This easy firecracker baked salmon has a sweet and spicy sauce, made with only 5 ingredients. Oven-baked in less than 15 minutes right on a sheet pan, add roasted vegetables to make quick weeknight lunch or dinner.
Buying & Prepping Salmon
Purchasing salmon you typically buy “fresh” at the grocery store or fish counter, it has been previously frozen and thawed. If you purchase your salmon that way, you are ready to cook. If you purchase frozen salmon it has to be thawed, during the thawing you will notice moisture. Try to dry your salmon really well with paper towels. I prefer fatty or oily salmon varieties, like Atlantic, Coho, or King when oven baking. Much easier not to overcook than leaner varieties.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Salmon - I used 6oz Atlantic Salmon portions.
Dark Brown Sugar - Helps to give great color and a touch of sweetness. Alternatives like honey, maple syrup, or sugar-free options can be used.
Soy Sauce - You can use regular soy sauce, low sodium soy sauce, or soy alternatives like tamari, coconut, or regular aminos.
Cayenne Pepper - Used to give just a touch of heat or use your favorite hot sauce. Siracha. Yum.
Garlic - Fresh is best, a great flavor booster. Granulated garlic will work in a pinch.
Step by Step Photos
- Don't forget to pre-heat the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a bowl add the brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic and cayenne pepper.
3. Mix the firecracker ingredients well with a whisk.
4. Reserve a couple of teaspoons of sauce to brush on after cooking.
5. Brush the marinade on all four pieces of salmon liberally. Put into the oven to bake for 12-15 minutes.
6. Remove from oven and cool. Serve immediately or place into a storage dish.
FAQ & Tips
What is firecracker salmon?
Salmon glazed with a sweet, salty and spicy sauce. It comes out tender, flaky, and sticky right out of the oven.
What kind of salmon is best baked?
I prefer fatty salmon varieties like Atlantic, Coho, or King, I try to use wild-caught or sustainable farm-raised. If you prefer leaner sockeye or steelhead trout, try not to overcook as they tend to be thin.
What is the internal temperature for oven baked salmon?
I try not to overcook my salmon, I remove it around 125 - 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover and it will carry over cook up 5-10 degrees more. But the recommended fish temp is 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to store leftover cooked salmon?
Store leftover salmon in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Freezing is not recommended.
How to serve firecracker salmon?
Can be served with sides like roasted vegetables, steamed rice, or pasta. You can also make a cooked salmon rice bowl with toasted nori or fish taco. Yum.
Easy Firecracker Baked Salmon
- Half Size Sheet Pan
- 2 Small Mixing Bowls
- Heat Safe Brush/Silicone
- Measuring Spoons and Tools
- Paper Towels
- Storage Container with Lid
- 4 pcs. Salmon Fillet, 6oz each
- 1 tbsp. Dark Brown Sugar, or alternative
- 2 tbsp. Soy Sauce, or alternative
- 1 tsp. Garlic, chopped
- ½ tsp. Cayenne Pepper
- oil, salt, and pepper
- Preheat oven to 400° F
- Place thawed salmon on the sheet pan, dry with paper towels.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine sugar, garlic, soy sauce, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper to taste. Mix well and reserve a couple of teaspoons in a separate small bowl to brush on later.
- Brush marinade onto salmon and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until fully cooked. Try not to overcook, the minimum temp of 145°F.
- With a kitchen towel remove cooked salmon from the oven and place it in your meal prep container or serving dish.
- Brush with the reserved marinade for extra flavor. Sprinkle with green onion to garnish.
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