How Long to Marinate Salmon?

The Editors at Food Fanatic | Food Fanatic

Need to know how long to marinate salmon for best results? Find out here - and try two simple marinade recipes

While most meats benefit from hours of marinating to really help flavors penetrate deep into the meat, marinating salmon is a bit different. 

This article will look at how to best marinate salmon to ensure that is delicious and full of flavor.

Miso Glazed Salmon Photo

The key to knowing how long to marinate salmon depends on the type of marinade you are using. You should only marinate your salmon for around 20 to 30 minutes in acid-based marinades, because they can break down the salmon, resulting in it becoming very mushy.

For other types of marinade, you should really only marinate the salmon for up to an hour. If, on the other hand, you're only using herbs and spices, you can get away with marinating it for longer, up to a maximum of 6 hours.

Here are two of our favorite salmon marinade recipes, both of which are acidic and require minimal marinating time. 

Miso Glazed Salmon Picture

Lemon Marinade

1 lb salmon fillets

1 lemon or 2 limes

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon dried thyme (or 3 fresh sprigs) – you can also use dill or both!

1. Squeeze lemon into a bowl and mix in the oil and thyme.

2. Pour the marinade into a shallow dish or a large Ziploc bag.

3. Place the salmon in the dish, turning a couple of times to ensure it has covered both sides. Cover and place into the fridge for 15-30 minutes, turning once. You can then remove the salmon and grill, pan fry or roast!

Miso Glazed Salmon Image

Soy-Ginger Marinade 

1 pound salmon fillets

¼ cup olive oil

3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 scallions, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated

For the glaze:

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon soy sauce

½ teaspoon sriracha 

1. Mix all of the marinade ingredients in a bowl and transfer to a shallow dish or Ziploc bag.

2. Place the salmon into the marinade and allow it to marinate for 30 minutes.

3. If using a glaze, combine the ingredients in a bowl and pour over the salmon while pan-searing it. You can also poach, grill or roast your salmon

Salmon Sheet Pan Dinner Pic


How to make Gravlax

Another interesting and delicious way to eat salmon is to preserve the salmon so that it can be eaten raw. This is referred to as Gravlax and it originated in the Nordic region. Sugar and salt cure the salmon, while herbs and seasonings give it its flavor. To make this, you will need:

1 pound salmon fillets 

3 ¼ ounces sugar

4 ounces salt

8 tablespoons chopped dill

1 tsp crushed white pepper


3 tablespoons German mustard

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste 

6 tablespoons canola oil

1. Score the salmon to allow it to soak up more of the flavor.

2. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and place the fillet into the mixture. 

3. Rub the fillets into the mixture, ensuring they are well coated, turn and repeat on the other side.

4. Cover with plastic wrap and weigh the salmon down with a heavy object. Allow the salmon to sit, at room temperature, for 6 hours.

5. Then, refrigerate for 1-3 days, tasting the fish to see how you like the flavor. Once it is to taste, remove it from the dish and scrape off the herbs. Discard the mixture.

6. Mix the sauce ingredients together in a bowl and serve alongside the salmon. It can be enjoyed with crackers or bread.

3-Ingredient Blackened Salmon Pic



Salmon recipes to try

Miso Glazed Salmon

Asian Salmon

Lemon Basil Salmon

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