Harissa Salmon

Harissa Salmon

Over the past 4 years I’ve made a ton of salmon, not just Friday night salmon dinner sails, but plenty of private charters select salmon off my catering menu. The first year I ate salmon with enthusiasm, after that I only ate some here or there and now I hardly even try it even though I’ve made it. Don’t’ get me wrong salmon is great, but it’s also a strongly flavored fish, unlike white fish salmon will always be the star rather than whatever you put on top of it. So after having made salmon at least 50 times for about 60 people ever time I have found a handful of recipes that I really love and don’t mind repeating.

This quick harissa is great on its own, roasted red peppers and some freshly toasted spice make a powerful sauce, but it’s more of an ingredient at that stage. Add some mayo and then it’s really a sauce all on it’s own ready to smother a couple salmon fillets and roasted under the broiler.

Harissa Salmon


  • 3/4 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 3/4 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 1 ½ tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/2 c roasted red peppers
  • 1 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 ½ tsp. lemon juice
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c mayo
  • 3 -4 salmon fillets


Harissa sauce

  1. In a small pan toast the cumin, coriander and caraway seeds for a few minutes until they are fragrant, grind in a spice mill or mortar and pestle until powdery.
  2. Add the ground spices and remaining ingredients into a food processor, blend till smooth.


  1. Preheat the broiler on high and move a rack to the uppermost position.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean up and place the salmon fillets on it, spoon about a ¼ cup of harissa sauce sauce over each fillet.
  3. Broil for 5 to 10 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillet, turn the tray every few minutes to ensure even coloring. Cook until the internal temperature of the fish reaches 140F.

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