Bourbon Glazed Salmon August 30, 2010

Bourbon glazed salmon recipe

Summer held on long enough this year for me to give it a big, sloppy kiss. I love you, summer, and if I didn’t prove it already with a brand new garden and an upgraded lawn mower then this weekend sealed the deal.

It was one of those impromptu dinners — the kind that start with a lazy “let’s stay in tonight” and end with scraped plates piled in the sink and windows cracked over the bed.

We sat in our rickety wooden chairs outside while we grilled on the Weber and let the bug candles light the way. All the while, of course, Dustin sipped his Campari and soda and I concocted a way to extend my bourbon sipper to the salmon. As it turns out, coupled with brown sugar and soy sauce, bourbon becomes a bright, Southern sort of marinade.

I threw some ginger and lime juice in there for good measure, too, and let the hickory wood do the rest of the work. Some girls, I suppose, like to be called pretty or intelligent or both simultaneously but I’ll take the delivery of an empty dinner plate any day.

A trick that Dustin learned somewhere along the line is to slap his hands on the table and tell me how my much my food would cost in a restaurant. He figured — what with the sweet and sour interplay — that this one would land somewhere in the double digits. I smiled either because he’s completely mad or because, in that moment, I chose to believe him.

I regret the lack of a proper photo of the fish but your imagination is all you need here. The edges of the fish were crispy and gorgeous from the caramelized sugar. I heated up the marinade in a saucepan and reduced it for a thick, rich sauce.

It was a combination of fool proof and swoon-worthy on an evening that involved tea lights. Which is to say, it was heaven.

Bourbon Glazed Salmon


4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick)
Cooking spray
1/2 cup brown sugar
6 tablespoons bourbon
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 teaspoons sesame seeds (for garnish, optional)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions (for garnish, optional)


Combine sugar, bourbon, soy sauce, ginger, lime, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large zip-top plastic bag or a shallow baking dish. Add salmon and marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Remove fillets from bag; discard marinade.

Light grill or preheat broiler. If grilling, spray grates with cooking spray and cook fish, about 5 minutes on each side. If broiling, place fish on broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil 11 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Sprinkle each fillet with 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds and 1 tablespoon onions.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen August 30, 2010 at 7:07 am

After an unfortunate salmon dinner last summer in old my house with no central air conditioning, I have decided I will only cook salmon outdoors from now on!


Courtney August 30, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Fair enough…fall is my fav. time to grill out. Love being out there, almost more than in the summer. We’ve still got a couple of months left!


justmarylou August 31, 2010 at 5:45 am

WHOA! printing this recipe to make this weekend… that sounds good enough to be deemed “that’s so good it makes you wanna slap your momma!!”

Will let you know how it turns out…


Ian September 9, 2010 at 6:08 am

Smitty is such a pretty-boy with his Campari.


Kellye Gellespie May 23, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Outstanding post, you have pointed out some fantastic points , I likewise conceive this s a very great website.


Recipes101 November 23, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Main Dish Fish and Shellfish: Salmon with Brown Sugar and Bourbon Glaze


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