Wild sockeye salmon brushed with a tangy honey mustard glaze, is the ultimate light, healthy summer meal. Whether you bake it in the oven or grill it, this easy 20-minute fish recipe is a must-make!
When it’s 112°F. in the shade (hello, Oregon!) you need simple, light and healthy meals that come together in a snap! This is when wild caught salmon recipes are a must-make.
Whether it’s pineapple salmon grilled to perfection, crispy pan seared salmon, or you learn how to grill salmon in foil, there’s nothing quite as delicious as a moist and flaky fish filet.
Wild Sockeye Salmon vs. Pink Salmon
Wild sockeye salmon comes from the northern Pacific Ocean and its surrounding rivers. At the store, it is sometimes labeled as red salmon, or blue back salmon.
If you’re lucky enough to find Alaskan Copper River salmon, stock up, because its flavor is like no other! Costco sells it once in a while; mostly around major holidays.
Sockeye is a little bit different from traditional pink salmon. Deep red in color, the flesh is fattier and richer in flavor. Because it isn’t farmed, wild sockeye typically has fewer calories and is higher in heart-healthy omega-3 fats as well.
While the coveted Copper River Salmon was nowhere to be found I was able to pick up some fresh wild caught salmon for this quick dinner. A little olive oil, salt and pepper, a quick grill on each side, and then a basting of honey, mustard glaze with dried mint and horseradish to pep it up a bit. It’s the combination of flavors here that make it so special.
Tips for baking or grilling fish
- Bring the fish to room temperature.
Like beef sirloin steak, salmon steak is tastier when it’s moist inside. One of the best ways to trap moisture inside of your wild sockeye salmon is to create a sear on the outside. The best way to create that sear is to bring the fish to room temperature before you cook it.
- Remove excess moisture.
Use a paper towel to pat the fish before you add any seasoning. Removing any water from the outside of the filet is a key to creating a nice sear.
- Cook salmon skin side down against the grill grates.
Once it’s placed on the grill, leave the fish alone. If you flip the filet before a crust forms, the skin will tear. Wait for the fish to loosen itself from the grill and then gently flip it over. It’s much easier to do this with a large fish spatula.
- Broil if necessary.
If you’re baking the salmon, or even if you grill it but want a bit more browning on top, place the fish on a sheet pan under the broiler during the last minute or two of the cooking time.
What to serve with wild sockeye salmon
A light, healthy fish recipe like honey mustard salmon pairs really well with light summer vegetables and whole grains like quinoa or bulgur.
Another idea is to spoon some of the honey mustard glaze over the vegetables. It’s fantastic on blanched asparagus!
This recipe first appeared on Kevin Is Cooking back in Jul 12, 2013 and has since been updated with new photos and nutritional information.
Honey Mustard Wild Sockeye Salmon
- 2 lb wild sockeye salmon filet skin on, 1" thick (See Note 1)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp horseradish sauce
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp dried mint
- Turn the grill to medium-high and preheat to 450°F.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the honey mustard glaze ingredients and set aside.
- Rinse the salmon fillet and pat dry with paper towel. Brush olive oil over the salmon on both sides – keeping skin on. Season with salt and pepper.
- When grill is hot, place fillet skin side down, and grill for 3 to 4 minutes on high so skin becomes golden brown and crispy. Carefully flip salmon over, keeping skin intact, and cook another 3 minutes (See Note 1). IF grill is unavailable, try my Baked Honey Mustard version with instructions (See Note 2).
- Remove from the grill, brush with glaze and let rest for 2 minutes. Serve immediately.
- Allow salmon to come to room temperature before grilling, this will cut down on grilling time. If salmon filet is over 1 1/2″ thick, add another minute of cook time to each side.
- Honey Mustard Baked Salmon recipe version.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.