Caramelized Brown Sugar Salmon

March seems to be birthday month around here.  Two of my dear friends were born in March and both of my grandparents celebrate this month also.  The great part about being into cooking is that it makes it easy to please the birthday people in your life.  One of the few ways that I show love is through cooking.  I love to think about what that person gets excited about eating (unless they have a specific request) and then surprising them with a dinner that was entirely created for their tastes.

My friend says she judges all restaurants by how good their salmon is.  So, it is no surprise when this was my go to protein for her birthday Monday Night Dinner.  What made is unique is I am not a salmon lover myself.  Therefore, I don’t cook it very often.  But, when I do this really is my tried and true go to preparation.

Salmon Dinner

The key to this dish is preparation.  Meaning, you have to think about this hopefully a day before you serve it.  This is a super easy dish to prepare, but if possible I like to “cure” the salmon in the brown sugar crust overnight.  This really drives the sweet flavor of both the fish and the seasonings and it helps the flavor come out.  But, other than the thinking ahead, there isn’t much to this.  Though you could marinate the fish in the brown sugar mixture for an hour or two and it would still be delightful…I just can’t guarantee that it will taste exactly the same because each time I make this I let it sit “curing” overnight.  This isn’t a true cure henceforth the quotes, but since the fish is bathed in sugar, salt and spices I feel that this word makes the most sense.

Hopefully, the salmon passed the test…I think it did.  I am sure she will be back next Monday for an all together different type of meal.  That’s the thing about my home “restaurant,” my guests are very good regulars :)

Caramelized Salmon

Caramelized Brown Sugar Salmon

  • 1 Salmon Filet
  • 3/4 cup packed Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 tsp Ground Mustard Seed
  • 1/2 tsp Granulated Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Granulated Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp soften Butter
  1. In a separate bowl combine brown sugar, salt, ginger, onion powder, garlic powder and black pepper.  Stir to combine and set aside.
  2. Tear a piece of aluminum foil long enough to hold the salmon filet.  Spray it with non-stick cooking spray and place the filet of salmon, skin side down on top of the foil.
  3. Spread 2-3 tbsp of soften butter on the flesh of the salmon and then take the sugar/spice mixture and crust the buttered flesh with it.
  4. Fold the foil up so the salmon is entirely packaged inside the foil and put on a tray and place in your refrigerator for at least 2 hours.  It is better if done the day before and left to cure overnight.
  5. Take the fish out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before you place in the oven.  Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and bake with the packet closed for 20 minutes.  Take the fish out of the oven after 20 minutes and set your oven to broil.
  6. Open the packet up so the flesh is exposed (like the picture above).  Now place under the broiler for 8-10 minutes or until the flesh is cooked through and the sugar has caramelized a bit on top of the fish.
  7. There maybe some sugar/butter sauce on the bottom of the foil.  Try to spoon that over the fish when serving.

Hooray to all the special people in my life born during the month of March.  I love them all dearly and wish them all a great start to their new personal year.  Hopefully you will make this for the special people in your life.  Now go and make a family night dinner of your own…Clink!

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