Bourbon is my drink of choice and I like bourbon many ways, but one of my favorites is when it glazes salmon. We’re talking plate-licking time here. When I had bourbon salmon at a local eatery, I knew it must be possible to make at home. I was pleased when my P.S. (Purchaser of Salmon/hubby) brought home salmon recently.
The next step was to find a recipe. We’d guessed that the bourbon marinade and sauce must have included grated fresh ginger; it had that nice kind of zippy taste to it. The sauce wasn’t overly sweet. It had just enough sugar to tie together the bourbon and ginger flavors. I found a recipe with honey at Recipe.com that seemed the right flavor profile I was looking for.
I start by putting bourbon, sugar, honey and the rest of the seasonings into a zippered plastic bag. I rinsed and patted my salmon filets dry with paper towelling, then placed them into the bag to marinate for a couple of hours in the fridge. It was just that simple.
Later I heated the skillet with a little olive oil and seared the salmon on the first side for about 4 minutes. I flipped the filets and seared the second sides for about 4 minutes. The recipe I found said the filets should be skinless but that may be out of date. Any more the salmon filets are sold with skin. I simply leave it on and make sure that’s the first side I sear. Later we can slide the skin off when we eat it. We don’t eat skin like the chefs on television do. I don’t care how crispy and yummy they think it is, I’m not eating it. Just my preference.
I heated the rest of the marinade to a quick boil in a small saucepan and reduced it down to a thick sauce. When the salmon was done I plated and garnished it with the thickened sauce. It was a quick and easy fix that produced such a depth of flavors! Bourbon salmon, a side of pasta and a salad was an excellent fishy dinner without leaving home. Bourbon always adds great flavor, but the fresh ginger and honey added so much to the taste as well. Gourmet flavors that didn’t require gourmet skills in the kitchen!
2 lb salmon fillet
3/4 cup bourbon
1/2 cup brown sugar; packed
2 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
oil or nonstick cooking spray
Thaw salmon, if frozen. Rinse the fish and pat dry. Separate into 4 portions.
In a plastic zippered bag, add together the bourbon, brown sugar, honey, soy sauce, ginger, and pepper. Shake to mix. Put fish into the bag. Close bag. Marinate fish in refrigerator 1 hour, turning occasionally to distribute marinade.
Drain fish, reserving marinade. Heat skillet with 1 tablespoon olive oil and add filets. Sear on first side 4 minutes, then turn and sear 4 minutes on the other side. If your filets are very thick, adjust times longer.
Place the remaining marinade in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil and reduce down until it thickens somewhat.
Plate the salmon and serve with sauce.