How to Cook the Best Salmon of Your Life


Here is the foolproof marinade + tips that will help you cook the best salmon of your life~grilled, smoked, or oven-baked.

This marinade and recipe for Asian wood-fired salmon are the best things to happen to salmon (at my house at least). If you try this, you will use this recipe for your finest dinner party.

The best Asian wood-fired salmon ever.

This Asian wood-fired salmon will spoil you; you’ll never be happy with restaurant salmon again. Whether you use a pellet grill and smoke the salmon or a grill to grill it, it will be some of the best salmon of your life.

My friend Maddy shared this recipe with me years ago, and it is absolutely amazing. The marinade and the cooking method yield a salmon that can’t be topped in a fine restaurant. The cooking method(s) that are best are grilling or smoking. I included an oven option for those who don’t have access to a grill or smoker.

What salmon is best for this recipe?

Wild-caught salmon is always the best, but it can be harder to find than farm-raised. Wild Atlantic is difficult if not impossible to find. Personally, I am fine with farm-raised Atlantic salmon if purchased from Whole Foods. They have high standards for the farming of their salmon, so I am fine buying it occasionally.

This Asian marinade is perfect for salmon.

I’ve tried myriad marinades for salmon, and I truly think this one that I am sharing is the perfect one. It has an Asian flavor that blends sweet, salty, and umami.  Soy sauce gives a salty/umami flavor to the marinade. This saltiness is perfectly balanced with the sweetness of brown sugar.  You can use avocado oil or canola oil.

Asian cedar planked salmon


How to marinate this salmon:

To marinate this salmon, simply place the salmon into a leak-proof container. Keep in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours, turning occasionally so that the salmon filets are exposed to the marinade on both sides.

best Asian salmon

Do you cook salmon with skin on or off?

I leave the skin on my salmon from start to finish~from marinating to cooking. Salmon skin is hard to remove from a raw filet but easy to remove from a cooked filet. When salmon is fully cooked, the skin peels easily off. Some folks prefer to eat the skin, which is fine. I don’t mind eating the skin IF the salmon filet is pan-fried so that the skin gets crispy.

What if I want crispy skin on my salmon?

Crispy salmon skin is SO delicious, and luckily I have a recipe that goes step-by-step on how to get your salmon skin so crispy and delicious. If you are wanting to use that method of cooking the salmon then I recommend that you marinate the salmon as per this recipe and then follow the cooking directions in the linked post. Any way you cook it will be SO delicious. 

Can you make salmon ahead of time?

 This salmon is perfect to prep a day ahead. Simply marinate the fish overnight, and remove from the fridge at least half an hour before cooking to bring it closer to room temp. Any meat or fish cooks better when not placed on heat straight from the fridge.

Can you reheat leftover salmon?

Salmon can be stored in the fridge for at least one day possibly two and reheated. The best way to reheat salmon is to spritz it with a little water, cover it loosely with foil, and heat it in a 275 F oven for about 15 minutes or until the internal temp of the salmon reaches 125-130 degrees. The microwave is NOT a good way to reheat salmon. It will change the texture and emit a fishy smell.

What is the best method for cooking salmon?

I’ve made this salmon in the oven (on cedar planks) and on a pellet grill. Hands down, the pellet grill is WAY better. A pellet grill is basically like an oven that cooks at a set temperature but with smoke. So, this method cooks the salmon at a low, slow temperature while surrounding it with smoke from the wood pellets. The salmon is wood-fired and absolutely second to none. The grill is excellent also, but the salmon might end up drier. The oven will be good, just not as good as the other cooking options.

Can I cook salmon on a pellet grill?

Absolutely! If you have a pellet grill or smoker, I highly recommend using this method to cook this salmon. To do this, simply set the temperature to 180-200 degrees (this is basically the “smoke” setting).  Insert a probe into the thickest part of the largest filet. Close the lid and walk away. When the internal temp on the probe reaches 140 F, you can remove the salmon. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes, lightly covered. Note: For a darker crust, turn the heat to 500 F or broil for the last 5 minutes of cooking.

What goes well with this marinated salmon?

So many things go amazingly with this marinated salmon. I would definitely recommend some sort of roasted or sauteed vegetables if you are looking for a low-carb side. Rice always goes well with salmon and is a good and filling option for a cold night. 

Here are some good recipes to try with this marinated salmon:

If you try this Asian Salmon recipe, please share your thoughts in the comments below! As always, thanks so much for visiting my site. Wishing you a joyful, blessed, and savvy day!!!

the best salmon

The Best Salmon of Your Life

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes 30 seconds
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 seconds

The BEST salmon marinade for the BEST salmon of your life!!!


  • 3-4 fresh salmon filets (1-1/2 pounds)
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 3 green onions, sliced thinly
  • 1 fresh jalapeno, chopped



  1. Whisk soy sauce, brown sugar, water, oil, onions & pepper until well blended and sugar dissolves.
  2. Place salmon (skin side up) in the marinade in an airtight container.
  3. Cover and refrigerate 12 to 24 hours.
  4. Remove salmon filets 30 minutes prior to cooking; allow to come to room temperature.


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Place salmon skin-side down on baking sheet or cedar planks.
  3. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.


  1. Turn pellet grill or smoker to 180-200 F. This is "smoke" if your grill is labeled.
  2. Place filets, skin side down, onto the grill.
  3. Insert probe into the thickest part of the filet.
  4. Cook until temperature reaches 145 F.
  5. Remove from grill; allow to rest 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information
Yield 5 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 531Total Fat 34gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 26gCholesterol 114mgSodium 1041mgCarbohydrates 13gFiber 0gSugar 12gProtein 42g

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  1. this is a wonderful recipe for salmon. use it every time we get salmon. never fails to taste great.

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