Spicy Lemon Salmon (in the Instant Pot)

6Salmon cooked to perfection

I love seafood. Growing up my family and I would go to the Texas Gulf Coast and we would go crabbing, shrimping, and deep-sea fishing. Well my dad would go deep-sea fishing because the one time I went it didn’t go well. I get motion sick from sitting in the backseat so you can imagine what it was like for me on a rocking fishing boat. And they don’t turn that boat around for anyone.

My dad would grill the  shrimp and fish while my mom would make a Korean dish with the crabs. (I need to have my mom make that crab dish and share with you because it’s delicious!) I’ve been a huge seafood fan ever since.

When I contemplated buying the Instant Pot  I wondered if I could make seafood in it. And you guessed it, you can!! I love simple recipes that can made with little effort (and now little time with my Instant Pot). To make the salmon, you just need salt, pepper, lemons, salmon, and one of my favorite spices Nanami Togarashi. I discovered Nanami Togarashi after taking a sushi class. They sometimes will have it in the Asian section of our grocery store, always in the Asian markets, and on Amazon.

Gather your ingredients for your salmon

Season the fillets with salt, pepper, and the Nanami Togarashi. If you want to add a little more heat you can add some crushed red pepper too.

2Season the Salmon

If you can, try to place the fillets in a single layer on the steam rack. You can see that I had some overlap. I ordered a silicone steamer to see if it’ll have more room to avoid overlapping and to add more fillets. Add 1 cup of water to the pot. Try to pour around the salmon so you don’t wash away the seasoning. Manually set the time to 5 minutes.

3Place salmon in a single layer on a trivet

I just love how they turned out. They are still pink but cooked all the way through.

4Finished cooking the salmon in the IP

Aren’t the fillets gorgeous?!? I’m so impressed that the Instant Pot can make salmon with little effort.

5Pull salmon out of the IP

The salmon was flaky, moist, and delicious. I see us having this at least once a week. It’s healthy, delicious, and takes very little time and preparation. The Nanami Togarashi gives the salmon a little spice but isn’t overwhelming. You can add some red pepper flakes to take it up a notch if you love spicy.

Another home-run for the Instant Pot and picky husband approved.


  • 3-4 Wild Sockeye Salmon fillets (the largest one was about 1″ thick)
  • 2 lemons, juice one and slice the other one
  • 1-2 tablespoons Nanami Togarashi (assorted chili pepper)
  • Sea Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste (my picky husband prefers a heavy hand)
  • 1 cup water


  1. Season the salmon with the lemon juice, Nanami Togarashi, sea salt,  and pepper.
  2. Insert the stainless steel steam rack that comes with your Instant Pot to the bottom of the pot with the handles up.
  3. Place the salmon fillets on the steam rack in a single layer (or silicone steamer ). Ours slightly overlapped but didn’t impact the look at taste when they finished cooking.
  4. Pour any leftover lemon juice and seasoning over the fillets.
  5. Add 1 cup of water to the pot, carefully avoiding washing away the seasoning off the salmon fillets.
  6. Cover and lock the lid.
  7. Select “Manual” mode and press the “-” button until it reads 5 minutes. Also make sure to set the top knob to “Sealing” and not “Venting”. You’ll want to reduce the time by 1 minutes for every ¼” smaller than 1″ or increase the time by 1 minute for every ¼” larger than 1″. For example a ¾” salmon fillet will cook for 4 minutes while a 1½” salmon fillet will cook for 7 minutes. Cooking time adapted from Frieda Loves Bread.
  8. The Instant Pot will beep at you when it finishes cooking the salmon.
  9. To avoid over-cooking, move the top knob from “Sealing” to “Venting” to manually release the pressure. Warning: The sound of the pressure releasing frightened me the first time I manually released the pressure. Once all of the pressure releases the steam will no longer come out of the vent and you’ll be able to open the lid.

My picky husband approved and said that “we” need to make this more often.

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8 thoughts on “Spicy Lemon Salmon (in the Instant Pot)

  1. Marysue says:

    I bought some lovely salmon when my grocer had it on sale; we had some that evening, and I froze the rest. Can I prepare frozen fish in the Instant Pot, or do I need to let it thaw first? Yours looks delicious!

    • Tanya says:

      I tried using frozen fish in the Instant Pot but it resulted in a rubbery fish. I was hoping I could just pop the frozen fish in there but it just didn’t taste right. I’ve heard other people have success with frozen though.

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