This easy grilled salmon is marinated, grilled to perfection, and served with a tropical Caribbean Salsa. Plus, useful tips on how to pick and perfectly grill salmon, its nutritional benefits, other alternative healthy cooking methods, and Norwegian aquaculture.
Chili Lime Grilled Salmon with Caribbean Salsa and a Grilling Salmon Guide is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Norwegian Seafood Council.
Summer is a synonym for grilling! A time to get together with family and friends and enjoy the sunshine, as well as all the summer goodies... including grilled fruits, veggies, and one of the healthiest proteins in the planet, salmon.
This Chili Lime Grilled Salmon is spicy, mildly sweet, salty, and tangy, letting our taste buds party, but without stretching our waistline!
Don't you just love recipes like that?
But that's not all! We're also sharing with you:
- tips on how to shop for the best salmon,
- salmon's nutrition and benefits,
- other alternative healthy cooking methods to use all year round,
- 6 easy step-by-step salmon grilling tips so that you can grill salmon like a pro,
- how to store salmon
- Last but not least, you will find out that origin matters and why.
So fire up your grill and let's prepare the best grilled salmon ever! I am smiling from ear to eat... and you'll be, too. Pinky promise!
How to buy the best salmon
Here are a few great tips on how to pick the best salmon at the grocery store:
- If the fish is whole, look for clear and plump eyes, shiny and moist skin, and no "off" odors.
- If the salmon is filleted, the meat should be firm (not falling apart) and moist.
- If packed, pay attention to excess liquid in the package, which may indicate improper temperature, or previous thawing.
In any case, origin matters! Why?
Because it is the environment where fish are raised, fed, caught, handled, and distributed to market that determines the quality of the fish.
Norway has the best approach of all due to its strict regulatory standards and commitment to biological, ecological, social, and financial sustainability.
So the next time you go to the supermarket, ask for Norwegian salmon, cod, and other fish.
Difference between wild vs. farm raised salmon
One is caught in the wild while the other is raised in a controlled environment, resulting in nutritional differences.
Wild salmon eat a variety of shellfish (giving them their color), yet at times may not obtain enough nutrients.
In contrast, farm raised salmon is usually higher in healthy omega-3 fatty acids -- but this may vary, depending on origin.
What all this means is that farm raised salmon is not the same everywhere. Like we said before, origin matters including to make the best grilled salmon!
Where to find Norwegian salmon
Norway shares its sustainable harvest of seafood with over 150 countries.
In the the United States, Norwegian salmon is available at Costco, Walmart, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and some local markets.
Not all farm raised fish are equal. Origin matters!
Norway is a country with strict regulatory standards, and that supports sustainability in the following ways:
- Natural Habitat: Norway raises fish in their natural habitat under controlled conditions, including monitoring oxygen quality. It uses open nets in the ocean that allow plenty of room for fish to swim.
- Feeding: Fish receive special feeds to help them grow well. The diet is highly based on vegetables, marine proteins, and nutrients that the salmon need.
- Support: Norway safeguards the environment and natural resources.
- Control: There are veterinarians that closely oversee operations, and the government collects and monitors samples of all fish. Nothing is withheld from public because their system is based on trust, strict regulations, and quality control.
- Results: The farming system prevents harm to the environment and results in healthy fish. No wonder then that Norwegian salmon are preferred for sushi: there are no larval parasites to deal with!
All of these are reasons why Norway is the world's leader in aquaculture!
Salmon nutrition & benefits
To understand how great salmon is for us, let's do a fast check of its nutritional value and benefits.
Salmon is a high quality protein that is packed with nutrients -- vitamins and minerals (like vitamin A, B6, B12, C, D, Selenium, Iodine), as well as omega-3 fatty acids (which are better acquired from fish than from supplements).
It has benefits from childhood to old age, including the fact that it:
- Boosts immunity and has anti-inflammatory properties
- Improves heart health and balances blood pressure
- Is great for brain function and cognition (brain development in pregnancy and the first years of life, as well as fighting cognitive decline in elderly folks).
- May be good for mental health (some research points in this direction)
- Helps with vision
- Improves bone health and reduces risk of osteoporosis.
Fresh, frozen, and canned salmon
All three are healthy options. But the less processing the better.
Some may prefer frozen and canned for convenience, but what you may not realize is that you can buy fresh fish and just freeze it for later use.
To do this, simply pat dry and wrap fish in a sealed bag. Then thaw in the fridge before grilling salmon or other fish.
How often to eat salmon
In order to gain the health benefits, the dietary guidelines in America suggest to eat 7-8 ounces of seafood per week (general public).
Pregnant and lactating women should consume more (about 8-12 ounces per week) because it helps development of the fetal brain and eyes.
Kids should try once to twice a week only due to their age and calorie intake.
The FDA and EPA identify 7 species that contain high mercury levels (top of food chain), which are:
- tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico
- Orange roughy
- Bigeye tuna
- King mackerel
If you avoid those, you can rest assured that the other varieties are safe choices.
So to reiterate, Norwegian seafood are low in mercury; you can eat it without any concerns.
Alternative healthy cooking methods to cook salmon
Grilling indoors or outdoors is a must! But the weather may not cooperate to make grilled salmon the whole year round.
So baking/roasting, pan-frying, air-frying, poaching, steaming, and broiling are other healthy alternative methods that demand no or only small amounts of fats.
On the other hand, breaded, deep-fried fish is to be avoided! Instead, replace bread crumbs with crushed nuts, and bake instead of deep-frying.
Step-by-step guide for grilling salmon (how to grill salmon)
- Choose skin-on salmon. The skin helps to hold the fish together. Make sure to remove any pin bones with pliers.
- Marinade salmon for 15-30 minutes at room temperature before grilling. It adds flavor and also keeps the salmon moist. Moreover, brush marinade on while it is grilling. Leaving salmon out of the fridge for about 30 minutes before grilling helps to cook more quickly and evenly.
- Prepare grill:
- 3.1. Clean grill. Preheat grill to high heat for 2-3 minutes so that whatever is left will burn off. Then brush the grate completely. Next, low temp to medium-high to grill salmon.
- 3.2. Oil grill well. Place oil onto a clean rag and, using grill tongs, rub along the grate. Please, avoid cooking spray near an open flame!
- Grill salmon. Place fillet skin-side up (unless you like crispy skin – so in this case, start grilling salmon skin side-down first). Make sure to place fillets an inch apart to cook evenly. When salmon is about 60% cooked and change color in the middle, flip it using two large flat spatulas. For 1-inch-thick fillet, it takes about 5-6 minutes. After flipping salmon, brush with remaining marinade and let cook for about 4 more minutes or until cooked through.
- Let it rest for 3-5 minutes before serving. This will help to keep moisture in.
- Serve grilled salmon while hot with salsa on top, or fresh herbs.
NOTE: Salmon is done when it turns opaque and feel slightly firm yet tender enough to flake easily with a fork.
Easy Salmon Marinade
Mix lime juice, olive oil, mustard, seasonings, and honey in a large freezer bag. Then, place salmon in and let it sit at room temp for about 20 minutes while marinating. It is quick and easy! The fish will cook evenly when quickly marinating at room temp before cooking!
How to make grilled salmon
Prepare marinade. Place all ingredients (except salmon) in a jar, shaking well. Pour half of the marinade in a sealable plastic bag and then place salmon in. Reserve the remaining marinade in the jar. Let salmon sit at room temp for about 20 minutes while marinating.
Meanwhile, prepare salsa. Cut all ingredients, place all in a medium bowl, mix, and cover. Refrigerate for about 20-30 minutes so all the flavors come together.
Remove salmon from bag and discard marinade from the bag. Clean and oil grill (see tip #3). Make sure grill is on medium-high before start grilling salmon.
Place fillet skin-side up (unless you like crispy skin – so in this case, start grilling salmon skin side-down first), an inch apart each. When salmon is about 60% cooked and change color in the middle, flip it using two large flat spatulas. For 1-inch-thick fillet, it takes about 5-6 minutes. After flipping salmon, brush with remaining marinade and let cook for about 4 more minutes or until cooked through.
Let it rest for 3-5 minutes before serving. Serve with salsa on top.
NOTE: Doneness depends upon the thickness of fillet and grill temperature. If you're grilling on medium-high heat a 2-pound salmon filet that is 1-inch, it will take 5-10 minutes to cook. If it’s a 1-½ inch thick, it may take 15 minutes, and so on. The best is to watch carefully and look signs of doneness. Salmon turns opaque and feel slightly firm yet tender enough to flake easily with a fork.
How to store fresh and grilled salmon
If cooked, store in the fridge in a airtight container for up to 2 days, or freeze grilled salmon for up to 4-6 months.
If fresh/raw, pat dry with paper towel and then wrap fish tightly in a layer of plastic wrap, followed by another layer of aluminum foil.
Refrigerate for up to 2 days in the coldest part of the fridge, the bottom drawer. Make sure your fridge is set to the coldest setting.
Or, store in freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw salmon, take out salmon from freezer and place into a fridge overnight.
Oher seafood dishes besides easy grilled salmon :
- Teriyaki Salmon
- Quick Baked Cod
- Codfish Shepherd's Pie
- Onion Crusted Yellowtail
- Air Fryer Salmon
If you would like to visit the country, take a look at these 30 best things to do in Norway on a budget.
PIN & ENJOY!
Easy Grilled Salmon with Caribbean Salsa & Salmon Grilling Guide
FOR THE SALMON:
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey optional
- 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 lbs skin-on Norwegian salmon fillet
FOR THE SALSA (OPTIONAL):
- 1 cup fresh diced pineapple
- ¾ cup fresh diced mango
- ¼ jalapeno de-seeded and sliced
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 ½ lime juiced
- ⅛ teaspoon salt (or more if desired)
- ¼ cup diced red onion
- 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro or parsley
- ⅓ cup diced tomatoes
- Prepare marinade. Place all ingredients (except salmon) in a jar, shaking well. Pour half of the marinade into a sealable plastic bag and then place salmon inside.
- Reserve the remaining marinade in the jar. Let salmon sit at room temp for about 20 minutes while marinating.Meanwhile, prepare salsa. Cut all ingredients, place all in a medium bowl, mix, and cover. Refrigerate for about 20-30 minutes so all the flavors come together.
- Remove salmon from bag and discard marinade from the bag. Clean and oil grill (see tip #3 in post). Make sure grill is on medium-high before starting to grill.
- Place fillet skin-side up (unless you like crispy skin – in that case, start grilling salmon skin side-down first), an inch apart each. When salmon is about 60% cooked and changes color in the middle, flip it using two large flat spatulas.
- For 1-inch-thick fillet, it takes about 5-6 minutes. After flipping salmon, brush with remaining marinade and let cook for about 4 more minutes or until cooked through. Let rest for 3-5 minutes before serving. Serve with salsa on top.
- This grilled salmon recipe by itself is keto, low carb, paleo, and Whole30 -- depending on the diet, just skip honey and either skip the Caribbean salsa or eat in moderation.
- Storage: store grilled salmon in the fridge in a airtight container for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 4-6 months.
- Love salmon? Try also our One Pan Sriracha Teriyaki Salmon with Snap Peas.
- ★ Did you make this recipe? Please, give it a star rating below!!
** Nutrition labels on easyanddelish.com are for educational purposes only. This info is provided as a courtesy and is only an estimate, since the nutrition content of recipes can vary based on ingredient brand or source, portion sizes, recipe changes/variations, and other factors. We suggest making your own calculations using your preferred calculator, based on which ingredients you use, or consulting with a registered dietitian to determine nutritional values more precisely.
Please note that health-focused and diet information provided on easyanddelish.com is for educational purposes and does not constitute medical advice, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Consult with your doctor or other qualified health professional prior to initiating any significant change in your diet or exercise regimen, or for any other issue necessitating medical advice.