An easy recipe that needs just 5 minutes of prep and 10 minutes in the oven. The salmon will turn out rich, moist, and buttery.
I used to cook salmon exclusively on the stovetop, because I was obsessed with crispy salmon skin. Lately I’ve been using the oven more often, especially when I want to get dinner on the table as fast as possible. The thing I love about baked salmon is that it is cooked more evenly, and the texture of the fish comes out more consistent. When I cook salmon on the stove, I need to keep it medium rare to get a moist texture. But when baking, I’ve found that the fish will taste very juicy and tender even when cooked through.
Today I want to share a new sauce to enjoy with salmon. The recipe was inspired by the roasted salmon glazed with brown sugar and mustard by the New York Times. I wanted to create a different version of the classic honey soy sauce glazed salmon.
The things I did differently:
- Use plenty of mustard to add acid instead of vinegar or lime, so it thickens the sauce naturally.
- Replace brown sugar with honey to make the recipe healthier.
- Use fresh herbs to give the fish a richer flavor.
- Bake the fish instead of cooking it on the stovetop, so you can prepare a side dish while cooking it.
Some baked salmon recipes recommend using the broiler all the way through, to create a crispy surface. I found this method is not very consistent. Since the honey glaze has a very high sugar content, it can easily end up burning the fish. With this glaze, you don’t need to have a crispy surface to enjoy the freshness of the salmon. The sauce will be cooked until thickened, so that it coats the salmon very well, and guarantees a satisfying mouthfeel.
To add a quick side dish, you could try the Garlic Spinach in Chicken Broth, Broccoli with Oyster Sauce, or Baby bok Choy with Garlic Soy Sauce. These are sides you can easily finish cooking in less than 10 minutes. If you cook brown rice beforehand, you can serve a hot dinner of freshly cooked fish and vegetables in 30 minutes.
Thaw, cook, and store properly
I always keep packaged frozen fish in the fridge. It is a great way to put a healthy and delicious protein on the dinner table, really fast.
To make the prep, serving, and storage easier, I want to introduce the OXO 14 Piece Glass Bake, Serve & Store Set. The set comes with four bakeware and four storage containers that work great for meal preparation.
First, remove the fish from the packaging and thaw it in the fridge. Note: never thaw fish on your countertop. Fish is very delicate and it loses its freshness very quickly in a warm environment. You should always thaw fish in the fridge and cook it without letting it return to room temperature.
I used the largest baking dish to thaw and bake the salmon instead of my usual “plate + plastic wrap” combo. I especially like the slosh-proof lid. It seals the odors and liquid inside without contaminating other items. Plus I can place other containers on top without squashing the fish.
Brown rice is the perfect side dish to serve with the salmon. You can cook it on the weekend, freeze it in portions in the fridge, and heat it up in a few minutes in the microwave just before serving.
I recommend these thermal shock resistant snap containers for this purpose. Both the lid and the container can withstand up to 250 degrees F of temperature change, so you can move the rice directly from the freezer into the microwave without the container cracking. Cooking rice without thawing, and heating it up properly are must-follow procedures to prevent foodborne illness. Just remember, you need to release the tabs on the container before heating it up in the microwave.
Lastly, you can use the bakeware to store the leftover fish. We are a family of two, but I always cook four fillets. Cooked fish stays in the fridge for 3 to 4 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months. Using the bakeware for storing, you can heat them up in the oven directly from the freezer, thus saving time and making for easy clean-up.
While I’d like to thank OXO for providing 14 Piece Glass Bake, Serve & Store Set, all the opinions in this articles are my own.
Honey Soy Sauce Glazed Salmon
- 4 pieces salmon fillets (*see footnote 2)
- 4 tablespoons honey (or brown sugar)
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free)
- 4 tablespoons whole-grain Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons ginger , minced
- 1/4 teaspoon ground paprika (or chili powder)
- Adjust oven rack to top third. Preheat oven to 220 degrees C (425 F). Spray a thin layer of oil onto a large baking dish.
- Whisk honey, soy sauce, Dijon mustard, ginger, and chili pepper in a small bowl.
- Place the salmon into the baking dish, skin side down. Pour marinade over each piece of salmon.
- Bake for 6 minutes, until the surface of the salmon is cooked, but the fish is still raw inside. Turn on broiler. Bake for another 2 to 3 minutes, until the salmon is just cooked to the preferred doneness. To check doneness, gently lift the thick end of the salmon. If the fish flakes easily along the grain, it is done. The salmon will be the tenderest if it is still a bit pink inside. If you prefer your salmon cooked through, return it to the oven and bake for another one or two minutes.
- Serve immediately with rice and spinach.
- For more information on preparation and storage, see the blog post above.
- Try to select (2 cm) 1 inch thick fillets with an even thickness. If you use thicker salmon, you will need to extend the baking time.