Thai Salmon with easy homemade Thai sweet chili sauce cooked until caramelized on top and juicy inside. The best salmon recipe ever!
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This broiled Thai salmon is the best way to get a perfect caramelization on your salmon. The sugar from the maple syrup in the homemade Thai sweet chili sauce caramelizes to form a mouthwatering texture.
It’s a perfect balance of sweet and subtle heat, which is great for kids. And anyone who is picky with their spices.
It’s one of those sauces that makes you keep eating when you’re full just to keep tasting the sauce. It’s the best! That and the sauce on my baked teriyaki salmon, which my kids can’t get enough of!
We all need a ‘pop in the oven’ recipe for busy weeknights. This sweet chili salmon is that dinner! Only quicker is my favorite 15 minute shrimp tacos recipe.
Need more dinner time inspiration? Browse 65 healthy dinner ideas!
Ingredients You Will Need
- Salmon fillets: Skin on or off, your choice. I buy wild salmon like sockeye, coho, spring, or even pink salmon. It’s more expensive, but I like to avoid farmed or Atlantic salmon.
- Thai sweet chili sauce: This sauce is super simple to make at home. It’s also a healthier version than store bought. However, I have to admit that Thai Kitchen sweet chili sauce ingredients have improved greatly since I first published this recipe in 2014. So, if you don’t have the extra 15 minutes to make it from scratch, buy it!
- Seasonings and garnishes: Salt, green onions, cooking spray (I use Misto).
How to Cook Thai Salmon
I much prefer broiling this Thai salmon over baking it because it is a delicate meat. Unless it is baked salmon in foil. Wild salmon is less fatty (and healthier) than farmed, so it can easily be overcooked.
To broil it, I like to use slices of salmon vs. the whole fillet for maximum flavour penetration. Then a blast of heat on the outside is enough. You want the fish to retain its natural juices and moisture.
- Prep: In a large baking dish, add salmon in a single layer. Sprinkle each fillet with a pinch of salt and top with 1 tbsp of sweet chili sauce. Then using your fingers or a brush, rub to coat evenly on top.
- Marinate: Cover and let your fish marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight is best. This is a great make ahead dish, you can just pop in the oven the next day!
- Set broiler: Turn oven’s broiler on High and position top oven rack 5″ – 6″ below the heat source. Line a large baking sheet with foil or silicone mat. Spray with cooking spray and place salmon fillets skin side down (if any). Coat with any remaining marinade from the dish.
- Broil to caramelize: Once in the oven, broil for 8 minutes, rotating baking sheet once. Remove from the oven and brush top of each salmon fillet with 2 tsp of sauce. Return to oven and broil for 5 minutes or until salmon has caramelized. Doesn’t it look gorgeous?!
If using parchment paper be sure to cut it to the exact size of the bottom of the sheet. Don’t allow any part of it to hang over the sides as that will be prone to burning.
How to Make Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
- Combine: Combine maple syrup, water, white or rice vinegar, cornstarch, garlic clove, salt, and red chili pepper flakes in a sauce pot on the stove.
- Cook: Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 7-10 minutes or until thickened.
- Store: You can refrigerate the sauce for weeks and use it with chicken recipes and for dipping anything and everything. One of our favorites is slow cooker Thai chicken thighs!
What Is the Best Temperature to Broil At?
As we know, ovens vary. Some ovens have different temperature options for the broiler and some do not. You can broil using the default temperature of your brand of oven broil setting.
Most are set at 500-550 degrees F. If your broiler is set at 450 degrees F maximum, this Thai salmon recipe will work just as well. You might just have to broil a little longer. So, keep an eye out!
How Do You Know When Salmon Is Done?
The best way to check is with a fork. If Thai salmon flakes easily when poked and its flesh is opaque, it is ready to eat.
I would check as soon as cooking time has elapsed as per the recipe and a nice caramelized crust has formed on top. You’ll know whether or not to keep it in a bit longer. Watch for burning!
Whether you eat the skin is a personal preference. The skin does have massive amounts of nutrients in it.
It also helps keep the moisture in the salmon itself throughout the cooking process. If you don’t like skin or the “fishy” taste, remove it after cooking.
There are different types that are suitable for varying degrees. Normally, it’s only good for up to 450 degrees F.
If you are worried, better safe than sorry, so just avoid it. Use a silicone baking mat or foil instead. I have been broiling sweet chili salmon on a sheet lined with parchment paper for years without an issue.
Yes! In fact, a full 24 hours will give you awesome flavor! Because there is no citrus in the sauce we don’t need to worry about it starting to cook the fish.
When making this sauce homemade it’s much easier to adjust the spice. Add as little or as much of the red pepper flakes as to your liking. More flakes equal more heat!
How to Serve
For a burst of flavour, sprinkle a bit of lime juice on your sweet chili salmon just before serving. Next level awesome!
How to Store Leftovers
Refrigerate salmon in an airtight container up to 3 days. Leftover sauce will stay great stored separately in the refrigerator for a few weeks!
Reheating Sweet Chili Salmon
To be honest, cold Thai salmon is actually pretty good! Especially on top of a salad. If you do want to reheat it, try not to overdo it. It will quickly dry out. Try the microwave for a minute.
More Salmon Recipes to Try
- Healthy salmon burgers
- Salmon stir fry
- Smoked salmon salad
- Cilantro tomato salmon soup
- One pan salmon and veggies
- Sheet pan lemon pepper salmon
You may also love to browse all my healthy grill recipes!
Broiled Thai Sweet Chili Salmon
- Make Thai sweet chili sauce or use store-bought (I like Thai Kitchen brand).
- In a large baking dish, add salmon in a single layer. Each fillet: sprinkle with a pinch of salt and top with 1 tbsp of Thai sweet chili sauce. Brush or rub with your fingers to coat fish with sauce evenly on top, bottom and sides. Cover and let marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight is the best (up to 24 hours).
- Turn on oven's broiler on High and position top oven rack 5" – 6" below the heat source. Line large baking sheet with foil or silicone mat, spray with cooking spray and place salmon fillets skin side down (if any). Coat with remaining marinade from the dish (if any).
- Broil for 8 minutes, rotating baking sheet once. Remove from the oven and brush top of each fillet with 2 tsp of Thai sweet chili sauce. Return to the oven and broil for another 5 minutes or until salmon has caramelized.
- Serve hot garnished with green onions, extra sauce (if desired) and brown rice or quinoa + any salad.
- Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in microwave.
- Can I eat the skin? It also helps keep the moisture in the salmon itself throughout the cooking process. If you don’t like skin or the “fishy” taste, remove it after cooking.
- Avoid parchment paper: If worried about burning, use a silicone baking mat or foil instead.
- Allow the sauce to cool: Before brushing the sauce onto the salmon pieces, allow it to come to room temperature first.
- Can I marinate salmon overnight? Yes! In fact, a full 24 hours will give you awesome flavour!
- Can I grill it? You can cook fillets directly on the grill by following this grilled salmon recipe or cedar plank salmon.