the maple-glazed salmon
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
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.
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!
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: Again, I went with powdered, but feel free to use 2 large garlic bulbs as a replacement.
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. So, 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.
Salmon: 2 .2 lbs (32 oz) salmon
pinch of sea salt
1 Tbsp ghee
3 Tbsp maple syrup
2 1/2 Tbsp coconut aminos
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp garlic
green onion, chopped
Liberally season the salmon fillets with garlic & paprika. Lightly season with sea salt.
Prepare the maple glaze. In a small jar, add all of the ingredients & mix. 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 melts, add the salmon fillets to the pan. Let it cook for 4-5 minutes then flip the fillets & let the other side cook for another 4-5 minutes.
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.
As you see it start 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 bright red.
Turn off the stove & add the chopped green onions & a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
Let them cool a tad before serving :)