liquids. Use ¼ cup soy sauce, ¼ cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons honey (or use brown sugar), 3 tablespoons brown mustard (I use spicy brown mustard) and 2 tablespoons lemon juice (or juice from ½ lemon)
- The Spicy Factor. I use 1 serrano pepper, diced (or use even hotter peppers to really spice things up), along with a teaspoon (or more) of spicy red pepper flakes. You can skip the hot peppers for a milder version. You'll still get some heat from the chili flakes.
Flavor Builders. Use 4 cloves garlic, minced (or more if you'd like) and 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Salmon. This recipe is good to cover 2 6-ounce salmon fillets. You might be able to squeeze 3 of them in there.
How to Make Spicy Salmon Marinade - the Recipe Method
Combine and Whisk. Whisk together the soy sauce, olive oil, honey or brown sugar, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt and red pepper flakes in a small bowl until well combined.
Marinate. Place the salmon in a large plastic bag and pour the marinade over them. Seal the bag and refrigerate at least 15 minutes to 20 minutes, or for 1 hour before cooking.
You'll get a bit more flavor penetration with 1 hour. You can also set the salmon into a wide pan such as a baking dish or bowl and cover them with the marinade, then top with plastic wrap.
Boom! Done! Easy salmon marinade, isn't it? Get your salmon marinating! Fire up the grill! I love a great grilled salmon recipe, though this salmon marinade works no matter how you're cooking up your salmon. Works for any cut of salmon, too.
When you're ready to cook your salmon, discard the remaining marinade and get cooking. See the recipe notes below for cooking methods, and links to several salmon recipes below.
Recipe Tips & Notes
- Other Ingredients. Other flavors are popular for marinating salmon. Try using orange juice instead of lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and cracked black pepper. You can also include your own favorite seasonings and seasoning blends as desired. Make it your own.
- Benefits of a Marinade. Marinating is a big flavor building component. A good marinade helps to add moisture to your proteins, especially fish. It also helps the salmon from drying out while you're cooking it. Salmon is an oilier fish, so you can easily get away without marinating, though the marinade really adds a lot of flavor.
- Marinating Time. I like to get my marinade going in the morning and marinate the salmon all day long so they're ready for cooking or grilling later that night. You'll still get good flavor, though, with only 30 minutes. Go 1 hour if you can for more flavor penetration.
- The Heat Factor. You'll get a nice level of heat if you go with some spicy chili peppers here, though you can omit them if you'd prefer a milder heat. Stick with the red pepper flakes and you'll be good to go for just a touch of heat. Use hotter peppers to get some real heat going. I know you want to, my chilihead friends!
- Grilling the Salmon. If you're going to grill your salmon, get your grill going to medium high heat and lightly oil the grates. Grill the marinated fish for 4-5 minutes per side, or until it is cooked through to your liking. If you're cooking with skin on salmon, start with the salmon skin side down so you can get a nice, crispy skin. This also works for pan frying salmon.
- Baking the Salmon. If you'd like to bake your salmon, heat your oven to 425 degrees F (218 C) and bake the salmon on an oiled baking sheet 10-12 minutes, or until cooked through and the salmon flakes easily with a fork. You want 4-6 minutes per inch of thickness, depending on how you like it done.
Best Internal Temperature for Salmon
The USDA recommends an internal temperature of 145 degrees F for salmon. However, many cooks prefer to serve salmon at 125 degrees F for a silkier texture of the fish.
I recommend the the ThermoPop meat thermometer (affiliate link, my friends) by ThermoWorks for measuring the temperatures of meat and fish. I am a proud affiliate.
That's it, my friends. I hope you enjoy my spicy salmon marinade recipe, and the salmon! However you cook it up.. Let me know if you make it. I'd love to hear how it turned out for you. Keep it spicy!
Storage Information / Make it Ahead
You can make this salmon marinade up to 5 days ahead of time. Just keep it in the refrigerator in a sealed container. When you're ready to use, take it out and marinate your salmon as desired.
You can also freeze it for 3 months.
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.
Spicy Salmon Marinade Recipe
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons brown mustard I use spicy brown mustard
- 2 tablespoons honey or use brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice or juice from ½ lemon
- 1 serrano pepper diced (or use even hotter peppers to really spice things up - optional, for extra spicy)
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Red pepper flakes to taste use ¼ to 1 teaspoon, or to taste
- 2 6- ounce salmon fillets
- Whisk together the soy sauce, olive oil, honey or brown sugar, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt and red pepper flakes in a mixing bowl until well combined.
- Place the salmon in a large zip-lock bag and pour the marinade over them. Seal the bag and refrigerate at least 15 to 20 minutes, or for 1 hour before cooking.