There’s the Salmon Rub

It’s summer. It’s barbecue season It’s time for salmon. Salmon cooks quickly and is very versatile when it comes to seasoning. While on holidays a couple weeks ago in Alaska, I ate salmon every day. On one of the day stopovers, I picked up a pamphlet from the Alaska Seafood Board on various rubs and sauces for their local sustainable fish.  The Sweet-Smoky-Spicy Rub and the Moroccan-flavoured Rub are from that source. The Indian-flavoured Rub is one that I wanted to share with you from my files.  I made all three  for dinner and we had a taste test. Thumbs up on all three rubs! I use salmon fillets most of the time but use salmon steaks if you prefer. All these rubs are for 4 servings; you can halve or double the ingredients according to your needs.  Extra dry rubs can be kept in the cupboard for a future meal.  The Moroccan-flavoured should be kept in the fridge because of the added harissa and garlic.

Try them, you’ll like them!

1. Sweet-Smoky-Spicy Alaska Salmon Rub

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enough for 4 servings of salmon

2 tsp. smoked paprika
2 tsp. brown sugar (i used granulated brown sugar for texture but any brown sugar will do)
1/2 tsp EACH of ground cumin, sea salt, coarse ground black pepper, and cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. red chili flakes
1 tbsp. olive oil

Mix all the dry ingredients together and then add the tablespoon of olive oil to the mix to form a paste. Smear on top of salmon fillets and barbecue or bake at 400 degrees until the flesh is opaque throughout, about 7-10 minutes. The sugar melts and gives a nice glaze finish.  The cocoa powder gives an added dimension.  The smoked paprika really enhances the flavour.

2. Moroccan-Spiced Fish Rub

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enough spice for 4 salmon (or halibut) servings

1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. turmeric
2 tbsp. harissa, Moroccan paste (we found it quite spicy; i would halve it or you omit it altogether)
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. olive oil.

Mix all the ingredients together and spread over the salmon fillet.  Barbecue or bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 7-10 minutes until opaque throughout.
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3. Indian-Flavoured Salmon Rub

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1/2 tsp. black peppercorns
2 tsp. cumin seeds
2 tsp. coriander seeds
Pinch of cinnamon and pinch of ground cloves
1 tbsp. olive oil

  1. Toast the peppercorns, cumin seeds and coriander seeds in a dry frying pan on medium heat until aromatic.
  2. Cool down and grind in a coffee grinder (I keep a separate grinder for spices only).  Add the cinnamon and cloves.
  3. Mix in olive oil and spread it over the salmon.
  4. Barbecue or bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 7-10 minutes until opaque throughout.




  1. a nice way to spice up a regular piece of salmon. My Nutritionist has me on fish 3 to 4 times a week so different ideas are good.

    1. Variety is the spice of life!!

  2. C Pilon · · Reply

    Love salmon and looking forward to trying these and some I saw on the Alaska Seafood site. Thanks for sharing. I am always on the lookout for good salmon recipes.


    1. Yes, Cathy. It is a great site with a lot more recipes. Share some of your favourites when you try them with me!

  3. Thanks Shelley. Tried the Alaska rub last night with an oven-roasted salmon fillet and it was delicious. Lots of tasty leftovers for tomorrow night’s dinner, too.

    1. Hi Dave. So glad you enjoyed it — me too! I actually substituted the brown sugar for maple sugar one time and it gives it a lovely flavour as well! Keep enjoying.

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