An incredibly easy and insanely flavorful roasted salmon recipe. Just brown sugar, chili powder, salmon, and my secret ingredient for perfectly moist salmon.
I wish I could tell you that I came up with roasted salmon with spiced brown sugar recipe, because it is ah-mazing. I would pretty much be able to call myself THE master of flavor if I dreamed up this flavor combination of brown sugar and chili powder. Like I would probably make a bumper sticker for my car and make an award to put in my cubicle at work so everybody would know that I am the master of flavor. Because this combination of brown sugar, chili powder, and salmon is ingenious and insane and out of this world (more on that to come). But alas, I did not come up with this flavor combination. I got it from my one true addiction in life—The Food Network.
That’s right. I, Samantha, am addicted to The Food Network. It’s the only thing I watch on TV. No joke. (Except I also watch The Chew and Top Chef, which aren’t on the Food Network but obviously are 100% about food because that’s all that good TV is about). What is it about watching people crack eggs, stir sauces, chop vegetables, and measure ingredients that has me so enamored? I could watch for hours. And hours. And sometimes I do watch for hours and hours. In all honestly, I don’t even understand why it’s so amusing to me. But I guess an addiction is never really rational, right?
Some of my favorite shows are The Pioneer Woman (my colorful Asian noodle salad is her recipe), Barefoot Contessa (she makes Jewish recipes sometimes!), The Next Food Network Star, and The Kitchen. Although I really don’t distinguish. I’ll watch anything that’s on that channel. And most recently I have started the dangerous habit of watching full episodes on foodnetwork.com on my laptop in bed. That’s how I know I really am addicted, because instead of getting enough sleep I keep watching just one more episode, and then just one more episode. Don’t try this at home. Trust me.
On the bright side, at least my addiction comes with positive side effects—I always get amazing recipe ideas! Exhibit A: this roasted salmon with spiced brown sugar recipe. I recently saw Katie Lee make it on The Kitchen, and I added it to the top of my recipe to-do list immediately. It’s so simple, but I knew the flavors would be off the charts. It’s salmon fillets topped with a mixture of brown sugar, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Isn’t that an amazing idea?
And after making the recipe a few days later, it definitely did not disappoint. It’s not spicy from the chili powder, yet it’s not sweet from the brown sugar. It’s both. And it’s neither. It’s insanely delicious is what it is. I hereby crown Katie Lee the Queen of Flavor Combinations. Well done, Katie. Well done.
The recipe is perfectly delicious as is, but I just couldn’t resist adding my own flare. I added my personal secret to over-the-top delicious salmon—mayonnaise. That’s right, putting a thin layer of mayonnaise on top of each filet seals in the moisture and makes the salmon incredibly tender and juicy and moist. I also added a dash of mustard powder because I love mustard and salmon together, and the mustard powder helps balance out the sweetness of the brown sugar.
And lastly, I garnished the fillets with a squeeze of lemon juice and some chopped green onions before serving. With each recipe I make, I always ask myself if it could benefit from fresh herbs and a little bit of acid. I’ve found these two last-minute additions to really liven up and enhance the flavor of almost any recipe.
And there you have it! The most flavorful, moist, and EASY salmon recipe out there. You will definitely want to keep this recipe handy, because you are going to be making it a lot. Thank you Katy Lee, The Kitchen, and my really annoying but also very useful Food Network addiction.
- 2 lb salmon, skin removed and cut into fillets
- 4 tsp mayonnaise
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- ⅛ teaspoon mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Chopped green onion (for garnish)
- Fresh lemon juice (for garnish)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Arrange the salmon fillets on the baking sheet. Spread a layer of mayonnaise onto each fillet.
- In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, chili powder, mustard powder, salt, and pepper. Pat the mixture onto the top of each fillet.
- Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the salmon just starts to flake and is no longer pink in the middle. One extra minute in the oven can make the difference between moist salmon and dry salmon, so watch it carefully. Serve with chopped green onions and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Food Network’s Brown Sugar Spiced Salmon