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    Firecracker Salmon

    Let me tell you about this Firecracker Salmon, it’s a total winner! With its delicious Asian sauce, it’s both easy and incredibly tasty, ready in just about 20 minutes.

    If you’re like me and always on the lookout for a salmon recipe with a twist, this one’s for you. It’s got that perfect combo of salty, sweet, and a bit of heat that I absolutely love in my seafood.

    And guess what? You only need a few ingredients, perfect for those busy nights. Plus, it’s fancy enough to impress guests, giving you that restaurant-quality meal without the hassle. Trust me, Firecracker Salmon is sure to become a favorite in your kitchen! And it’s very healthy, too… Win, win, win, win!

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

    I am 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.


    • 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 my skillet is heating up (I prefer cast iron, but non-stick works too), I finely chop some ginger and garlic. Then, I mix them in a bowl with soy sauce, sambal oelek, and brown sugar to make the magical firecracker sauce.

    Next, I season my salmon with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Once the skillet is hot, I add some olive oil, then I sear the salmon skin side down for about 4-5 minutes. After that, I flip the salmon and cook it for another 3-4 minutes.

    Then, I pour in the sauce, give everything a good mix, and generously spoon the sauce all over the salmon. And… it’s 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: I like to use fresh, high-quality salmon for the best flavor and texture. `
    • Skin-on for Moisture: I always cook the salmon with the skin on because it helps retain moisture and prevents the flesh from falling apart.
    • Don’t Overcook: Salmon cooks fast, so it’s important not to overdo it or it can dry out. I know it’s ready when it flakes easily with a fork, but still has a slightly translucent center.
    • Proper Searing: I make sure to heat up the skillet sizzling hot before adding the salmon. This way, I get a lovely sear on the fish, which adds a ton of flavor and texture.

    Serving Suggestions

    Close up of a serving of this tasty salmon recipe.

    Today I 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.

    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.
    2. 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.

    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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