Jesse’s Grilled Coho Salmon

First and foremost, this is my hubby’s recipe.  He came up with it after a trek to Alaska, for a long weekend Ocean fishing trip with his brother and father, several years ago.  After he returned, he scrubbed the fish smell off, shaved (thank goodness, I am not a facial hair kind of gal) and recouped, he showed me an amazing spice blend.   Now Jesse purchased this spice blend in a little general store, somewhere in the middle of nowhere.  And it was a very small bottle that went super quick, especially considering about 80 lbs. of the freshest and truly phenomenal fish we had ever had the pleasure to experience,  accompanied him.  It was the tastiest fish spice blend that just seemed to enhance the fish.  So when it was gone, of course I was upset, because it was not like he was going to haul himself up to the middle of nowhere just to purchase another bottle.  Geez, boys don’t think about things like this.  Eighty pounds of fish, 2 oz. bottle.  I get it, he said he didn’t want me to be upset if he got more and I hated it.  I am thinking the extra $5 would have been okay with me, but if it sucked, who knows.  PMS and it would have been the end of the world.  Anyway, he stated, he thought he could have gotten it online, which he cannot.  Now at that time I had not known about all my food sensitivities, but looking at the bottle we kept, it has so much junk in it, including hydrolyzed soy.   Hmmm you want some MSG with that?  Now even though his recipe greatly varies from the bottle, the ingredients were an inspiration to him.  For this I am thankful.  We can find thankfulness and inspiration in the smallest of items or day to day experiences.  We just need to remain aware, be in the moment and not on lockdown with our phones.  I find it incredible, that my honey found his artistry to cook this dish, experiment and feel good about a recipe he created, from a $5 bottle of fish seasoning.  We hope you enJoy this grilled salmon as much as we do.  If you are disgusted by fish, cause of the smell or the fishiness, I get it.  I used to hate the smell of fish, if I remember correctly, until after college.  Not sure what happened, but there it is, for all the world to know.

After Jesse came home with a variety of fish including Halibut, rock cod, and various Salmon, I learned a thing or two that I would like to share.

King Salmon

King Salmon is hands down the best Salmon money can buy, or you can catch yourself in Alaska.  It is a huge fish, in fact the largest of the Salmons.  It produces thick filets, fattier and therefore super moist and almost buttery, all on its own.   No fishiness to smell or taste, unless it is not truly fresh.  The problem is limited quantity, and mostly expensive restaurants buy it all up, so that makes it more scarce and drives the price through the roof.  You will not be able to find it in your typical grocery store, this is a specialty item, more in like a whole foods or a gourmet grocery store.  I have bought it in a specialty store a couple times and it is not worth it to me.  Typically I have seen it priced at $25 to $35 per lb.  Yeah I know right?  I know it is a long shot, but if you are not a fan of Salmon, I urge you to give this one a try or a line before you forsake them all.


One step down from King is Coho.  It has a lighter flesh similar to King and much lighter than Sockeye or Pink.  This variety is second to moistness and fat content and additionally has a more buttery flavor.   Like the King it is easy to marinate, and absorbs flavor well.  Coho is what you see pictured in this recipe.  It can be a difficult fish to locate, when you see it, buy it.  I was lucky enough to find wild caught and now I wished I had bought more for freezing, especially since it was on sale.  Ask your butcher about freezing it, and if it was previously frozen.  



A particularly common type of salmon.  Easy to find in your grocer’s seafood section or frozen section in a bag, separated into filets.  I am not a huge fan of Sockeye.  I had to say it.  In my opinion it is a little fishy in smell and taste and squeezing fresh lemon juice after it is fully cooked can help.  It is also quite dry, and great caution has to be used when cooking.  This is what we have feed our dogs, after we pull out all the little allusive bones.  They love the fishy smell.  Sometimes we eat it, if I can find it wild.  The flesh is an unsettling bright orange red, similar to a ripe grapefruit but stands up pretty well to cooking.



This fish is very dry and lacks flavor.  It is also fishy, and is normally a canned, smoked, or considered a budget item.  The flesh is a lighter pink color, and a much smaller fish.  This produces thinner and smaller pieced fillets which are easily overcooked and adds to the dry outcome.  Another one we feed our dogs.  I won’t even buy this for us, just the pups.


This is my absolute favorite out of all the fish mentioned.  Although, keep in mind it is not a salmon, I just tend to over-share.  It has a pure white flesh, it is meatier, holds together very well and yet is flakey and moist.  It absorbs flavor very well and does not have that fishy flavor to it.  Halibut even is a bit sweeter and super versatile.  This white fish is used in a variety of ethnic dishes and does well prepared in array of methods.  Love love love this fish and also does well with this recipe, although cooking times will vary.  

Salmon Grilled Jesse























Jesse’s Grilled Coho Salmon 


  • 1  1/2  lb. Salmon skin on ( I found wild Coho)
  • 1 TBSP. olive oil
  • half of a lemon juiced
  •  1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. salt or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. dried dill
  • 1/4 tsp. raw sugar (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme


  1. Combine all your dry seasonings in a small bowl, sift and set aside
  2. Rinse your fish well on both sides, place in a shallow glass pan and pat dry.
  3. On the side without skin, put a light layer (about 1 TBSP.) of olive oil on your fish and use your hands to rub all over.
  4. Squirt about a half lemon over same side and use your hands again to rub the filets.
  5. Sprinkle your seasoning to cover the same exposed side of fish.  Let it marinate for 20 minutes, only.  Don’t let it set for more or it will start cooking and become tough.
  6. On a preheated grill set to about 350, grill for 5-8 minutes the skin side down, on low, over the heat.  Flip very carefully and grill for an additional 4 minutes or until done.  Salmon will flake when done.
  7. Very carefully remove fish from the grill and let it sit about 8 minutes before serving.  Loosely tent your cooked fish, with a piece of foil to keep from cooling.  Optional, top with fresh green onions and chopped tomatoes.  Serve on your favorite side.  Pictured is a bed of creamy quinoa.

Note:  Depending on your length, thickness and type of salmon, the timing will vary to cook.  If you have smaller pieces it will cook on the shorter end of the timing spectrum and if your pieces are thicker and/or longer it will be around the 7-8 minutes on the first side, possibly more if you get super thick cuts.


 Gluten free, soy free, and dairy free easy grilled Salmon Recipe. 

Author: Joy

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *