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Grilling this Soy Brown Sugar Salmon in Foil makes for an easy weeknight dinner that is impressive enough to serve as weekend fare for guests. The salmon is first marinated in a simple marinade, the sealed in foil and grilled (or baked!) for about 15 minutes just until it flakes apart!
It’s been a while since I shared this recipe for garam masala salmon steaks on here, which is surprising since we eat salmon often at our house. I love to pan-sear individual fillets in my cast-iron skillet, or cook it in the oven as a sheet pan meal.
But one of my favorite methods for preparing salmon is wrapping it in foil and grilling or baking it. And this soy brown sugar salmon that is perfect for the summer grilling season is one of the best grilled salmon recipes ever.
I distinctly remember the first time I ever had salmon cooked on the grill in foil. It was at a family reunion in southern Utah when I was in high school and it was the most delicious, flavorful salmon I had ever eaten.
I’m positive I was the kid going back for second and third helpings, eating way more than my fair share of that delicious grilled fish.
Wrapping the salmon in foil and then grilling it (or just baking if that’s easier for you or you live somewhere that you can’t grill outdoors), makes the salmon so juicy and tender because it seals of of the ingredients up with the fish and gives it the best flavor ever! Plus, clean up is so easy when you just have to throw the foil away!
The salmon is so tender and flaky it practically falls apart on its own, and it starts to caramelize from the soy brown sugar garlic marinade that is super simple to make with ingredients you already have in your pantry or fridge.
The hardest part is just letting the salmon marinate for a couple of hours before grilling it.
Seriously, making the simply soy brown sugar salmon marinade consists of mincing a few cloves of garlic and squeeze lemon juice in with some soy sauce, brown sugar, pepper, olive oil, and salt. Everything gets whisked together, then poured over the salmon in a shallow glass dish so it can marinate before wrapping in foil and grilling for all of about 15 minutes.
American Eats: Favorite Foods from the 50 States
But before I get to the explanation of how to grill salmon in foil, I want to announce that it’s Alaska week on House of Nash Eats!
I started with Alabama and the Southern Tomato Pie that I shared to kick things off has actually been the third most popular recipe on the site for the last 30 days! If you haven’t tried it yet, what are you waiting for?!
One reader commented after seeing the pin on Pinterest for it: “I read this recipe this morning and we made it for dinner tonight. It was a big hit even with the kids!” Thanks, Lytle!
But today we are moving on to the 49th and largest state in the U.S.A. – Alaska! And what better way to kick things off than a delicious, tried and true salmon recipe?
Home of Denali National Park, icebergs and glaciers, Kodiak and grizzly bears, and the Iditarod trail sled dog race, when it comes to food, salmon just might be the food most commonly associated with Alaska.
I have always been fascinated by the wildlife footage of the salmon run in Alaska where they run the gauntlet of bears, waterfalls, and currents each year in their annual migration. Paul and I are even talking about possibly visiting Alaska next year for our 15th anniversary (!) and watching bears catch salmon is at the top of my list of things I would love to experience there!
So this week I will be sharing not one, but TWO salmon recipes for you on here! And if you love salmon, you might also want to check out my hot smoked salmon recipe!
But if fish isn’t your thing, stick around because I’ve also got an Alaska-inspired dessert for you that is perfect for summertime!
How to Grill Salmon in Foil
- I like to do one large piece of salmon when I’m making this for my family, but you can use salmon fillets if you prefer.
- After making your super simple soy brown sugar salmon marinade and letting the salmon marinate for 1-2 hours, use heavy-duty aluminum foil (or double up two sheets of the thinner stuff) to wrap the salmon tightly. I place the salmon in the middle of the foil, bring the long sides up, then fold them two or three times down over themselves, repeating on the shorter ends, to create a sealed packet so nothing can get out.
- Make sure the grill is heated all the way before placing the wrapped salmon over indirect heat (so not directly over the flames – if using a gas grill, just turn off the burners on one side and place the salmon there).
- Close the grill lid and let the salmon cook until opaque through the center, being careful not to overcook the salmon. It only takes about 15 minutes for the salmon to cook on the grill this way.
- This last step is optional but if you want gorgeous grill marks on your salmon, just before the salmon is done when it is still a little bit darker pink in the center, unwrap the salmon from the foil and brush the side of the grill over direct heat with a little oil, then flip the salmon over and grill for 2-3 minutes to finish the salmon and get those nice grill marks. I always make sure to have two large spatulas and my serving plate handy so I can transfer the entire piece of salmon over as soon as it is done.
How Long do you Cook Salmon on the Grill?
- A large piece of salmon like the one I grilled in these photos will take around 15-20 minutes on a HOT grill. Or the same amount of time in the oven if you are baking it.
- Smaller salmon fillets might take a little less time, around 10-15 minutes. Either way, resist the temptation to open the foil packet while the salmon is cooking to see if it is done.
- Again though, don’t over cook the salmon! Salmon is best when it is juicy and tender, and cooking it too long dries it out and can easily ruin a beautiful piece of fish.
When the salmon is done, slice it into individual portions for your family. The leftovers (if there are any) are wonderful scrambled into eggs (seriously, one of my favorite things to do with salmon, especially smoked salmon), added to pasta or used in a salad the next day.
What to Eat with Salmon
Try some of these sides with your salmon!
- Sweet Molasses Brown Bread
- Green Beans with Bacon and Pine Nuts
- Creamy Potluck Potatoes
- Oven Roasted Asparagus with Garlic, Parmesan & Lemon
- Honey Steamed Broccoli
- Salt Crusted Baked Potatoes with Roasted Garlic & Rosemary Butter
- Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Apples
- Peach Panzanella Salad
Grilled Soy Brown Sugar Salmon in Foil
- 1 1/2 pounds salmon with skin on
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Parsley chopped for garnish
- Lemon wedges
- Combine all marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Place the salmon in a large zip-tight bag or shallow glass baking dish and add the marinade, turning to coat the fish entirely. Seal tightly or cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for 1-3 hours.
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Take a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil and remove the salmon from the marinade, laying it skin side down in the center of the piece of foil. Fold the long sides up and then over themselves, repeating with the short sides, to create a sealed packet containing the salmon.
- Transfer the foil-wrapped salmon to the hot grill over indirect heat not directly over the flames and close the grill lid. Cook for 15-18 minutes until almost entirely cooked through. Brush the grill grates directly over the flames with a little oil, then carefully open the foil packet and using one of the long edges of the foil, and flip the salmon directly onto the grill grates over direct heat to char the top. Grill just until cooked through, and grill marks appear (1-2 minutes) being careful not to overcook, the use two large spatulas to remove the salmon from the grill.
- Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with chopped parsley and lemon wedges before serving.
More States I Have Visited in my American Eats Series
Alabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • Florida • Georgia • Hawaii • Idaho • Illinois • Indiana • Iowa • Kansas • Kentucky • Louisiana • Maine • Maryland • Massachusetts • Montana • New York • Oregon • Puerto Rico • South Carolina • South Dakota • Texas • Utah • Wisconsin