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Chili Lime Fish Recipe

Enjoy this spicy and tangy salmon baked or pan fried seasoned with chili powder and limes

How do you cook your fish? Do you have different cooking methods depending on the type of fish? Do you go straight for the pan-fry method or is baked fish more your forte? How about grilled? Smoked?

For me, there is just something about panfrying my fish that I enjoy. I love the crispy-grilled flavor your guaranteed to get and that if you're cooking salmon with the skin on it will turn out crispy and salty. Plus, I feel like you're less likely to over cook it when preparing stove top because you're able to watch it easier versus in the oven.


Here is a recipe you can use whether pan-frying, baking, or preparing in a crock-pot (more on that another time).

Baking will help hold the flavor in and cook the fish in its own oils and flavor.

Start by making a chili-lime butter sauce to cover the salmon with before cooking stove top or in the oven. Keep a little handy when pan-frying to baste the fish.

The ingredients are simple.

  • red pepper flakes, chili powder, cayenne pepper, chile arbol, etc. (1-2 tbsp, depending on your heat level)

  • butter (1/2 stick; melt a little at a time, you might not need the full amount)

  • limes/lime juice (3 limes)

  • garlic (4 cloves minced, equivalent to 1 tbsp)

  • honey or brown sugar (2 tsp, adjust amount based on heat level. Sweetener is used to balance the heat and acid)

  • salt

Step 1

In a large bowl combine all the ingredients. After you clean your fish filet, pat dry with a paper towel and place into the bowl with your seasonings. It might be best to use your hands; coat your entire piece of fish with the seasoning

Step 2

Line your baking dish with foil. Then place skin side down.

I like to use a deep baking dish similar to a dutch over or casserole dish. Sometimes I even use my cast iron pan in the oven. The high walls help hold in the juicy flavor and distribute heat throughout the whole filet.

Step 3

Drizzle your chili-lime butter sauce and sprinkle with a little salt and a bit more cayenne (if using). Then pop it into the oven at 375 degrees for 12-14 minutes.


Pan Fry Tips

If pan-frying, you want to make sure your pan is really hot with butter or oil before adding your fish. You want to hear the sizzle to cook that fatty, salted skin and add a crispy layer.

**If you're cooking a salmon filet with the skin on I advise rubbing the skin with a little olive oil and sprinkling with a generous amount of salt before placing on the hot oiled pan.

Cook on high until you see the color of the salmon change a little more than half way up. You can either flip the salmon or continuously baste it with butter, oil, garlic in the pan. The choice is yours.


Serve with a green veggie that can be cooked or heated in the same pan as your fish to soak up that leftover flavor.

Or even cool it down with an avocado mango salsa!

Dice a half or whole avocado and equal parts mango (half or whole) and mix together in a bowl. Feel free to add other refreshing fruits and veggies like cucumbers or even strawberries. Serve on a bed of greens like arugula for a spicy salmon salad!




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