Grilled Chile Salmon with Lime Crema
In this easy, healthy recipe for grilled salmon, the fillets marinate quickly with chili powder, garlic, lime, and olive oil. After grilling, the salmon is served with a sauce of Mexican crema or sour cream, lime, cilantro, and green onions. Serve alongside rice pilaf or sautéed zucchini for an easy, healthy dinner.
What to buy: Look for wild or sustainably farmed salmon—check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch for salmon recommendations and find a market or fishmonger you can trust. And see our guide to types of salmon for more about different varieties of the fish.
For the fish:
- 4 (6-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets, pin bones removed
- Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 1/2 medium lime)
For the sauce:
- 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
- 2 green onions, finely sliced
- 1/2 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
- Finely grated zest and juice from 1 medium lime, plus more as needed
- Kosher salt, to taste
For cooking the fish:
1Dry the salmon well with paper towels and season it all over with salt. In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, garlic, olive oil, and lime juice; stir to form a paste. Spread the paste all over the salmon fillets in a thin layer, distributing it evenly. Set aside at room temperature for 15 minutes.
2Meanwhile, make the sauce. Stir together the cilantro, green onions, crema, lime zest and juice, and a pinch of salt. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more lime juice or salt as needed. Transfer to a small serving bowl and set aside.
3Set a large nonstick or well-seasoned grill pan over medium-high heat and wait for it to get hot, about 5 minutes. Brush the surface with vegetable oil and add the salmon fillets skin-side down. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, pressing down on the fillets with a spatula to make sure the skin is making contact with the pan. Cook until the skin is crisp, about 6 minutes. Turn the salmon and cook on the flesh side until the salmon is done to your liking (about 1 minute longer for medium-rare). Transfer the fish to a warmed serving platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let it rest for 5 minutes before serving with the sauce.
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