This grilled salmon with mustard sauce combines a handful of ingredients for a tangy, fresh taste. It’s ready in less than 30 minutes making it a great choice for a summer meal!
A friend’s husband made us grilled salmon for dinner one summer night several years ago, and I absolutely loved the combo of the mustard sauce with the salmon so, as I often do when I have something I like, I decided to recreate my own version.
Growing up in California, we were able to grill all year long, and my dad was (and still is) a huge fan of grilling, so I was around the grill all the time. He grilled everything from burgers to fish to veggies to whole chickens. After watching him all those years, I started experimenting with grilling after I graduated from college and pretty much taught myself the basic stuff. I got pretty good at it – mastering burgers and chicken, however, I was always a little intimidated by fish, which was unfortunate because I happen to LOVE fish and seafood!!
So one day I decided I needed to master fish on the grill or at least be comfortable with it. Grilling fish is really not that difficult, you just need a little practice and some good tips. I use a Weber gas grill, which has nice wide grates that get really hot. It also has a temperature gauge with makes grilling a little easier. I started with easier fish, like sea bass and swordfish. For these types of thicker, steak-like fish grilling is pretty easy, much like grilling steak or chicken.
So, how do you grill salmon?
However thinner, flakier fish is where it tends to get a bit more challenging. Fish had a tendency to stick to the grill or fall apart when you try to flip it over. I’ve certainly had plenty of fish stuck to my grill when I tried to flip it too soon! With this salmon, I do flip the fillets over, as I like the grill marks for presentation, however, if you’re worried about it sticking, just leave it with the skin side down the entire time. Then you’ll only have to remove it from the grill once. This is the trick for thinner fish fillets, just put them on the grill and leave them alone until they are done, it will really help prevent sticking. I start with the skin side down, because then if things go wrong, it’s usually just the skin that ends up stuck to the grill!
If you haven’t done it before, give grilling fish a try – I’d love to hear how it goes!!
If you are looking for other great summer grilling recipes check out this Blue Cheese, Pear and Proscuitto Pizza that’s cooked on the grill or these Stuffed Grilled Peppers that make a perfect light summer meal!
things you may want for this recipe
Fish Spatula – While you can use a regular spatula is you decide you enjoy grilling fish this is a kitchen tool that can be worth the investment. It’s designed to be more flexible than a regular spatula so you can easily get underneath the fish to flip it over.
Grilled Salmon with Tarragon Mustard Sauce
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- dash of ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon Italian parsley leaves, chopped
- 2 6- ounce salmon filets
- Prepare the grill. Lightly brush a cold grill grate with oil, then preheat to medium-high heat - about 400°F.
- Mix the sauce. Mix the mustards, oil and honey in a small bowl. Add pepper, tarragon and parsley, stir well.
- Prepare the salmon. Brush the skin side of the salmon with oil. Flip the filets and generously brush the non-skin side with the mustard sauce.
- Grill the salmon. Place the filets on the grill, skin side down. Close the cover and let the fish grill for 6 minutes. Using a large, flat spatula carefully flip the filets over, being sure to slide the spatula below the skin so you don't leave it on the grill.
- Close the cover again and grill for an additional 3-4 minutes. Exact time will depend on the thickness of the filets. Turn off the grill and let the fish rest for 3 minutes. Carefullly remove the salmon from the grill.
- Serve immediately. Garnish with freshly squeezed lemon and chopped tarragon if desired.
Updated. Originally published September 2015