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  • Writer's pictureMcKenna

the maple-glazed salmon

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Serves: 3-5

About a month ago, I ordered salmon at a local restaurant. A honey-glazed salmon fillet that has been seared in my memory ever since. It was incredible. So, I was inspired to recreate it, but with a few tweaks.

the changes:

1. Make it gluten-free: They used soy sauce which typically has wheat as an ingredient.

2. Swap the honey for maple syrup: When you heat foods, sometimes their nutrients are diminished, altered, or lost completely. Unfortunately, honey is one of these - it's pretty unstable at high temperatures. Maple syrup can better withstand higher temps so I prefer to use it as a sweetener when I'm cooking.

3. Scale back the butter: This is tricky. Some fish release A LOT of oil while others can be pretty dry. So, the amount of added fat I'd recommend sorta depends on the cut. For example, wild fish tend to be leaner than farmed. It really just depends on the cut, eyeballing raw fish is your best tool, more on that below!

ingredient notes:

Salmon: I recommend using wild over farmed fish whenever possible. They typically have higher amounts of omega-3s & antioxidants, along with other vitamins & minerals. Usually, they're darker in color. However, when picking between wild fillets, I like to find one with a bit more fat because personally, I don't enjoy dry salmon. Fillets with strips of pale white (aka fat) will likely release more oil. Coconut aminos: This is a great gluten-free replacement for soy sauce. It's sweeter which lends well to this recipe. Maple syrup: The darker the better! These usually have more antioxidants & stronger flavor as it's harvested later in the season. Grade B is my preferred choice. Ginger: For ease, I used ground ginger but fresh is great too! If using fresh, keep the amount the same.

Garlic: I'd recommend fresh garlic in the sauce vs dried. I've made this many times using dried garlic & it's okay, but also sorta funky. I personally enjoyed the flavor more with fresh garlic bulbs. Feel free to use dried garlic while seasoning the fish.

Ghee: Feel free to use butter instead! If you're using less fish than what the recipe calls for, I would definitely reduce the amount. I also based this amount on how fatty the fish looked. If yours is bright red, use the full 1 Tbsp for 2.2 lbs of fish. If it's lighter with more strips of fat, consider using 1/2 Tbsp (this salmon will release a lot of oil!)


Salmon: This was a very large batch of fish, the recipe calls for 2 lbs of salmon. We cut the fillets into the size we wanted & prepped them for the week ahead - a great idea if you need inspiration!

Maple glaze: You can easily cut the glaze recipe in half if you're cooking 1 lb of salmon vs 2 lbs. However, the recipe below does not make a ton of sauce! My goal was to make just enough, I didn't want the salmon swimming in it. Pun intended. If you want more sauce with your fish, keep the measurements the same regardless. You may even consider increasing the batch for 2 lbs of fish.

Two maple glazed salmon fillets in cast iron skillet


Salmon: 2 .2 lbs (32 oz) salmon

garlic powder


pinch of sea salt

1 Tbsp ghee

Maple glaze:

2 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup

3 Tbsp coconut aminos

1/4 tsp ginger powder

1 tsp minced garlic, about 2 bulbs


sesame seeds

green onion, chopped

lime juice


Liberally season the top of the salmon fillets with garlic & paprika. Lightly season with sea salt. Set aside, keep your spices out.

Prepare the maple glaze. In a small jar, add all of the ingredients & shake vigorously. Set aside.

If using, chop the green onions & set aside.

In a cast iron skillet, heat 1 Tbsp of ghee over medium heat. Once the ghee begins to melt, add the salmon fillets to the pan, skin side down. Let them cook for 4-5 minutes.

Flip the fillets & let the other side cook for another 4 minutes. Peel the skin off, it should come off easily. Liberally season this side of the fillets with garlic powder & paprika.

After the time has elapsed, remove the fillets from the pan & set aside on a plate - keep the stove top on but turn the heat down to low.

Add the maple glaze mixture to the pan & let it thicken for about 1-2 minutes.

Just as it starts to bubble, add the fillets back into the pan. Cook one side for about 3 minutes, then flip & cook the other side for another 3 minutes. Spoon the glaze on each side of the fish a few times so it can soak up more of the mixture. *NOTE - If your fillets are thin, they may only need to cook for an additional minute or two, mine were thick so they needed more time.

Check if the salmon is done by placing a fork into the thickest part of the salmon - you're looking for a pale pink color, not a deep red.

Turn off the stove, add the chopped green onions & spoon the glaze on top one more time.

Add a squeeze of lime juice & a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Let them cool a tad before serving.

Pairing recommendation: Arborio rice & your favorite vegetables :)


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