We still have a week to go in maple month—and I’m doing a maple-cooking demonstration in Virginia on April 1—so I’m in a maple mood.
Years ago I tasted a fabulous salmon dish at the Green Emporium in Colrain, Massachusetts. When I asked creative chef Michael Collins about it, he explained that he had cooked the fish with equal parts of maple syrup and soy sauce.
This is not precisely his recipe, which I don’t have, but it was inspired by Michael. The flavor of the marinade is subtle but definitely perceptible.
I had never baked salmon before, but one of my dinner guests, Lot Cooke (thank you, Lot!), got me through this recipe with no worries. Of course, it helped that the recipe was really, REALLY easy.
2 pounds salmon fillets
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup soy sauce (I used low-sodium, which was still salty enough)
In a saucepan combine the syrup and soy sauce. Heat until the mixture until it boils. Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool for 5 minutes.
Place the salmon fillets in little pouches of foil inside a large baking dish. Pour the maple-soy mixture over them and spread it on top. Close the foil up so that the marinade will stay on the fish and not bleed into the pan. Marinate the fish for 1 hour, basting the marinade over it again every 20 minutes or so.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Uncover the fish and baste once more. Bake the fish on a high oven rack, uncovered, until it flakes (about 20 minutes), basting after 10 minutes. For the last 2 to 3 minutes you may turn your broiler on to brown the salmon.