Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

 This sweet spicy glazed salmon recipe takes minutes to prepare and makes a great main dish or topping for a big, green dinner salad.


Don’t you love a big bright red piece of wild salmon? I was spoiled with wild salmon when I managed McCormick & Schmick’s. We brought in some beauties from the rivers of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. Then in Sacramento my neighbor brought home (and shared) huge salmon that he caught during their season in the Sacramento River.

I forget that not everyone is used to the color of wild salmon. When Jim saw our dinner, he asked, “Is it cooked?” He thought it was still raw because it was so red. Nope, that’s the real McCoy, hon. And what flavor!

This Cooking Light recipe is delicious – sweet, spicy, salty and a wee bit tangy with flavor exploding in every bite. I’m tempted to try this with other types of fish although it might overpower delicate fish. I’ll report back on any experiments.

I made a few changes to the recipe. I used less sugar, especially since the accompanying sweet potatoes are topped with a sweetened nut butter. I replaced some of the Chinese hot mustard with Sriracha.

Cooking Light suggested Baked Sweet Potatoes with Brown Sugar Butter as a side, so I took their advice. Great choice. Sweet potatoes go really well with salmon and I loved the addition of pecans to the potatoes. Just remember to soften your butter ahead of time so you can make this menu in 22 minutes.

Yes, 22 minutes, according to Cooking Light, if you follow their directions: preheat the oven; toast the pecans while you prepare the glaze for the salmon; scrub the potatoes; prepare the butter mixture for the potatoes; start cooking the salmon and then cook the potatoes. Finis!

I loved this salmon so much that I made it again the next week to top our dinner salads. And I even remembered to take a photo! In addition to the usual salad toppings, the famous pickled red onions made an appearance again along with some sauteed cremini mushrooms.

Sweet Spicy Glazed Salmon recipe | Grabbing the Gusto

Sweet & Spicy Glazed Salmon

You’ll need a saucepan, baking pan for salmon and pastry brush.

  • 2-1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 teaspoons Chinese-style hot mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick)
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425. Combine sugar, soy sauce, mustard, Sriracha and vinegar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, and then remove from the heat.

Place fish on a foil-lined pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 12 minutes. Decrease cooking time if your fillets are less than 1” thick. Remove from oven. Preheat broiler.

Brush sugar mixture evenly over salmon. Broil 3 inches from heat for 3 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Original recipe: Sweet Spicy Glazed Salmon, Cooking Light, October 2003

Baked Sweet Potatoes with Brown Sugar-Pecan Butter

You’ll need a small skillet (to toast pecans ahead of time), fork, microwave and small bowl.

  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped toasted pecans

Pierce sweet potatoes with a fork. Microwave at high for 12 minutes or until done. Combine butter, brown sugar and pecans. Top each potato with about 1 tablespoon of the butter mixture.

3 thoughts on “Sweet & Spicy Glazed Salmon

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