Spiced Salmon Kebabs

October 29, 2013

The weather probably won’t be good for grilling much around here until next year as it just frosted last night, but we might be able to sneak it in once or twice more if we’re lucky. So I figured I’d share an easy salmon recipe that I actually made back when my parents came over for Memorial Day but never got around to posting! The recipe was published in the June 2013 issue of Bon Appetit as an easy summer grilled dish, but the ingredients are available year-round.

While the grilling itself goes super fast (the pieces of fish are small and therefore cook quickly), the wooden skewers do need to be soaked in water for an hour ahead of time to keep them from igniting on the grill. I don’t see any reason you couldn’t use metal skewers instead to save time though, if you have them on hand. They just won’t look as pretty on your plate. :) I do like that the recipe calls for 2 skewers per kabob: this keeps the pieces of salmon and lemon stable on the grill so the kabobs can be flipped easily. One thing that could be improved was that a lot of the “chunkier” bits of the spice mixture (the oregano and sesame seeds) either didn’t stick to the pieces of salmon in the first place, or fell off during grilling. The oregano also doesn’t retain its green color after being on the grill, so if I make these again, I think I will mix a little chopped oregano and oil seprately to brush on after grilling for a little more color.

We all thought the flavor of these kabobs was great, the perfect amount of spice to complement the fish without being overwhelming. A nice lighter (and easy) option for the grill! 

Spiced salmon kabobs

Serves 4


  • 2  tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 2  teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 1  teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1  teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1½  pounds skinless salmon filet (preferably wild), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2  lemons, very thinly sliced into rounds
  • 2  tablespoons olive oil

Special Equipment

  • 16 bamboo skewers, soaked in water 1 hour


  1. Prepare grill for medium heat. Mix oregano, sesame seeds, cumin, salt, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl to combine; set spice mixture aside.
  2. Beginning and ending with salmon, thread salmon and folded lemon slices onto 8 pairs of parallel skewers to make 8 kebabs total. Brush with oil and season with reserved spice mixture.
  3. Grill, turning occasionally, until fish is opaque throughout, 5–8 minutes. Serve immediately.

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