You guys know I looooove my salmon.
I mean, I’ve always been a giant fan. We’re talking way back when – like the time when all I wanted was a zigzag part in my hair (how did anyone successfully do that?) and the days that I spent two hours listening to the radio on my boom box just so I could record my favorite song on a CASSETTE TAPE? Yeah. Since then.
I also had to google how to spell “cassette.”
And spelling was my best subject in school.
2013 is sad.
It’s not like I want to remember my permed hair days but I think back then was when my dad first starting grilling thick salmon filets marinated in a bunch of things like soy sauce and brown sugar and garlic and I fell in love with them. And do you want to know something weird? It’s really weird. For me.
My salmon meal of choice? It usually involves a salad. I’m not a big proponent of salmon with a (spoiler alert) side of rice and vegetables. That bores me. I like it best on pasta or in a salad, like this one that I keep eating and can’t seem to get sick of. There’s just something about how buttery and flakey the salmon is – it’s like you get a taste in each bite which is something I love.
I’ve exploited my fair share of salmon recipes here over the last three years but my go-to’s, the ones I make around once a week and continue to go back to regardless of what else I try, are my toasted sesame salmon and dijon cream salmon. Love those two so, so much. And now I think I can add a third to my repertoire. Wait. Am I using that word properly? Probably not. Someone get this girl a dictionary. And a thesaurus. And first grade spelling class. Oh wait! I can download that all on my iPhone. Thanks again, 2013.
But I like this recipe just as much as the ones above, as simple as it is. And for salmon and me, that’s usually all it takes. A filet, a little flavor and the broiler. I’m so easy to please! (… said no one that knows me ever.)
Spicy Brown Sugar Salmon
Yield: serves 4
Total Time: 20 minutes
2 pound wild-caught, fresh salmon filet (about 1-inch in thickness)
1/4 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
In a bowl, combine brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, mixing well.
Heat the broiler on your oven to high, and place the oven rack as high as it will go. Place salmon filet on a baking sheet and rub brown sugar mixture all over top. I tend to buy a piece of salmon with skin on, so I place the salmon skin side down on the baking sheet and just rub the spices on top. Place under the broiler and broil for 5-6 minutes, until sugar begins to caramelize and get golden. Serve immediately!
It is pretty important to use a piece of salmon that is no thicker than one inch - if your salmon is thicker, I suggest flipping the salmon after 5 minutes and broiling for another 2-3 (this requires that the skin be removed) OR lowering your oven rack one level down - this will prevent the sugar from burning since you have to broil longer. After the initial 5 minutes, the sugar may be a bit smokey but it should not burn.
Promise I’ll make this salad up to you.