Salt-Roasted Salmon

six minute salmon

I am still recovering from last week, it seems. I felt fine on Monday, but Tuesday came along and smacked be across the face. Hard. I suspect I may be in dire need of fruits, vegetables, and vitamins in general. Who knew you wouldn’t just eat a bunch of pizza and Chinese food and seafood for a week straight? It’s news to me. Thanks, body, for filling me in. I have grand plans for the weekend, though, and I’m not going to let anything stop me. Tonight, Kramer and I are going to go check out The Expendables 2, because I am man enough to admit that I love these kinds of movies with all of my heart. I don’t care if it’s all explodey with zero plot. I do not go see a Jason Statham movie for the magnificent story telling. I go see a Jason Statham movie to see him run around like a maniac throwing punches left and right and leaping through fire. He just knows how to please his movie-going audience, and I will pay real American dollars to see anything he’s in (case in point: I have seen both Crank and Crank 2 in theaters, and if they make Crank 3, I’ll be there). To fuel up for our inevitable thrill ride experience, Kramer and I are going to first stop at my favorite sandwich spot, Mile End, where I’ll finally get to try the pickled veal tongue sandwich and poutine. Wait, what was I saying about needing more vitamins and vegetables in my diet? Never mind. Give me pickled meats or give me death. I had such a great vacation that I’m doing all I can to cling to those not so distant memories…including indulging in some less than healthy fare. Whatcha gonna do about it?

Salt-Roasted Salmon

Anyway, I’ve gone a bit salmon crazy this summer. I’ve been reaping the benefits of good deal after good deal on beautiful wild fish, and who am I to turn down center-cut Alaskan salmon for $11 a pound? I can hear my father now, saying “What? So cheap! Get 2! Get 4!” And if you know anything, it’s that you just don’t stand in the way of your Italian father and quality meat or seafood. Therefore, as my father’s daughter, I am morally obligated purchase and somehow prepare these items. I was flipping through my favorite cookbook for inspiration (Think Like a Chef by my main man, Tom Colicchio, of course) when I stumbled across this salt-roasted salmon. The rain has cooled the city off a bit, so I figured I could safely turn on my oven for the 10 minutes that this recipe requires. You’ll not find an easier way to turn your piece of salmon into one of the most flavorful bites of fish you’ve ever tasted. It’s so simple and foolproof that you can even make it after work, like we did. All you need is salt, salmon, a pan, and an oven. You can finish it with a quick grind of fresh black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil, then serve it alongside a big, green salad or some other variety of vegetables. Kramer and I both licked our plates clean and I bet that you will do the same.

Salt-Roasted Salmon
The private beach we were lucky enough to enjoy for one day.

Salt-Roasted Salmon
Kramer and his father.

Salt-Roasted Salmon
My brother Dane helping Kramer’s cousin Grace build a sandcastle. I bet him $5 that he couldn’t build a perfect sandcastle without the use of buckets/molds, and he proved me wrong.

Salt-Roasted Salmon
My sister-in-law Rachel and her friend Heather being fabulous on the beach.

Salt-Roasted Salmon
Me and Grandma.

Salt-Roasted Salmon
See? Fabulous.

Salt-Roasted Salmon
A pretty damn good sandcastle, if you ask me.

Salt-Roasted Salmon
Just look at my pasty white skin and be amazed with me at how I did not get burned.

Salt-Roasted Salmon
My brother and I getting ready to jump.

Salt-Roasted Salmon

Salt-Roasted SalmonSalt-Roasted Salmon
Making this salmon is a simple process. First, crisp up the skin side of your salmon in a heavy, ovenproof pan.

Salt-Roasted Salmon
Then mound on the salt and put it in the oven at 400 degrees F for 6 minutes or so.

Salt-Roasted Salmon
Brush off the salt and serve with a drizzle of oil and a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper.

Salt-Roasted Salmon


Salt-Roasted Salmon
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4, depending on your portions
Beautiful salmon simply roasted with rock salt then drizzled with good olive oil.
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1½ pounds center-cut salmon fillet (about 1-1/4 inches thick), skin on, cut into 4 equal pieces (note that I only cut mine into 2 pieces)
  • 3-4 cups coarse sea salt (kosher will work, too, but sea salt is best)
  • freshly ground black pepper, for serving
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy, ovenproof pan (I suggest a cast iron skillet) over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add in the salmon by careful skimming it skin side down along the hot oil before placing it in the pan (this will help the skin not stick). Cook skin side down until beginning to crisp, about 3 minutes.
  2. Carefully mound the salt around each piece of salmon, being sure to cover the pieces entirely. Roast the salmon in the oven for 6 minutes for medium-rare (I know it's hard because you can't see it, but trust me, 6 minutes is perfect). Remove the salmon from the oven, brush away as much of the salt as you can (I found a pastry brush worked well), then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with ground black pepper. Serve alongside a big green salad or other vegetables.


19 Responses

  1. LOVE LOVE The beach pics! The private beach factor, the gorgeous blue skies, everyone having a ball- how fun!

    And my hubs would love this salmon. Salt, and salmon. His bff’s :)

  2. Yay, I love salt, salmon and simple. This hits all three. Your vacation looks like it was awesome. I ate bacon jalapeno cheeseburgers throughout my FL beach trip and now I pay the price. Maybe tonight I’ll make this salmon with a mega bowl of spinach.

  3. Your beach photo’s have me missing our time at the shore last month – looks like you guys had a great time!

    I remember an Alton Brown episode where he baked fish covered in salt, looked great then, looks like an even better idea now. We just cooked fish for the first time last week (what took us so long!) and it was a success – definitely need to try one of your salmon recipes!

  4. Joanne says:

    You are our dorks! We have never cooked salmon this way, we will be trying this method, I love Simple.

  5. carrian says:

    Gorgeous skies, and a lovely recipe. I’ve never cooked salmon like that. Hope you are well dear!!

  6. Dana says:

    I see Jason Statham movies for the exact same reason; it also doesn’t hurt that he’s so darn handsome! 😛

    I’m happy to hear you’re on the mend, I’m sure the salmon is helping!

  7. Molly says:

    I’m always looking for new ways to cook salmon. I endlessly rattle off a list of salmon dishes a la Bubba with the shrimp in Forrest Gump. I’m going to have to try this. The salt has me intrigued.

  8. What gorgeous pictures! And a private beach?! I’m so jealous.

    On another note, this salmon looks amazing! I would’ve never thought to roast it in salmon. Looks like I’ll be making a trip to Costco to get a huge batch of salmon so I can make this over the weekend!

  9. Elizabeth says:

    I loved seeing those photos and the salmon looks so easy and delicious!

  10. Tracy A. says:

    As a salmon fan – and a salt fan – this sounds fabulous! Great pictures by the way!

  11. […] thin, tossed everything in lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper, and served it alongside the salt-roasted salmon that I posted last week. Kramer said it was one of the best all around meals that I’ve ever […]

  12. JulieD says:

    Wow, that’s just gorgeous! Question for you, do you think I could do this with a white fish and which one would you recommend? I think my husband would adore this (he loves salt) but he likes white fish better than salmon…although I might try to convince him to try it with salmon. Thanks!

    • Sydney says:

      I think it’d work just fine! Maybe a firmer, heartier white fish would work well, like something you’d fry (halibut, cod, etc.). Let me know how it goes!

  13. I love wild salmon and eat it at least once a week year round. My skin reminds me if I’ve missed a serving. There’s nothing like it.

  14. Trish says:

    WOW! I’ve never ever dreamed of making salmon this way. And as a girl from the northwest, I’ve made a LOT of salmon.
    SO very cool! I’ll have to try this out.

  15. Lynna says:

    I`m in love. :) Ahah, this is such an interesting way to make salmon!

  16. Silvia says:

    I love your blog and have been following it for some time (I posted several times about two years ago). Why am I telling you this? So that you don’t think I’m an obnoxious troll by suggesting that you have your thyroid checked. I’m serious. Like you, I often felt I was tired but thought it was just being business, that I had to adjust diet and exercise, etc. Turns out it was thyroid issues and vitamin D deficiency. Whenever you do your next physical, ask the doc to test both.

    Cheers to you….Silvia

  17. Dorothy says:

    In your headshot, you look like Anne Hathaway!

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