This quick and easy Gochujang Salmon is the perfect weeknight dinner! The delicious Korean-style gochujang glaze adds spice, umami, and savoriness to the beautiful salmon fillets before it's broiled to perfection. Guests will never know this healthy recipe only took you 20 minutes!
🐟 The Best Broiled Salmon
Salmon is one of my favorite seafood to cook with because it's healthy, versatile, and absolutely delicious. For example, Salmon with Pineapple Salsa and Coconut Rice is always on repeat whenever summer rolls around!
Salmon has always been a crowd favorite, but gochujang is growing in popularity and I couldn't be happier. This Korean chili paste is an absolute essential in my pantry. I love using it in my favorite Korean recipes like Bibimmyeon and Instant Pot Dakdoritang. It not only adds a vibrant red color, but also adds incredible depth of flavor.
This easy Gochujang Salmon recipe is perfect for when you need a quick but impressive dinner on the table. Serve a whole fillet for a dinner party and allow your guests to choose their portion size. Or meal prep several small fillets for a healthy lunch or dinner throughout the week. There are so many great options when it comes to this broiled gochujang salmon!
Why You'll Love It
- Quick and easy: It doesn't get any easier with this Gochujang Salmon. With only 7ish ingredients and a 10 minute bake time, it's perfect for a last-minute dinner idea!
- Mostly pantry staples: The gochujang marinade is made entirely from pantry ingredients. Whip it up anytime you need a simple sauce or glaze!
- Healthy: Salmon is a well-loved superfood. It's high in protein, healthy omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, potassium, and more. And fermented gochujang is great for your gut health and metabolism. Plus, this recipe is dairy free.
- Salmon: You can truly use any type you'd like here. I usually get frozen fillets from Costco or Whole Foods to save money. I've included more information below.
- Gochujang: Fermented Korean chili pepper paste that adds spice, umami, smokiness, and sweetness. There are different levels of spice so start with mild if you're unfamiliar with it. Gochujang is readily available these days and can be found in the International Aisle of your supermarket. Asian supermarkets like H-Mart will have more options, but you can also find it on Amazon, Whole Foods, or Weee!. My favorite brand is CJ Haechandle.
- Garlic powder: I don't recommend using fresh garlic because it can easily burn under the broiler.
- Sesame oil
- Soy sauce: I always recommend using low-sodium soy sauce.
- Honey: The sweetness balances the spice and helps to caramelize the salmon.
- Rice wine vinegar: Because salmon is so fatty, the vinegar really helps to balance the richness.
- For garnish: sesame seeds and green onion.
What Type of Salmon Should I Use?
When it comes to salmon, there are so many options to choose from so it can be confusing at the grocery store. It all depends on your budget and dietary preferences. Just know that there's no wrong answer here!
- Wild or farmed: Wild salmon is caught in natural environments (like oceans and rivers) but most salmon these days is farm-bred. Wild has more protein and less fat, but is more expensive. They're also deep red-orange in color, whereas farmed salmon is peachy-pink. The main concern with farmed is possible exposure to toxins, antibiotics, color dyes, and the environmental impact. Bottom line: For a more "natural" diet, I recommend wild if it fits within your budget. But if you're getting farmed salmon, look for the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) logo to make sure it's been responsibly farmed.
- Skin on or off: The skin contains healthy oils and acts as an insulator to prevent the fish from drying out. So I always recommend cooking with skin. You can easily take it off if you prefer to serve it without skin. Tip: if you prefer to eat salmon with the skin on, oil the foil to prevent it from sticking.
- Portion size: I recommend 4-6oz portions per serving. Salmon is very fatty so 4oz is still very rich and satisfying. For a buffet-style dinner, a whole fillet is a great option. Most weigh around 2lbs so I would make 1.5x the gochujang glaze.
Substitutions & Variations
- Replace the honey with white or brown sugar, maple syrup, or oligo syrup if preferred.
- To make less spicy Gochujang Salmon, use a mild gochujang. You can start with 1½-2 tablespoon until you're familiar with the heat level.
- Substitute rice wine vinegar with lemon juice, white wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar. They'll produce a different flavor but will still provide light tartness.
- You can use this delicious glaze on any type of seafood or meat you'd like! Black cod, tuna, or halibut are all fatty fish that can take on this flavorful glaze. But chicken, shrimp, or steak would be great too.
- To make this gluten free, use a gluten free gochujang. Replace the soy sauce with coconut aminos or tamari.
- To make Gochujang Salmon in the air fryer, line the tray or basket with parchment paper and preheat the air fryer to 400ºF. Air fry for 4-5 minutes or until you reach your desired doneness.
🔪 How To Make Gochujang Salmon
⬇️ Please scroll down to the recipe card to see full ingredient amounts and instructions.
STEP ONE: First, make the gochujang glaze. In a bowl, whisk together gochujang, garlic powder, salt, pepper, sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, and rice wine vinegar. Season to taste.
STEP TWO: Line a baking sheet with oil and place the salmon fillets on top, skin side down. Generously glaze with the sauce.
Next, move the oven rack 6-8 inches away from the heat source and turn on the broiler. Place the baking sheet inside and broil for 5-8 minutes or until internal temperature is 120-125ºF (for medium rare). Keep an eye on it - the glaze contains honey which can easily burn. Let rest for 5 minutes before garnishing with sesame seeds and green onion, then serve.
💭 Top Tips
- To defrost frozen salmon, the best option is to let it thaw overnight in the fridge. For a faster process, seal it in plastic zip-top bags and let it sit in a bowl of cold water until thawed.
- The cook time will depend on the thickness of your fillets. Thinner fillets will take about 4-5 minutes, while thicker ones will be closer to 7-8 minutes. If you have uneven sized fish, take out the thinner pieces as soon as they're done cooking. For a whole salmon filet, you can tuck in the thinner tail ends (oil the foil to prevent sticking).
- Wild salmon will bake faster than farmed since it's leaner.
- The best way to know when salmon is cooked is with a meat thermometer. I prefer my salmon medium-rare, which is 125-130ºF. Medium is 135-140ºF and well-done is 145ºF, which is what the FDA recommends but I find this far too dry.
- If you don't have a meat thermometer, you can check for doneness visually. Check in the middle - the meat should be flaky when pulled with a fork and more opaque.
What To Serve with Gochujang Glazed Salmon
- Keep it simple and make a healthy gochujang salmon bowl. Add your favorite grains (like quinoa, brown rice, pasta) and vegetables for a well-balanced dinner.
- Seafood always goes great with Vietnamese Garlic Noodles! Steam your favorite vegetables like broccoli or asparagus and you've got a delicious meal.
- Serve this next to Watermelon Beet Salad or Fall Harvest Salad for a light and nourishing meal.
- Make spicy fish tacos! Use broiled Gochujang Salmon in place of shrimp in my Korean Shrimp Tacos recipe.
🥡 Storing & Freezing
Storing: Gochujang glazed salmon is best enjoyed the same day. But if you have leftovers, let it cool completely, then store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Freezing: I don't recommend freezing glazed salmon, cooked or uncooked.
Reheating: Reheat leftovers in the microwave, oven, or air fryer. Low temperature is best (about 275-300ºF) to prevent the salmon from drying out. (FYI leftover salmon is great cold or just very lightly warmed up too.)
📖 Recipe FAQs
Absolutely! This superfood is a great source of protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. It's also high in vitamins and nutrients. Just make sure you're using the best quality of salmon.
The white stuff that shows up on the surface of salmon after it's been cooked is albumin. It's a protein that's liquid when raw, but heat pushes it out into a semi-solid state. It's perfectly safe to eat but if you don't like how it looks, you can simply remove it gently with a fork.
There's no "better". Both options work, but baking will take longer than broiling. I love broiling in this recipe because it caramelizes the glaze to make it extra delicious while simultaneously cooking the fish.
🍽 Looking For More Korean Inspired Recipes?
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- 3 tablespoon gochujang Korean chili paste
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoon honey
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1½ teaspoon sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1-1½ lbs salmon fillets option to cut into 4-6oz filets (see notes)
- Sesame seeds for garnish
- Green onion thinly sliced; for garnish
- In a bowl, whisk together gochujang, garlic powder, soy sauce, honey, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, salt and pepper. Season to taste.
- Pat salmon dry and place on foil-lined baking sheet. Glaze with gochujang sauce.
- Place the oven rack 6-8 inches away from broiler. Preheat broiler and once hot, place baking sheet in oven. Broil for 5-7 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Make sure to keep an eye on it! If it's cooking too fast, move the pan to the lower rack.
- Let rest 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onion.
- 1 lb = 16oz. If purchasing 4oz fillets, I recommend 4-6 fillets.
- The cook time will depend on the thickness of your fillets. Thinner fillets will take about 4-5 minutes, while thicker ones will be closer to 7-8 minutes. Use a meat thermometer for the best accuracy. I prefer 125-130ºF for medium-rare.
- Salmon: Use any type of salmon you'd like - whole or individual fillets work great here. I recommend wild if it fits within your budget, otherwise look for the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) logo for responsibly farmed salmon. I also recommend cooking with the skin on.
- Air fryer: Line the tray or basket with parchment paper and preheat the air fryer to 400ºF. Air fry for 4-5 minutes or until you reach your desired doneness.
- Storing Leftovers: Let cool completely, then store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Replace the honey with white or brown sugar, maple syrup, or oligo syrup.
- To make it less spicy, use a mild gochujang and start with 1½-2 tablespoons.
- Substitute rice wine vinegar with lemon juice, white wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar.
- To make this gluten free, use a gluten free gochujang. Replace the soy sauce with coconut aminos or tamari.