Home > Recipes/Creations > Maple Glazed Salmon with Sautéed Zucchini

Maple Glazed Salmon with Sautéed Zucchini

Maple syrup is incredible!

O.k. now that we have cleared that up, I figured I would share a dish that features this amazing Canadian flavour in all of its glory! It’s impossible to visit the farmers market this time of year and not pass at least 5 or 6 different vendors selling all kinds of maple-syrup derived products. Maple butter, maple candies, maple taffy, its incredible! My favorite though is just pure fresh maple syrup. I picked up a small bottle of the medium grade syrup a few weekends ago at the market and have been looking for different ways to use it with more substantial dishes than pancakes and french toast (not that I am in any way knocking pan cakes and french toast!).

The opportunity finally came last week when I picked up a beautiful fresh piece of salmon from the market. I eat fish fairly frequently (once or twice a week I would say), but its been a while since I tried a new way of preparing it. My typical mainstay (especially during hectic school terms) is to  just bake it with some salt, pepper, and lemon, or with some Dijon mustard if I want an extra bit of flavour. This time I decided to try a different technique that I read about in How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman. Basically you start off by frying the fish in a hot pan till it’s about 1/3 to 1/2 cooked through and then you finish it under the broiler. One point to note with this cooking method is that if you use a fillet with skin on, it will become rather crisp and possibly burnt (you can remove it before serving if you like, it will come off easily). I used a fillet with the skin off and still had excellent results, although I would think it might not work  as well without a non-stick skillet. Also, this cooking method works best when the fish is of a fairly uniform thickness.

Maple glazed salmon with sautéed zucchini

For the maple sauce itself, I did some digging around on the internet and came up with a mixture based on a few different recipes I had read. It consists of just three simple ingredients: good maple syrup, soy sauce, and lemon juice. I was blown away by how well the maple and soy flavours complemented one another. The soy gives it some body and helps to mellow out the sweetness of the syrup so the true maple flavour can really shine through. Likewise the maple keeps the saltines of the soy sauce from becoming overpowering and the lemon ties everything together nicely.

Finally as a side dish, I chose to prepare some zucchini I had picked up at the market as well (not local yet unfortunately). I took the recipe for this straight out of How to Cook Everything. Basically it consists of grating the zucchini, salting it (to remove some of the water), and sautéing it in some olive oil. It turned out really delicious and I would definitely make this side again. One lesson I learned though was the importance of the salting step, something I had skipped out on for time constraints, and as a result my zucchini didn’t develop a nice golden crisp to it (oh well, lesson learned for next time).

Overall this was a fantastic meal with some amazing flavour combinations. I will definitely be making this again!

-JR

Maple Glazed Salmon

Ingredients (for one):

  • Salmon or other pink fish fillet, rinsed and patted dry (skin can be on or off)
  • 3 tbsp. of good quality maple syrup
  • 1 and 3/4 tbsp. of soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp. of lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
  1. Prepare the sauce: in a small bowl mix together the maple syrup, soy sauce, and lemon juice. Stir well to ensure thorough mixing of all the ingredients
  2. Pre-heat a non-stick and oven-safe skillet on medium-high. Add the olive oil and spread evenly around the pan. Season the top of the fish-fillet with salt and pepper. You can also star to pre-heat the broiler at this point. Make sure to turn your stove-fan on as this cooking method can result in a bit more smoke (especially with skin-on fillets that crisp up)
  3. Add the fish to the pan, skin-side down (if the skin is removed, still put the side that would be the skin-side down). Allow the fish to cook in the pan until you see that it is about 1/3 to 1/2 cooked through (the flesh changes colour as it cooks, it should be quite easy to spot). This should take about 4 to 6 minutes depending on how thick the fillet is
  4. Take the sauce mixture and drizzle about 1/2 to 2/3 of it on the fish. Roll the pan around to get it to coat the fish and get underneath it as well (this produces a wonderful sticky crust on the bottom of the fish with tonnes of flavour)
  5. Take the pan off of the stove and place it under the broiler for about 3 minutes until the top just browns a little bit. Remove from the broiler. Ideally the fish should be slightly undercooked inside (it will finish cooking from the residual heat and will not over-cook and dry out this way).
  6. Plate the fish (with any side you have prepared) and drizzle the remainder of the sauce over the filet. Serve and enjoy!
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