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    Firecracker Salmon

    This Firecracker Salmon is a super easy and super delish meal that must become part of your rotation. It has an amazing Asian sauce and whips up in about 20 minutes.

    If you’re looking for a new recipe to really jazz up your salmon, this is it! It’s salty, it’s sweet, and it’s a little bit spicy! Firecracker salmon just may become one of your new go-to recipes.

    It only takes a few ingredients. It’s easy enough for busy weeknights. And it’s a restaurant quality meal you can serve to guests. It’s very healthy, too… Win, win, win, win!

    Firecracker salmon, along with rice, carrots and broccolini on a white plate.

    We’re always experimenting with new Asian flavors, from Filipino Adobo to Indo-Chinese Dragon Chicken to Japanese Curry. This is one of my new favorites!

    The sauce is so jam packed with great flavors, and it pairs so well with the tender buttery salmon. Trust me, you’ll be coming back to this one again and again.

    Why You’ll LOVE this Recipe

    • Explosion of Flavors: The combination of soy sauce, sambal oelek, brown sugar, garlic, and ginger creates a mouthwatering balance of sweet, spicy, and savory flavors, making each bite absolutely delicious.
    • Quick and Easy: This dish is surprisingly simple to prepare, making it perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or a last-minute gourmet meal.
    • Versatility: The firecracker sauce can be adjusted to suit your taste, whether you prefer it spicier or milder. Plus, the recipe works well with other proteins.
    • Healthy and Nutritious: Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and various essential nutrients, making this dish not just delicious but also beneficial for your health.
    • Perfect Texture: The cooking method ensures the salmon is perfectly seared on the outside while remaining moist and tender on the inside.
    • Restaurant-Quality Meal at Home: The rich and bold flavors of this recipe can rival those of a dish from a high-end restaurant, allowing you to enjoy a gourmet experience in the comfort of your own home.


    • Salmon
    • Soy Sauce
    • Sambal Oelek – In it’s absence you can mix some kind of hot sauce, sweet chili sauce and red chili flakes.
    • Brown sugar – You can keep it keto with a brown sugar substitute such as brown monk fruit sweetener.
    • Ginger
    • Garlic
    • Olive oil
    • Salt & pepper

    How to make Firecracker Salmon

    This one happens real quick. You ready?

    While your skillet is getting hot (we recommend cast iron, but you can also use non-stick), finely chop ginger and garlic. Mix them in a bowl with soy sauce, sambal oelek and brown sugar… the magical firecracker sauce!

    Season your salmon with some olive oil and salt and pepper.

    Once the skillet is hot, add in some olive oil, then sear the salmon skin side down for 4-5 minutes.

    Flip and cook 3-4 more minutes.

    Add in your sauce, swish everything together, generously spooning the sauce all over the salmon. And… done!

    Firecracker salmon cooking in a cast iron skillet.

    Recipe Tips and Tricks

    • Control the Heat: Adjust the amount of sambal oelek or substitute to suit your spice tolerance. The recipe can be easily modified to be milder or spicier.
    • Quality of Salmon: Use fresh, high-quality salmon for the best flavor and texture. Wild-caught salmon is preferred for its taste and nutritional benefits.
    • Skin-on for Moisture: Cooking the salmon with the skin on helps to keep the moisture in and makes the flesh less likely to fall apart.
    • Don’t Overcook: Salmon cooks quickly and can dry out if overcooked. It’s done when it flakes easily with a fork but is still a bit translucent in the center.
    • Proper Searing: Getting the skillet hot before adding the salmon ensures a nice sear on the fish, which adds flavor and texture.

    What to Serve with Firecracker Salmon

    Close up of a serving of this tasty salmon recipe.

    Today we served it with carrots and broccolini. Some white rice is great to sop up the sauce, or try some fried rice like our Hibachi Rice. For a low carb option, try cauliflower rice.

    For plenty more ideas, see our roundup of Side Dishes for Salmon.

    Storing and Reheating Leftovers

    This is a great meal prep option. You can keep leftovers 2-3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Simply reheat in the microwave, or in a covered pan with a little water.

    Firecracker salmon cooking in a cast iron skillet.

    So there you have it friends, one flavor bomb of a salmon meal! Go beyond the “salt and pepper” routine and try this delicious recipe for dinner tonight. Please leave a comment or review when you cook this, I love hearing from you.

    And be sure to subscribe to the GypsyPlate mailing list, we’re always cooking up new recipes for you! Also check our collection of favorite Asian Recipes for more inspiration.

    Firecracker Salmon, on my Gypsy Plate… enjoy!

    A serving of firecracker salmon atop the Gypsy Plate.

    Try these other scrumptious salmon recipes!
    Salmon with Mango Salsa
    Baked Sockeye Salmon
    Finnish Salmon Soup
    Salmon Rice Bowl
    Marry Me Salmon
    Salmon Patties

    Featured image for firecracker salmon post.

    Firecracker Salmon

    Yield: 2 servings
    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 15 minutes
    Total Time: 20 minutes

    This Firecracker Salmon is so tasty, with an incredible sauce. And it only takes about 20 minutes from start to finish!


    • 2 8oz salmon fillets
    • 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
    • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
    • 2 Tbsp sambal oelek (see note 1)
    • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
    • 1 heaping Tbsp chopped garlic
    • ½ Tbsp chopped ginger
    • Salt and pepper


    1. Make firecracker sauce: mix together soy sauce, sambal oelek, brown sugar, ginger and garlic in a bowl.
    2. Rub 1 Tbsp olive oil on flesh side of salmon. Season with salt and pepper.
    3. Heat remaining olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
    4. Add salmon, skin side down, to skillet and cook 4-5 minutes. Flip and cook an additional 3-4 minutes.
    5. Flip salmon back over, pour firecracker sauce into skillet and coat the salmon well with the sauce. Cook until sauce is hot.


    1. In absence of sambal oelek, use a mix of any hot sauce, sweet chili sauce and some red chili flakes. That being said, it is readily available in the Asian section of most grocery stores.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

    Picture of Alpana, blogger and recipe developer at GypsyPlate

    Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.

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