Made with a yummy gochujang glaze, this gochujang salmon is the perfect weeknight dinner recipe that comes together in 15 minutes. Serve on a bed of rice with some vegetables, and you have the perfect meal!
I have been in love with salmon recently because as life gets busier, I need easy, quick recipes that just gets me through the week. So far, I have shared an amazing five spice salmon recipe and lemongrass salmon, so I thought this month I would share another one I’ve been making frequently. This gochujang salmon is something I’ve been making a lot recently because it is so quick, tasty, and makes great leftovers. The basis for the salmon glaze is gochujang which is a red Korean chili paste that is the basis of a lot of Korean dishes. It really elevates this dish, and gives it a flavor unlike any other salmon dish.
What is gochujang?
Gochujang is a spicy fermented chili paste that is used in a lot of Korean dishes. Made with fermented soybeans and gochugaru (red chili powder), it is a little spicy mixed with umami and sweet flavors, and it pairs really well with other strong flavors. I’ve used it in the past like in my gochujang noodles, and I’m always surprised at how well it pairs with heavy flavors. There’s something about it that makes it perfect for seasoning heavy, carb-y food. I thought it would be perfect this recipe because I think it pairs well with honey, mirin, and soy sauce to make an amazing glaze.
Ingredients, Substitutions & Adjustments
- Salmon – I used salmon filets for this recipe.
- Olive oil – The olive oil gives the salmon a nice brown color. Substitute with any kind of neutral oil like vegetable or grapeseed oil.
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
- Gochujang – Korean red chili paste used to give this glaze a little kick and the salmon dish its red color.
- Sesame oil – Adds more flavor to the glaze. If you don’t like sesame oil, leave it out.
- Soy sauce – Adds umami flavor to the glaze. Substitute with tamari to make the dish gluten free.
- Honey – Balances out the umami flavors with a bit of sweetness. Substitute with 2 teaspoons of brown sugar. However, I prefer honey since it’s not processed sugar.
- Mirin – Mirin is a sweet vinegar used in a lot of Korean and Japanese dishes. Substitute with dry sherry or sweet marsala wine.
- Ginger – This adds flavor and also covers the fishy flavor of the salmon.
- Green onions (optional) – Adds some freshness to the dish. Completely optional though!
How to make gochujang salmon
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (218 degrees C). Place salmon on a baking sheet skin side down. Coat with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 7 minutes. Combine gochujang, sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, mirin, and ginger in a bowl and mix. Set aside. Take salmon out and brush with the gochujang glaze. Increase the oven to broil and bake for 5-7 minutes until cooked through. Garnish with green onions (optional) and brush with extra gochujang before serving.
Tips on how to make the perfect gochujang salmon
How to get a crispy skin on the salmon
This is perhaps one of my favorite kitchen hacks. Before putting the salmon on the baking sheet, heat it in the oven so it’s hot. Then place the salmon on the baking sheet. The heat from the baking sheet will create a crispy skin as soon as the fish hits the baking sheet. My favorite thing to do is place the baking sheet in the oven while the oven is preheating, so I don’t need to add any additional cooking time.
Why you should place your salmon skin side down on the baking sheet
The skin acts as a barrier between the heat from the baking sheet and the meat of the salmon, so the meat doesn’t burn or overcook.
Fully defrost your fish
This might seem crazy to mention but this actually affects the cook time of your dish. This fish was cooked after it’s been fully defrosted. If you put a really cold salmon in the oven, it will take longer to cook.
What can you serve with gochujang salmon?
The best thing to serve this dish with is rice and some sort of vegetable. I usually eat this with white rice but any kind of rice works or even quinoa.
How do you store this dish?
Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer.
Did you make this dish?
If you made this dish, I would love to see!
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15-Minute Gochujang Salmon
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (218 degrees C).
- Place salmon on a baking sheet skin side down. Coat with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 7 minutes.
- Combine gochujang, sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, mirin, and ginger in a bowl and mix. Set aside.
- Take salmon out and brush with the gochujang glaze.
- Increase the oven to broil and bake for 5-7 minutes until cooked through.
- Garnish with green onions (optional) and brush with extra gochujang before serving.