Glory Hallelujah, it is salmon season! I mean real, honest to goodness, wild caught Alaskan salmon. Salmon that is free of artificial pink dyes and life in a cage. I know that sounds uppity and pretentious, but I’m kind of a fish snob. Fish that is sub-par tastes…well….fishy. And nobody really loves super fishy fish. If I’m shelling out the extra cash for some salmon, I want it to totally rock. I want to give it the royal treatment and dress it up pretty before serving it for dinner. I want to make a dish that I will remember until the next time I save up enough pennies to be able to afford more! Which is why I created this beautiful Cilantro Lime Grilled Salmon.
My husband and kids ate this salmon like it was the best meal they’d ever had. My 6 year old asked for seconds. My 1 year old didn’t say anything that we could comprehend, but his face looked happy. My 3 year old sat at the table long after everybody was finished (he eats slowly) and savored every single last bite on his plate. It was a dinner miracle. This recipe is a serious keeper. Any food that warrants a reaction this good is worth paying for (bonus: it is healthy, fresh, low-cal, and soooooo easy.) Even your non-fish eaters will like this. Maybe. That camp is a hard one to crack. I bet you could at least get them to try a bite or two!! The marinade is the secret to taking this salmon from hum-drum to hum-dinger!Cilantro and lime is an amazing flavor combo and it’s application carries from bright summer beverages to savory salsas and, in this case, to a delicious marinade for tasty salmon! Tangy lime is married with cilantro, garlic, red pepper flakes, and olive oil to create a marinade that perfectly pairs with the mild flavors of fresh salmon. In just a few minutes, the marinade comes together and within an hour or two the whole dish is ready for a short stint on the grill. Serve the Cilantro Lime Grilled Salmon on a bed of rice with a salad (or maybe this bacon wrapped asparagus) you’ve got a simple summer meal that brings the wow factor!
This time I am harnessing this tasty marinade on salmon, but it easily translates to chicken, steak, or shrimp (yum!). When marinating anything in a citrus based sauce, be sure to keep the waiting time fairly short (1-2 hours.) Any longer than that and the acids from the citrus can actually start to cook your meat and really mess with the texture. These flavors are so bright and strong, you don’t need much more time than that anyways.
Cilantro Lime Grilled Salmon
Tangy lime is married with cilantro, garlic, red pepper flakes, and olive oil that perfectly pairs with the mild flavors of fresh salmon.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Servings: 4 people
- 4 salmon filet portions skin on
- 1 cup fresh cilantro
- zest of 1 lime
- 2 tsp lime juice (about 1 whole lime)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup olive oil more as necessary
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 lime, quartered for garnish
In a small food processor, pulse together the cilantro, lime zest and juice, garlic, olive oil, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Add additional olive oil as necessary until you reach a smooth sauce consistency.
Place the salmon portions in a gallon sized zip top bag. Add the marinade to the bag, press out any excess air and seal. Place in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours (not any longer.)
When ready to cook, prepare your grill for indirect cooking at medium heat. Your target temperature in your grill should be around 375 to 400 degrees F.
Remove the salmon from the marinade and place on your grill, skin side down. Use a spoon to spread any additional marinade on top of the salmon. Grill for 8-10 minutes (without flipping) or until the salmon is done. Your salmon is finished when the flesh is opaque and flakes easily with a fork.
Serve immediately with freshly sliced lime wedges and additional cilantro, if desired.