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Salmon filets on the grill

Grilled Salmon With Coriander-Fennel Spice Rub

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Total Time: 32 minutes
  • Yield: 4 pieces of salmon 1x


Grilled Salmon With Coriander-Fennel Spice Rub. King salmon with a simple spice rub, to bring out the quality of the fish.


  • 4 (2-inch wide) Salmon fillets (About 2 pounds of salmon)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seed
  • ¼ teaspoon fennel seed


  1. Prepare the grill: Prepare your grill for cooking with medium-high heat, then clean the grate thoroughly with a grill brush and a paper towel dipped in vegetable oil. For my Weber kettle, I light a chimney starter ¾ full of charcoal, wait for it to be covered with ash, then pour it evenly over one side of the grill grate. This gives me half the grill on direct heat, and half off the heat. Then I brush the grate clean with my grill brush, and wipe it with a folded paper towel dipped in vegetable oil. (Held with tongs, of course - please don't bare-hand a paper towel soaked with oil over flaming coals.)
  2. Season the salmon: While the grill is pre-heating, sprinkle the flesh side of the salmon evenly with the salt. Coarsely grind the peppercorns, coriander and fennel. Sprinkle the spice rub on the salmon.
  3. Cook the salmon: Put the salmon on the grill, flesh side down, over the direct heat (that is, over the coals). Cook uncovered for 4 to 6 minutes, until the salmon is well browned. Gently flip the salmon skin side down and grill for 4 to 6 more minutes, until the salmon is just opaque in the thickest part; once the salmon starts to flake I peek into the middle with a paring knife. (Or, use an instant read thermometer. Cook until the salmon is 130°F internal temperature at its thickest part.) It is OK to cook salmon longer on with the skin side down; the skin will protect the fish from burning. Remove from the grill, let rest for a few minutes, then serve and enjoy!


I highly recommend the Weber Chimney Starter, because it is larger than most chimney starters. It holds 5 quarts of charcoal, which is exactly the right size for cooking this recipe.

Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your fish. These were monsters, about 2 inches thick, so they were on the high end of my cooking range. (They may actually have taken about 15 minutes to cook through). Thinner fillets (1 inch, say) will only take about 8 minutes to cook to medium.

Salmon does not stick to the grill as much as other fish, because it has a lot of internal fat. But it *will* stick. I scrupulously clean my grill before putting the salmon down, and turn it by grabbing it with my tongs and gently wiggling it until it releases. Every now and then a piece will stick, but this usually works for me.


Really simple salmon: If you have a fabulous piece of salmon, skip the spices and simply use salt and pepper.

Other spices/herbs/aromatics: Add a teaspoon of your favorite spice (smoked paprika is a favorite of mine), or minced herbs (thyme), or citrus zest (lemon zest is particularly nice.)


Grill (I use my trusty Weber kettle

Spice grinder (I like my granite mortar and pestle for this, but a cheap coffee grinder also works)

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Category: Weeknight Dinner
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Grilled Salmon With Coriander-Fennel Spice Rub