October 26, 2022

Recipe: Harissa-Baked Wild King Salmon Fillets

This brain-healthy king salmon recipe showcases the North African flavors of harissa

Harissa salmon.

The flavors of North African Harissa Spice Blend meet brain-health-boosting king salmon in this recipe. Don’t be afraid to increase the chili pepper in this dish if you like a bit more of a kick, as the salmon’s richness and fat content soothe the heat and create a harmonious balance.

Advertisement

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon parsley, fresh, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Harissa Spice Blend (see recipe below)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon peel, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, coarse ground
  • 4 pieces (3 ounces each) wild sockeye salmon fillets, skinless, boneless, bias cut

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon parsley with olive oil, garlic, Harissa Spice Blend, lemon peel and juice, salt and pepper. Stir until well blended.
  3. Spread a quarter of the harissa mixture (about 2 teaspoons) evenly over the top of each salmon fillet.
  4. Spray a 12-by-8-inch rimmed baking sheet with nonstick coating. Place the fillets about an inch apart on the prepared sheet.
  5. Roast the salmon until the fillets feel almost firm to the touch and are just cooked through, about 12 minutes.
  6. Garnish the fillets with some chopped parsley before serving.

Note: This method of preparing salmon is also excellent for grilling outdoors, as the small pieces will cook quickly, which reduces the risk of burning. Always use a grill fitted with a cover. If there isn’t a thermometer fitted into the lid to gauge internal temperature, be sure to have an area with no coals to cook fish without burning.

Ingredient health benefits

The ingredients in this dish are big on benefits for both your brain and your heart:

  • Salmon: Fish is a staple of brain-healthy diet. Its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for learning and memory. Salmon in particular has some of the highest levels of omega-3s, with more than 500 milligrams per 3-ounce serving.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: A staple of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil provides healthy unsaturated fats. And extra virgin olive oil specifically has more beneficial antioxidants than regular or light olive oil.
  • Garlic: An antioxidant-rich food, garlic offers multiple health benefits, including reducing inflammation, boosting immunity and improving heart health.
  • Harissa spice blend: With more heart-healthy garlic, plus antioxidant-rich cumin, and the red pepper addition from both paprika and red chili flakes offering brain-boosting anthocyanins, this tasty mix of spices packs a healthy punch.

Nutrition information (per serving)

Calories: 425
Sodium: 606 mg
Sugar: 0.5 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Saturated fat: 4.1 g
Fiber: 2.7 g
Protein: 35.4 g
Total carbohydrate: 5.8 g

Advertisement

Recipe: Harissa Spice Blend

Harissa is a fabulous Middle Eastern spice mix that has evolved since the 16th-century Spanish occupation of North African countries that incorporated chili peppers into their cuisine. As it may be hard to find at some grocers, we put together this harissa spice recipe. To grind the caraway seeds, you can use a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. There’s a time-honored feeling when putting pressure on the pestle while rotating it in the mortar that’s been used this way since 35,000 BCE, and a good amount of functional exercise! A spice grinder is a great kitchen tool to have, especially when you want to grind seeds and spices quickly.

Ingredients

  • 4 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon paprika, smoked
  • 1 tablespoon cumin, ground
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes

Directions

  1. Grind caraway seeds and red chili flakes in mortar and pestle or spice grinder. If neither is available, you can fine-chop with a chef’s knife.
  2. Combine with remaining ingredients and store in a tightly sealed container.

Nutrition information (per serving)

Makes 5 tablespoons
Serving size = 1/4 teaspoon

Calories: 20
Sodium: 389 mg
Sugar: 0.02 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Saturated fat: 0.01 g
Fiber: 1.8 g
Protein: 0.9 g
Total carbohydrate: 2.8 g

Advertisement

— Recipe created by Jim Perko Sr., CEC, AAC; adapted from the What to Eat When cookbook.

Related Articles

Tuna patty on grey plate with lemon wedge and dipping sauce in background.
November 8, 2023
Recipe: Lighter Tuna Patties

Good for a light lunch and for your belly

Toasted quinoa and salmon salad on a white plate, sitting on a colorful blue striped cloth napkin.
October 23, 2023
Recipe: Toasted Quinoa and Salmon Salad

A delicious combination of texture and taste

Fish tostada on a yellow plate piled with tomatoes, avocados and a lime.
February 8, 2023
Recipe: Spicy Fish Tostada

Tilapia meets avocado and salsa!

Tasty salmon burgers
April 4, 2022
Recipe: Snappy Salmon Burgers

A heart-healthy option for the stovetop or grill

Creamy tomato seafood stew in a bowl
January 12, 2022
Recipe: Creamy Tomato Seafood Stew

A hearty, flavorful stew that’s rich in healthy fats

red and black caviar on baguettes
January 11, 2022
Is Caviar Good for You?

The benefits of eating this ‘nutritional powerhouse’

recipe Baked Fish Butternut Squash
September 13, 2021
Recipe: Baked Fish With Steamed Butternut Squash

Healthy, filling and ready in just 40 minutes

recipe flounder with sweet and sour sauce
August 5, 2021
Recipe: Broiled Flounder With Sweet and Sour Sauce

Pineapple meets peppers, onions and lemon in this textured dish

Trending Topics

close up of keto gummies
Do Keto Gummies Work for Weight Loss? Are They Safe?

Research is inconclusive whether or not these supplements are helpful

Person in yellow tshirt and blue jeans relaxing on green couch in living room reading texts on their phone.
Here’s How Many Calories You Naturally Burn in a Day

Your metabolism may torch 1,300 to 2,000 calories daily with no activity

Older person postioned sideways showing dowager hump.
Dowager’s Hump: What It Is and How To Get Rid of It

The hump at the base of your neck may be caused by osteoporosis or poor posture

Ad