Grilled Crispy-Skinned Salmon with Whole Lemon-Sesame Sauce
Adding an entire lemon—skin, pith, and flesh—to the sauce provides it with brightness and texture. Any bitterness from the pith will be offset by the sesame oil and honey. That balance makes it a super versatile condiment that pairs well with grilled or roasted vegetables and is great as a topping for stews and braises come winter. And remember: You absolutely want to cook fish that still has its skin on. It protects the fish while it grills and, despite what you think or have been told, will help it release from the grill grates more easily.
2 Tbsp. plus ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for grill
1 small shallot, finely chopped
2 tsp. black sesame seeds
½ tsp. toasted sesame oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Prepare a grill for medium heat. Rub salmon with 2 Tbsp. olive oil; season both sides with salt.
Cut ends off lemon and discard. Place lemon upright and slice off outer lobes in 4 sections, leaving a square-shaped core and seeds behind. Finely chop lobes (flesh, pith, and all) and transfer to a small bowl (you should have about ⅓ cup). Squeeze out juice from core over bowl. Add shallot, sesame seeds, honey, sesame oil, and remaining ⅓ cup olive oil; season with salt and lots of pepper. Toss to combine.
Clean and oil grate, then immediately place salmon on grill skin side down. Cover grill and cook, skin side down the entire time, until skin is lightly charred and fish is opaque, 6–8 minutes. Transfer salmon to a plate and let cool slightly.
Divide salmon among plates. Top with basil. Spoon lemon-sesame sauce over.
Andy Makes Grilled Salmon with Lemon Sauce
Reviews SectionI didn’t feel like going outside and grilling so I cooked the salmon on a griddle pan in the kitchen instead. I was a little apprehensive at first about the basil being too much but this was actually a delightful surprise ! It was absolutely delicious, I added a little soy sauce to the lemon salsa and skipped the sesame seeds (didn’t have any). Served alongside an arugula/beet/cucumber/tomato/basil salad with a shallot pickled garlic white wine vinegar vinaigrette and soy sesame sautéed zucchini.Chef_sadgalLos Angeles 07/12/20I meant to say raved.... 😁😂ElisaGraceWisconsin05/27/20This fish was AMAZING!!!I didn’t have salmon, so I used cod instead. I was worried that the lemon would be tough and hard to chew, but not a bit.My family raced over it countless times and I will definitely be making it again!!!ElisaGraceWisconsin 05/27/20I just made this for dinner tonight! Very simple, quick and light. Perfect for a weeknight. I think next time I'll try adding some more spice to the lemon sauce.AnonymousDenver, CO05/14/20It was delicious. I made 2 small changes: encrusted the top of the salmon with black sesame seeds and left out the shallots (i hate onions). May try with garlic instead but I loved it as is.This was so good. Didn't want to use the shared apartment complex grill, so I dusted off my electric grill and cranked it as high as it would go. It worked great--crispy skin, and buttery, delicate salmon. Was worried about the lemon pith being too bitter in the dressing but it was bright and perfect with the rich fatty fish. Mint was the only fresh herb I had but I thought it went really well. Felt like a real treat! I'm looking forward to getting fresh salmon from my local shop so I can make this again. Thank you!This was delicious and my new favourite way to cook salmon perfectly. We cooked it on a cast iron griddle pan and had to flip it for 30 seconds on the other side, but it was perfectly cooked and delicate inside. I love using the whole lemon and found the sauce perfectly balanced, and made the whole quantity of sauce for two servings which was fine given how delicious it was. One of my favourite Andy recipes of allOne of the best and easiest salmon recipes ever!AnonymousLos Angeles01/20/20This was definitely a creative recipe but I could not get past the lemon pith. It was chewy and bitter and was not offset by the honey.I hoped this would work out well but it did not.This may work well with farmed salmon but the flavor overpowered Copper River salmon.AnonymousLos Angeles05/30/19This was fabulous. The lemon salsa alone was amazing but paired with the slight char on the salmon skin it was next level. I'm sure we will have this many more times over the summer months, thanks!This method of grilling salmon is fool proof, and the dish comes together very quickly if you make the salsa ahead. It was a big crowd pleaser!My new go-to salmon recipe. Lemon Salsa 2020AnonymousBrooklyn, NY04/02/19Excellent. Easy and delicious. A real winner. The honey just balances the lemon without going to sweet. Super good. Will be looking for additional ways to use the lemon salsa. It's fabulous.This lemon salsa is my favorite recipe of 2018. I have been putting it on EVERYTHING.Super recipe with the salmon too - make it now!AnonymousLos Angeles01/03/19I have made this at least 5 times and it is delicious. I was afraid the pith from the lemon would make the sauce bitter but that was not the case. The honey and sesame oil add a smooth finish. I have tried it with Myer lemons and regular lemons and I like it with both. This will be my go-to salmon recipe until I find another that tops this!David AllenHavertown, Pennsylvania12/27/18This is my favourite lemon sauce I do this at least every other week. I use it on everythingAnieOttawa, Canada 09/18/18This recipe was incredible! So easy, I am going to always cook my salmon this way. The sauce didn’t look like the picture BUT the flavor was amazing. Make a double batch of the sauce!AnonymousSalem, Oregon09/06/18Amazing! The skin-side down method cooked the salmon perfectly and the sauce was OUTSTANDING. You can use the sauce later as a salsa on leftover salmon tacos, very, very good recipe.Publisher-Los Cerritos Community NewsOrange County, Ca.07/26/18