Making baked salmon by slow roasting in a low oven ensures that it never over cooks, flakes apart perfectly and is just the best.

If you love juicy, tender, succulent salmon, this is the post for you! Slow roasted salmon in a sweet, savory, slightly spicy sauce, finished with caramelized limes, fresh scallions, and toasty sesame seeds.

I feel like everyone loves salmon. When it’s cooked properly, it’s so flavorful and satisfying. The finicky part with salmon is that when it’s over cooked, it’s a dry, crumbly travesty. Salmon is kind of mysterious but it’s really one of the easiest, healthiest, and tastiest proteins you could ever learn to make.

baked salmon | www.iamafoodblog.com

How to bake salmon

  1. Mix: Mix together a flavorful sweet and spicy gochujang honey sauce.
  2. Slow roast: Coat the salmon in the sauce and bake in a low oven to ensure tender, juicy, perfectly cooked salmon.
  3. Flake: Use a spoon to gently flake the salmon into perfectly imperfect pieces to present on a plate or platter.
  4. Enjoy: Finish with some scallions and toasted sesame seeds and enjoy!

slow baked salmon | www.iamafoodblog.com

The best baked salmon recipe

This oven baked salmon is spicy, sweet, savory, and so addictive. The gochujang honey glaze is AMAZING. If you’ve ever had Korean fried chicken, the glaze is very similar to that sticky, bright red, deeply delicious sauce you get on the spicy wings.

Best salmon for baked salmon

Go for a larger cut of salmon instead of individual fillets: a larger piece of fish means it won’t dry out as much in the oven; a large piece of fish is much more forgiving than smaller fillets. You can either go for skin on or skinless. I went with skin on because the skin provides an extra layer of protection against over baking.

Since we’re going to flake the salmon in pieces and present it on another platter, I recommend skin on so the salmon stays a bit juicer. Either way, make sure you remove the pin bones, if there are any. Run your fingers lightly across the surface of the fillet, near the middle. If you feel any pin bones, use a pair of kitchen tweezers to pluck them out.

salmon fillet | www.iamafoodblog.com

What is gochujang ?

A savory, sweet, spicy fermented paste made from chili powder and sticky rice. It adds sweet and heat and a ton of flavor to your favorite Korean dishes. We use it for Korean fried chicken, oven roasted chicken, and Korean BBQ. Traditionally it comes in tubs, but these days you can find it in squeeze bottles in the Asian aisle of literally any grocery store (or online, as always).

gochujang | www.iamafoodblog.com

How long to bake salmon

Slow roasting salmon at a low temp ensures that your salmon is moist and tender and never dry. Instead of cooking at high heat, which has the tendency to dry out salmon, a low oven will gently surround your salmon and bring it up to temp. Plus it gives the salmon time to absorb the flavors of the marinade!

The best baked salmon temp

Slow roasted salmon works best at 275°F

baked salmon and salad | www.iamafoodblog.com

How to tell if salmon is cooked

The best and easiest way to tell if salmon is cooked is to gently press it with the back of a spoon, when it’s cooked properly it will flake. Perfectly done salmon will be tender, barely opaque, and juicy. Over cooked salmon will flake too but it will be dry, lighter in color, and tough.

Wild salmon vs farmed salmon

Wild salmon is always going to be less fatty than farmed salmon because they have to work to find their food. Since wild salmon have less fat, it’s best to cook them to a lower finished temp so they remain silky, firm and juicy. If you want to be precise, use an instant read thermometer.

baked salmon | www.iamafoodblog.com

What internal temperature should I cook salmon to?

For wild salmon, aim for 120°F internal temperature
For farmed salmon, aim for 125°F internal temperature

Note: the FDA recommends 145°F.

baked salmon | www.iamafoodblog.com

How to serve salmon

Our favorite way of serving salmon is not in individually portioned filets. Instead, a whole side of salmon is oven baked, then gently flaked into large perfectly imperfect pieces onto a platter. We were inspired by a Bon Appétit recipe and the salmon looked so pretty on the platter that we have never gone back. Presenting salmon like this is nice because you (or guests, if we’re ever in a time when you can have guests again) can custom portion out how much salmon you want to eat.

Another bonus of cooking a side of salmon and flaking it is that cooking a larger piece of salmon ensures that it doesn’t dry out while cooking because it has more mass. And, when you serve salmon not in the dish you’ve baked it in, you can go ahead and buy skin-on salmon (the skin protects the fish from over cooking) and easily serve it without the skin.

harissa salmon | www.iamafoodblog.com

Above: Harissa Salmon

Here are some of my other favorite oven baked salmon flavors

Garlicky tomato with vine cherry tomatoes: toss 2 pints cherry tomatoes with 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil and 4-6 cloves minced garlic. Bake as directed below.

Harissa: mix together 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup harissa paste, 1 clove minced garlic. Bake as directed below.

Miso baked salmon: mix together 2 tbsp neutral oil, 2 tbsp miso paste, 1 tbsp sake, 1 tbsp mirin, and 1 tbsp soy sauce. Bake as directed below.

baked salmon recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

What to serve with salmon:

Chinese Cucumber Avocado Salad | www.iamafoodblog.com

baked salmon recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Baked Salmon Recipe

Perfectly soft and tender slow roasted baked salmon in a sweet, savory, slightly spicy honey gochujang sauce.
Serves 4
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 40 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp neutral oil
  • 3 tbsp gochujang
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 tbsp ginger grated
  • 1.5 lb boneless salmon fillet
  • 1 lime thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds to serve
  • 1 stalk green onion sliced, to serve

Instructions

  • Temper the salmon. Let the salmon rest at room temp for 20-30 minutes while you heat up the oven and prep the marinade and garnish.
    salmon fillet | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Heat the oven to 275°F. Whisk the oil, gochujang, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger in a bowl.
    honey gochujang sauce | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Spread half of the gochujang mix to the bottom of a large baking dish. Lightly pat the salmon dry and season with salt and pepper on both sides then place in the baking dish (skin side down if your salmon has skin). Spread the remaining gochujang mix on top. Arrange the limes on top and place in the oven for 30 minutes (see notes).
    slow baked salmon | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • When 30 minutes is up, remove the salmon from the oven and take a spoon and try to flake the salmon to see if it flakes and is cooked through, barely opaque and tender. If needed, return to the oven for another 5 minutes.
    baked salmon | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Flake the salmon into 2-3” irregular sized pieces. Arrange the salmon and lime on a platter, spoon on any remaining sauce on top. Finish with scallions and toasted sesame seeds and serve immediately.
    flaked baked salmon | www.iamafoodblog.com

Notes

Depending on the thickness of your salmon and how done you like it, it may take up to 45 mins in the oven. 30 mins should cook a 1" fillet to rare, 45 min should cook a 1.5" fillet to medium.

Estimated Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Baked Salmon Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 390 Calories from Fat 176
% Daily Value*
Fat 19.6g30%
Saturated Fat 2.5g16%
Cholesterol 75mg25%
Sodium 639mg28%
Potassium 685mg20%
Carbohydrates 21g7%
Fiber 0.9g4%
Sugar 19.8g22%
Protein 34.2g68%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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