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Pan-Roasted Salmon with Maple Glaze

The main female character from our novel, The Tilted World, is Dixie Clay Holliver, who grew up near the ocean and now lives by the Mississippi river, so she knows the pleasure of a delicious fish prepared simply, the kind of preparation allowed when the fish is fresh and the evening easy.  Dixie Clay is a practical gal, the kind of person who wouldn’t want to be carving lemons into the shapes of Easter baskets.  This meal is forthright, with a glaze that is slightly sweet, and if you can save some glaze (or double the recipe) it is great as a side dish on roasted asparagus in spring, or Brussel sprouts in winter.  Or--let’s be honest--lapped from a spoon. 


1 c. maple syrup
¼ c. lemon juice
2 T. soy sauce
1 T. grated gingerroot
1 T. chopped garlic
1 t. crushed red pepper
6-8 salmon fillets, individually portioned
olive or canola oil



In small saucepan over high heat, combine the syrup, lemon juice, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and red pepper.  Bring to boil then lower heat to maintain a simmer.  Reduce the glaze by 1/3, to about 1 cup in volume.  

Position an oven rack in the top third of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.  

While glaze reduces, rinse salmon in cold water and pat dry and season with salt and pepper.  Spoon a little reduced glaze on each piece of fish, and brush over entire fillet.

In nonstick sauté pan over high heat, add enough olive or canola oil to cover the bottom.  Lay salmon in pan flesh side down.  Saute until glaze has browned the fish, about 2 minutes.  

Remove pan from heat and flip.  Brush tops with glaze.  Transfer to greased baking dish and roast until just done, 4-6 minutes, or when the fish flakes easily.  

Place on serving plate and dribble remaining glaze over fish.  Serve with rice.