Maple glazed salmon recipe?
March 17, 2009 3:46 PM   Subscribe

I need help making maple glazed broiled salmon.

I'm trying to replicate a dish I had at a Thai restaurant in Culver City. I need help because the ingredients are so expensive to me that I really can't afford to experiment. So here are my problems with the recipes I have found on the Internet.

I know the salmon I had didn't have mustard. It seemed like plain maple syrup.

Recipes I find without mustard usually call for mixing the maple syrup with orange juice, soy sauce, or vinegar. Can't I just use maple syrup? Why thin it out? I have made this recipe once thinned with soy sauce and it was very disappointing. It was like the maple syrup just disappeared. I applied the mixture just once, 1 hour before baking.

What would happen if I coated the top of the salmon with maple syrup, broiled for 4 minutes, re-applied the maple syrup and then broiled for another 4 minutes?
posted by cda to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I made broiled salmon the other night, and the recipe called for applying the honey glaze (honey and lime juice) before you broil, halfway through, and then again before serving. (it was fabulous, too...)
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 3:49 PM on March 17, 2009

I think the acid in the orange juice and vinegar (not sure about soy sauce) may be important. Fish is often good with the citrus counterpoint.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 3:51 PM on March 17, 2009

hmm...I've made a soy sauce/maple glaze for salmon once, but the soy sauce wasn't meant to "thin it out." The recipe actually told me to make it into a reduction, I think with two parts maple and one part soy sauce. I simmered it over heat until it was nice and thick. I really liked the flavor of it. To me, it actually made the maple syrup taste richer.
posted by unassuminglocalgirl at 4:02 PM on March 17, 2009

This one from Epicurious. I think the lemon/citrus juice would not only add to the flavor, but keep the maple syrup from turning into a sticky shell around the fish. Here's the search from Epicurious - lots of options to consider and most have very few hard to find or expensive ingredients.
posted by elendil71 at 4:11 PM on March 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

I make a maple syrup reduction with balsamic vinegar that glazes salmon (or pork loin, btw) really nicely. Simmer in a saucepan first till it's nice and thick, then brush on before broiling.
posted by scody at 4:16 PM on March 17, 2009

I love that Epicurious recipe that elendll71 linked to. I make it often. The sauce is cooked so it gets syrupy and thick (after you marinate the salmon with the thinner stuff).
posted by picklebird at 4:20 PM on March 17, 2009

I suspect that straight syrup would be unpleasantly sweet. Mixing in some soy gives you sweet+salty; citrus gives you sweet+tangy. Either is probably a better match for fish.

Also, undiluted syrup will burn more easily so, if you go that route, I'd wait until the fish was very nearly done before applying it.

If you don't want to risk your expensive salmon fillet, practice glazing a chicken leg or something.
posted by jon1270 at 4:47 PM on March 17, 2009

Get thee to America's Test Kitchen
posted by nax at 6:29 PM on March 17, 2009

I used all your suggestions and it turned out great, thanks!

thanks nax I will watch that episode
posted by cda at 7:41 PM on March 17, 2009

Ignoring flavor components, there are some actual physical properties of the ingredients in glazes.

Concentrated Sugar + Heat = maillard reaction (browning)
Citric Acid prevents some discoloration and slows down the browning process, also lightens the flavor and cuts the sweetness (as for the color, think of tartaric acid in baking - this serves the same purpose)
Mustard serves in keeping a partial suspension stable for longer.
Protien which is over-exposed to acid will also begin to deteriorate. (lemon chicken marinades are the work of the devil... finishing with lemon is fine)

So, if I'm making a relatively shelf stable emulsion (say a balsamic dressing), I'm going to use garlic, herbs, mustard and balsamic in a blender (salt, pepper, and sugar to taste) and then I'll slowly add my oil with the blender running. I'll add oil until I generally double my liquid component, then I'll get a little bit more in from the mustard effect.

Similar, if I'm making an aoili, I add my garlic, mustard, and egg yolk, and then I can work in a ton of oil, and thin with flavoring stuff (cranberries, oj, etc), because the mustard helps the yolk+oil provide structure. Yes you can do it without it, but man it makes things easier.

Now, moving on to maple syrup... here's sugar water that is already reduced enough to have decent properties as a suspension (As I found out this weekend, 43 Gallons of sap = 1 Gallon of Maple Syrup... $98/gal for organic maple syrup means that a gallon of sap is worth more than gallon of gas... ). Just by adding straight vinegar to maple syrup, you've shortened the process of making a gastrique. If instead of vinegar, you add an acid, you provide some level of protection from drying (at a cellular level) to a coated meat.

So here's the thing... cooking is chemistry. I'm glad you don't want to wreck what it is that you are making - it shows respect to the ingredients you have. With that said, any of the above recipies are valid (unless someone wrote something disgusting like 'motor oil' or 'uranium' between the time I preview and the time I post).
posted by Nanukthedog at 7:44 PM on March 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

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