Salmon is a delicious fish, but it can be a little plain on its own. However, when paired with the right herb, your meal becomes more flavorful and satisfying. The shiny finish and buttery texture are why it is one of the most widely enjoyed fish worldwide.
There are many different types of herbs that you can use to bring out the flavor in salmon such as parsley, chives, chervil, dill, thyme, and basil. They can be used in a variety of ways to bring the flavor profile up on your dish.
It can hold many different herb flavors well, due to its bold and rich flavor. However, these are the best herbs that go well with salmon.
The dill leaves are bright green and have a distinct peppery taste. Sprinkling some fresh dill on your salmon fillet before cooking gives it a more robust flavor than plain salted fish; however, if you like dill try adding some finely minced fresh dill at the end of cooking for an extra burst of flavor and color.
Dill is also great for adding a little bit of spice when it’s mixed into sour cream or mayo and then served over the fish filet.
The fennel bulb is a root vegetable similar in appearance to celeriac or radishes, with which it shares an anise-like flavor. Fennel seeds are a widely used spice throughout the world, but the fresh leaves have a delicate anise-like flavor and make an excellent herb for seasoning salmon.
Fennel is one of my favorite herbs to add to salmon because it brings out a little more flavor into the cooked fish, as well as looks great when put onto the fillets!
The most popular tarragon variety is Russian tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus), native to Russia and Siberia and widely cultivated for its culinary uses. The French tarragon does not have the same pungent flavor as Russian tarragon and is considered by many to be a better choice for cooking salmon and other dishes.
When cooking with parsley the key is to chop them first before placing them on top of your salmon fillet. Mixing them in or actually including them as a part of the fish will make it too hard to cook through properly.
It can bring out different aspects of the flavor profile of salmon when added at various stages of preparation.
5. Bay Leaves
The bay laurel (Laurus nobilis) is an aromatic evergreen tree common in Mediterranean climates that produce edible sweet green berries and flavorful leaves used as a seasoning in soups, stews, and sauces (especially bouillabaisse and bouillabaisse Marseillaise).
Bay leaves are an excellent herb to use with salmon, especially when slow-cooked on a lighter heat. You will first notice their aroma as you bring it out of the oven or off the stove; its subtle but distinct pine scent is very appetizing and makes your mouth water for the dish.
Rosemary is one of the herbs that have needle-like leaves with fragrance. They come in white, pink, and/or purple flowers and are native to the Mediterranian region. It’s commonly used in beef dishes, grilled chicken, lamb, and potatoes!
Rosemary can bring out some more savory flavors that go well with fish such as salmon. Try sprinkling healthy amounts over the fillets and then wrap it in aluminum foil before cooking, or you can add it for the last 10-20 minutes of cooking time.
Sage is a pungent herb that has been used as both a staple food and as medicine to improve memory since ancient times (it was also thought to repel evil spirits). The whole sage plant can be used fresh or dried in temperate climates.
It’s commonly paired with chicken and pork dishes but works well with fish too! Similar to rosemary, sage will bring out some savory flavors into salmon when mixed on top of your fillet. You can season(rub/sprinkle) the fish generously just before roasting it at high heat, or even mix sage into the fish to make a salmon pastry – delicious!
Basil is one of my favorite herbs to use with salmon, especially when it’s stuffed inside and baked. It has a fresh, warm flavor that goes very well with the buttery texture of the fish and brings out some more flavors in it than plain ol’ salt couldn’t do.
Basil is also very healthy for you too, so next time you see a great deal on big bunches of it pick them up and put them to good use with salmon and other fish.
Basil pairs nicely with tomatoes so you could mix some chopped fresh tomato into your basmati rice before serving alongside the fish for an aromatic twist on a traditional side dish.
9. Coriander Leaves
Coriander adds a distinct curry taste to your dish. It can be used as part of the mixture or as an extra sprinkle over the salmon. A combination of coriander, paprika, and cayenne pepper makes a nice crusty coating when wrapped in foil.
Be careful: not all coriander is created equal! The fresh herb has a very distinctive flavor and some dislike the strong aroma of coriander leaves or find that it is too readily identifiable in the finished dish.
Some prefer to substitute it with fresh basil. When buying coriander leaves make sure they can be identified by smell alone; if you can’t tell them apart from other herbs you have then you should toss them out.
As far as thyme goes, this herb will always work well with any type of seafood because it has such a distinct taste that compliments almost anything else you add to it.
Thyme is not very good when added at the beginning of cooking so you must either sprinkle it on top (at the end) or mix it in with lemon juice and olive oil first, then apply this mix to each salmon fillet.
The taste of this spice is commonly associated with gin and is the main ingredient in most alcoholic beverages. However, juniper berries are mostly used for savory dishes like stews or game meat.
You can easily add juniper berries to your salmon by using a cheesecloth, wrapping the berries in it, and creating a pouch. Then, add it to your salmon. It gives the salmon an extra dimension of flavor as well as giving the fish a unique texture.
Mint is just another herb that goes well with salmon, especially when it is in sauce form or eaten raw! Although mint can be used to fill the potato you bake your fish in or garnish your plate as an extra touch, more often than not people cut this green leafy herb apart from their meal thinking it will ruin the taste of the meat.
The fresh leaves are most often used in salads and pesto while dried mint is usually mixed into teas such as chai or mate and even coffee. If you have friends coming over for dinner make sure to stock up on some Alaskan salmon fillets and garnish them with some fresh mint leaves for a scrumptious dish.
What Are The Best Spices That Go With Salmon?
Spices create a nice hot and tangy flavor to the salmon. When you add some herbs and spices to the salmon, it makes it spicy and more flavorful.
Go with your instincts on how much to put in a dish of fish because there are no written rules saying that you have to use twenty different kinds of spices and herbs. The following are just some great options that you should try when preparing your next salmon dinner.
Mix ground turmeric with butter, black pepper & salt – spread over fish before baking, broiling, etc. Turmeric is a staple in Indian cooking. The distinctive flavor of this pungent herb is easily incorporated into fish recipes.
The mouth-watering scent of pepper originates from its natural source, the flower. Red chilies are also known as cayenne pepper which adds heat and adds spice to your dish!
Chicken breasts cooked with roasted paprika and cayenne pepper are a well-known delicacy. Adding these to the salmon fillets will provide it with a tangy and hot taste.
Cayenne pepper is widely used in a lot of dishes. The strong flavor matches well with salmon. It has the advantage of being easily available, too!
The main source of taste and flavor creation in this is black pepper. It is also known as the king of spices in the Indian subcontinent. It can be fried along with the salmon fillets or you can add it to a bowl with melted butter along with some garlic, salt, and olive oil and pour it over the fish after frying them. You will definitely enjoy its fresh aroma when eating this dish!
Red Chili Powder
Adding red chili powder into the mix makes it more attractive and adds a lot of flavor to the dish also. Serve it with tomato ketchup or spicy sauce. Red chilies are very hot in nature which increases the heat level upon eating this dish!
So if you’re spice intolerant, make sure to add only a tiny pinch of this spice to your salmon fillets.
Cumin seeds have a bitter garlic flavor and can be used extensively while cooking salmon fish fillets as we use ginger spice in our day-to-day food preparation.
It is a known fact that cumin tastes best when cooked with Indian curries. So if you are a fan of curries then you can definitely try adding cumin seeds with salmon fish as well.
What Else Can Be Paired Well With Salmon?
There is nothing tastier than a grilled salmon fillet. However, you can actually make it even better by serving it with some of these liquid flavorings.
White Wine Vinegar
White wine vinegar can make any food item flavorful and delicious. If you like cooked salmon fish head then soak the fish head in white wine vinegar for few hours to get rid of the fish smell then cook it as per your desire.
Salmon flavored with white wine vinegar is tasty. When cooking this prepare sauce or dressing by mixing some salt, olive oil, and garlic together and pour it over both sides of the fish after frying them properly. This will definitely add an extra boost to its taste if eaten along with a salad.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider is another great option. Its taste ranges from sweet, sour to tangy which makes it the perfect companion for salmon fish fillet.
You can make a marinade by mixing red chili powder, apple cider vinegar, salt, and olive oil together before using it on both sides of the fish fillets. It will help them get cooked well and retain their moisture too!
Lemon juice has a natural citrusy flavor that matches well with salmon fish fillet and enhances its taste no matter what preparation method you use for cooking it.
Either mix lemon juice into a bowl containing melted butter mixed with parsley then pour it over fish on both sides or marinate fish fillets with lemon juice, salt, black pepper, and olive oil for some time in the refrigerator. This will help the salmon to absorb all of its taste.
You can also add a few spoons of minced garlic along with the salmon and lemon marinate to give it an authentic touch. But be sure to cook it well since it’s a bit tricky to bake with, takes a bit more effort than the other herbs listed here as it burns quickly when baked/broiled, and liquidizes when simmered in sauces or gravy on the stove.
Does Oregano Go Well With Fish?
Oregano pairs beautifully with fish. It can be added as a simple garnish, but it also does a lot to draw out the natural flavor of your fish. It is most commonly used for Italian recipes that involve adding a variety of spices to the fish and then baking or frying it.