Maple Dijon Glazed Salmon is simple to make and has 4 ingredients. Or 6 if you count salt and pepper. Salmon is a nutritional superstar and the sweet and tangy glaze compliments it perfectly. And it takes only minutes to prepare.
When I say simple, it really is. Basically you stir together 2 parts maple syrup and 1 part Dijon mustard. Pat your salmon dry with some paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Heat your pan with a little oil, add the salmon, pour the glaze over, put the pan under the broiler and that’s it!
OK, there’s a few little points to add but really, it’s that simple.
First, use a pan that can get nice and hot. Cast iron works great, or a good quality heavy metal sauté pan. And if the weather is cooperative, cook it outdoors. I have an electric single burner that I use for outdoor cooking and it’s the best $20 I ever spent.
Next, add a little heat safe oil to the pan once it’s heated. Canola, vegetable or peanut are good choices. Not olive oil. Salmon does have natural oil but you need a little to help it not stick. I prefer my salmon with the skin removed but if yours isn’t skinless, it’s actually ok if the skin sticks because you can then remove the salmon right from the skin after cooking. If you find salmon has a strong flavour, buy skinless.
Once the pan is fairly hot, carefully place the salmon in the pan and let it sear on the bottom a few minutes before you pour the glaze over. When I make Maple Dijon Glazed Salmon I don’t flip the filets. Instead I finish it under the broiler so the top cooks and the glaze caramelized on top. It isn’t always easy to flip fish because they’re very delicate so might break on you. So it’s a win win.
Buying salmon is a learning curve too. There are wild, farmed, fresh, frozen, and of course location to consider. Look for filets that don’t look dry or have gaps in the flesh. If you’re buying at a fish counter, ask how fresh it is. Smell it. Buying fresh fish and seafood would be easy if we all lived on the coast. If not, do a little research so you can be a smart consumer. Here in Canada we have Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance so you can feel confident in buying fresh or farmed fish and seafood.
How long do you cook Salmon?
Cooking time is dependent on how thick your filet is and how hot your pan gets. Somewhere around 5 minutes in the pan and another 5 under the broiler, give or take. If you take a fork and insert it into the thickest part, give it a slight twist and if you can see the meat flaking it’s done. If you notice some white stuff coming out of the salmon, don’t worry. It’s called albumin which is a protein that’s released when heated and is totally edible. Brushing the glaze over top helps hide it though.
Broiling the salmon does cause the glaze to make a mess in your pan. But it’s worth it. I promise. If you’ve got a well seasoned cast iron pan it should clean up easily.
Cast Iron Pans
I wasn’t always a fan of cast iron. Well, I guess I should say I just didn’t know how to season it, how to use it and how to care for it. It’s a learning curve for sure and there are many different opinions about seasoning, cleaning etc.
Here’s what I’ve learned.
- Cast iron pans come pre seasoned now but it’s best to season them a few times before using them. Rub them inside and out, including the handle with an unsaturated food grade oil. But not olive oil. It should be a type that can withstand a high heat. Rub it in well and make sure there’s no drips or puddles left. Lay it facing down in the oven set around 400 degrees. Turn the oven off after an hour and leave it in until it cools. Repeat a few more times and it will be ready to use.
- The more you use the pan the better seasoned it gets.
- Yes, I wash it. In soap and water. Of course I do! I cook fish in it after all…and I gently scrub it if there’s anything sticking. Don’t worry, it’s fine. Just make sure you dry it off well. Leaving it in a warm oven helps make sure there’s no moisture left on the pan when you put it away. If the seasoning starts to look a bit dull, just re-season it as described above.
Right now Mr. H is playing his guitar and singing “I’ve got the cast iron blues. Don’t give up on your cast iron pan!” He’s right. Don’t give up on it. Keep using it and you won’t regret it.
The perfect accompaniment for this Maple Glazed Salmon is a salad with a balsamic dressing like Spinach Salad with Maple Roasted Pecans and Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette. Or a Beet and Goat Cheese Salad. With sautéed beet greens or spinach. Healthy overload!