My husband saw this grilled salmon sandwich while watching Andrew Zimmern’s Delicious Destinations and recommended we make it. It must have looked pretty dang good if he wanted to make it because this is not something he does often. This salmon sandwich sounded like heaven! We made it a couple days later and it definitely lived up to its expectations. It is so simple yet unique and just melts in your mouth.
What makes this grilled salmon sandwich so perfect is the balance of the simple yet rich flavors and textures. The salmon is moist and fatty with the perfect amount of seasoning. The french baguette is warm yet crunchy and moist. The caramelized onions are sweet and savory. And the cream cheese is smooth and creamy. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
tips for perfect execution
The key to making this grilled salmon sandwich is that each step, though simple, needs to be executed perfectly:
The salmon: needs to be fresh and cooked to perfection. Salmon is easy to over cook, which will ruin the entire sandwich. I recommend cooking it with the skin side down for 10-12 minutes without flipping to ensure that its flaky and moist.
The caramelized onions: need to be delicately cooked on a very low heat for approximately 45 minutes and stirred every few minutes to ensure you get that subtle caramelized crust without burning them.
The french baguette: needs the bread to be scooped out of the center to make a “boat” for the ingredients and lightly grilled on each side.
The cream cheese: needs to sit out for 15 minutes so it spreads easily.
- 2 fresh salmon filets
- salmon seasoning blend (we used Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Salmon Seasoning)
- 1 large red onion
- 4 tbs. of olive oil or butter
- 1/2 tsp. of sugar
- 8 oz. package of cream cheese (we used Philadelphia)
- 1 french baguette
For the Caramelized Onions:
- Cut the stem and root ends off the onion. Then halve the onion and cut it into thin slices.
- Melt the butter or olive oil in a skillet. Add three to four tablespoons to a large skillet over low/medium heat.
- Add the onions and slowly cook them for 5-10 minutes
- Add a pinch of salt and 1/2 a tsp. of sugar
- Let the onions cook slowly. Don’t rush them. Turn or stir the onions so that they evenly become soft and brown.
- Continue stirring the onions and enjoy watching them turn to a deep dark purple.
For the Salmon:
- Build a medium-high fire on a clean gas or charcoal grill.
- Season the salmon with seasoning blend, lightly oil the grate of the grill, then place the fillets skin-side down over the fire and cook for 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. There is no need to flip the salmon over.
Assembling the Grilled Salmon Sandwich:
- Slice the french baguette into the sandwich size you like.
- Lightly grill each side of the baguette in a lightly oiled medium sized pan.
- Scrape out the thick center of both halves of the baguette to create a boat for the ingredients.
- Generously spread each half of the baguette with cream cheese.
- Generously apply the caramelized onions to the bottom half of the baguette.
- Add the flaky salmon to the top of the caramelized onions.
- Top the salmon with more caramelized onions.
- Top with the other half of the french baguette and ENJOY!!!
I hope you love this sandwich as much as we did! This is a great sandwich to make for a party if you really want to impress your guests.
You may also want to try this summer salad with arugula and pears to compliment the grilled salmon sandwiches.