Spice Rubbed Grilled Salmon

Updated On: Sep 05, 2023

If you love Salmon, then please make this immediately.  Ok, you can wait until you go buy some salmon, but make it soon.  I have been making this recipe forever!  Whenever I say Salmon, the hubs says “spice rubbed”?  I have converted many a Salmon-naysayer with this one.  It’s spicy, it’s got a very slight sugar crunch and it just melts in your mouth!  You could also cook it under a broiler or on a indoor griller, but there’s something magical that happens when you grill it on the barbecue.  Don’t delay.  I’m available to come to dinner any night.  Just let me know.  🙂

Start with your spices.  You need a tablespoon of cumin seed, yellow mustard seed, coriander seed and dill seed plus 2 tablespoons of fennel seed.  I usually get all of my spices at World Market because I can buy them in bulk and fill my tins.  But you should be able to find all at your local supermarket.  Measure them all into a small nonstick frying pan.

Turn the heat to medium and toast the seeds.  This process should only take about 2-4 minutes.  You’ll begin to smell the perfume of the spices and that’s when you know it’s time to take them off the heat.  If you don’t – it will be fireworks – literally.  The seeds will start to pop – so watch this like a hawk.  Don’t answer the phone.  Don’t walk off to get a drink.  Dedicate yourself to the 2-4 minutes, you’ll be glad you did.

In a spice grinder, old coffee grinder or a mortar and pestle, grind up the spice until they are fine.  I have an old Krups coffee grinder that works great and is dedicated just for grinding spices.

Pour the spices into a small dish and add 1 tablespoon of kosher salt, 2 tablespoons of white sugar and 3/4 teaspoon of black pepper.  Mix it up.

Rinse the salmon under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.  Place a piece of parchment on a baking tray and lay the salmon on it.  GORGEOUS!

Spread the spice rub evenly over the flesh side of the salmon and allow to sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.  Letting the fish come to room temperature before you grill will result in faster and more uniform cooking.

Prepare your grill by spraying with cooking spray or brushing with olive oil.  Place the salmon skin side down and grill for 5-6 minutes.

Flip it over and grill for another 5-8 minutes.  Use a large fish spatula or 2 spatulas to remove the fish to a cutting board.  Serve skin side down and devour!

Spice Rubbed Grilled Salmon

1 tbsp cumin seed
1 tbsp yellow mustard seed
1 tbsp dill seed (not weed)
1 tbsp coriander seed
2 tbsp fennel seed
1 tbsp kosher salt
2 tbsp white sugar
3/4 tsp black pepper
1 salmon (2 sides)
cooking spray or olive oil

1 Add all seeds to a small skillet over medium heat.  Toast for 2-3 minutes while shaking the pan.  Grind the seeds in a coffee grinder, spice grinder or mortar and pestle until fine.  Add the salt, sugar and pepper to the spice mixture and mix to combine.
2 Rinse the salmon under cold water and pat dry with paper towel.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and spread the spice mixture over the flesh side only.  Allow the fish to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature for faster grilling.
3 Prepare the grill to medium-high and coat the grates with cooking spray or brush with olive oil.  Place the salmon skin-side down and grill for 5-6 minutes.  Flip over and grill for another 5-8 minutes.  Remove to a cutting board and serve.

Get Grillin’ with Family Fresh Cooking and Cookin’ Canuck, sponsored by Ile de France CheeseRösleEmile HenryRouxbe and ManPans.


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  1. That spice mixture looks wonderful, you can almost smell it through the screen :-). Great recipe!

  2. Try this on your salmon (also on chicken, other fish, what-have-you….), you WON’T be sorry!!!!
    Limed Herb Trio Drizzle:
    2 cloves garlic,
    1/2 TB fresh sliced ginger,
    2 seeded serrano chilies,
    zest of 2 limes,
    1/2 c. cilantro leaves & stems,
    1/4 c. mint leaves, (they didn’t have mint @ the store, I just used more basil)
    1/4 c. basil leaves,
    1 1/2 tsp. sugar,
    1/4 c. fresh lime juice,
    1 Tbsp Thai fish sauce,
    1/4 tsp.coarse kosher salt,
    1/4 c. veggie oil,
    1/4 c. olive oil,
    3 Tbsp soft butter.
    Finely chop garlic, ginger, serranos & lime zest in a food processor. Add cilantro, mint & basil. Chop finely. Add rest of ingredients except butter. Puree. Add butter & process ’til well blended. This drizzle can be made in advance & refrigerated. Bring to room temp. before using. I froze some & keep it in the freezer – it comes back pretty good, even with the mayo in it!

  3. that looks delicious! anything rubbed with spices and I love you had sugar to the rub! yum yum yum!

  4. Love your Mom’ post…wonderful pictures of you!! lol That salmon looks divine!

  5. You would never need to convert me ’cause I all ready LOVE salmon!! Looks wonderful. xo

  6. I love salmon, and this looks wonderful

  7. @Dara – you will love it. The sugar adds just a little sweetness and caramelized crunch. So tasty…I wish I had more RIGHT.NOW! 🙂

  8. We cook a lot of salmon and I am always looking for new ways to prepare it. These spices are right up my alley and I can’t wait to try this.

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