I did not eat salmon growing up. Let’s be honest, growing up in the 1970’s in the South, we did not even know how to pronounce salmon no less attempt to cook it. Well unless it was in a can. I mean can salmon meant you were having salmon patties for dinner with the little pieces of chewable bones (calcium – never knew why they were in my patties). Don’t get me wrong, I actually love a good salmon patty but I never actually saw a real filet of fresh salmon until I was grown and married.
My first experience with salmon was a grilled filet over a spinach salad with a orange balsamic dressing and I was instantly hooked. Now I love salmon anyway you make it – grilled, steamed, poached and sautéed and especially with a spinach salad. I love pairing salmon with lemons, oranges or even grilled pineapple. Oh so good!
This honey orange glazed salmon is one of my favorite recipes for preparing salmon. The perfectly seared salmon floating in a sweet and savory garlicky citrusy sauce will make your mouth sing.
The first step in this recipe is to sear your salmon fillets until they’re golden brown. The salmon is then removed from the pan and the sweet and savory sauce of honey, garlic, orange juice and soy sauce goes in to simmer. After the sauce has thickened, the salmon is returned to the pan and the sauce is poured over the top.
If you are intimated about which salmon to select, Cooking Light features a great article on the different types of salmon such as wild-caught, troll-caught, organic and wild Alaskan.
The biggest tip I can give you about this recipe is to make sure your pan or skillet is hot over medium-high heat before adding your salmon. That will allow for a perfect sear. I used skin on salmon but skin off is perfectly acceptable.
I am including a couple of tips below for picking out and cooking your salmon filets.
Tip #1: Buy fresh wild salmon. It seems silly to say this, but most stores call their salmon “fresh” if it hasn’t been frozen, even if it was caught 1-2 weeks ago. Clearly after a few days on ice, the salmon is no longer fresh. The reality is you can only find fresh wild salmon 3-4 months of the year, so for the rest of the year, you need a back up plan.
Tip #2: If you can’t find “fresh” wild salmon, buy vacuum-packed, frozen wild salmon. Vacuum-packed salmon is usually much less expensive, and “if” it was vacuum-packed and flash frozen, it will taste fresh for at least six months. Don’t assume that fresh is always better than frozen fish. “Sometimes frozen is better than fresh,” Plenty of frozen fish has been put on ice on boats right after it’s caught to preserve its freshness. or flash-frozen shortly after catch.
Tip #3: “Redder” doesn’t mean better. Salmon comes in a variety of colors. “Redder” doesn’t necessarily mean better. For example, Coho is a little paler than King, but is equally delicious. What you want to avoid is any salmon that shows signs of browning. If you can give the fish a poke, the flesh should bounce back when you do so. Don’t buy fish that feels soft, mushy, or doesn’t spring back into shape. Like cloudy eyes, it’s a sign that the fish isn’t fresh.
Tip #4: Smell: Salmon filets should smell fresh and clean, and slightly briny or like the ocean. Fresh fish should never smell “fishy.” or taste “fishy”.
Tip #5: How long does salmon last? Raw salmon can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two or three days. Raw salmon can last in the freezer for up to three months. Vacuum-sealed salmon can be stored in the freezer for up to eight months.
Tip #6 (and most important) Don’t overcook: Salmon is prone to overcooking, and the line between not done enough and dry and overdone is pretty fine. The USDA recommends salmon be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 F degrees. However, different people prefer their salmon to be more rare or more well-done, like a steak. To be on the safe-side, I stick to the USDA’s recommendation.
When fixing this recipe, I used my 12 inch stainless steel Viking skillet. This pan is one of my favorites for searing and especially for easy cleanup. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I enjoy fixing it.
Honey Orange Glazed SalmonCourse: Main, FishCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
This honey orange glazed salmon is seared to perfection and simmered in a sweet and garlicky honey orange sauce. This is a quick and easy dinner option for a hectic and busy weeknight!
4 salmon filets (6 ounces each)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon paprika (mild, sweet or smoked)
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped or minced
1/2 cup honey
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- Pat salmon dry, then generously season salmon with salt, pepper, and paprika. Set aside.
- Heat two teaspoons of olive oil in a large skillet or pan over medium high heat. Place the salmon skin side down in the pan. Cook for 3 minutes or until golden brown. Turn over and cook salmon on other side for 2 minutes. Remove the salmon from the pan and place on a plate.
- Add butter and olive oil in skillet until butter is melted. Add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds. Pour in honey, water and soy sauce; bring to a simmer. Add in the orange juice; stir well to combine all of the flavors together. Bring sauce to a boil and cook for 2 minutes until sauce has thickened.
- Return the salmon to the pan and spoon the sauce over the top and baste frequently with the sauce from the pan for about one minute.
- To serve, drizzle with the sauce and a squeeze of juice from an orange. Serve with steamed vegetables, over rice. Makes a perfect bowl.