Brown Sugar Honey Marinated Salmon with Caramelized Pineapple Quinoa
First thing’s first: How was your Memorial Day Weekend? I hope you had the chance to relax and eat some delicious food.
I was able to finally catch The Great Gatsby in theaters and HOLY heaven… Leo! I don’t think he’s been that good looking since his Titanic days. Besides staring into Leo’s eyes via theater projection screen, I was able to accomplish a lot this weekend. I cleaned my room (MAJOR DEAL), booked some flights, spent time with my family, cooked, and instagramed my food like a freak.
Yes, I’m totally one of those people.
I wish I could say I instagrammed and ate this salmon this weekend, but that’s just not truth. I actually created this dish several months ago and completely forgot about it until recently when I was strolling through my photos. Please forgive me! How could I deny you this magical meal?
This salmon. Um, words really won’t do it justice, but I’ll try to describe it in the best way I know how: through super delicious adjectives (obviously) and dramatic descriptors.
Brown sugar caramelized. Melts like butter in your mouth. Juicy and sweet (with some heat, if you want it). Gorgeous. Definitely man bait worthy.
These words all boil down to one thing and one thing only: You must make this salmon!
The fish itself is sweet, with an almost teriyaki flavor. You’ll want to be sure to marinade it for at least an hour or two to let the salmon soak up the lovely flavors from the pineapple juice and soy sauce.
A few minutes before I took the salmon out of the oven, I turned on the broiler to get the top of it slightly crispy and caramelized. Mmmmm.
This dinner is perfect for a BBQ or to impress! The healthy fats and protein from the salmon will keep you full and happy.
- For salmon:
- 1 pound salmon
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce, gluten free if desired
- 1/4 cup fresh pineapple juice
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes, if desired
- 1/2 of a whole pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into small chunks (so you don’t have to cut later)
- For quinoa:
- 3/4 cup uncooked organic quinoa
- 1 cup coconut milk (I used light coconut milk)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Fresh limes to squeeze, if desired
- 1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds, for topping
- In a large bowl whisk together the marinade ingredients: brown sugar, honey, soy sauce, pineapple juice, mustard, sesame and olive oil, ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes if desired. Place salmon in large ziploc bag and add marinade. Place in refrigerator for up to 8 hours but at least 1 hour. You can also marinade it in a baking pan.
- Preheat oven to 400 degree F. Spray baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Remove salmon from ziploc bag and place skin side down on large baking pan lined with foil. Line pineapple next to salmon and brush leftover marinade on salmon and pineapple. Sprinkle with a little bit of extra brown sugar for extra caramelization. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until salmon easily flakes with fork. I usually broil my salmon for a min or two at the end to get an additional caramelization on top. Just be sure not to dry out your fish! 18 minutes is usually perfect timing for me! **See notes for additional information on cooking times.
- While salmon is cooking, prepare quinoa. Bring water and coconut milk to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low; add quinoa and cover; simmering until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand another 5-10 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and set aside. Add in red onion and cilantro to quinoa. Once salmon is finished cooking, remove pineapple from baking sheet and fold into quinoa. Season with salt and lime juice to taste.
- Spoon pineapple quinoa evenly into 4 bowls or plates. Cut salmon into desired serving sizes and serve with quinoa. Garnish with a tablespoon or two of toasted almonds. Drizzle with extra honey if desired.
Usually salmon fillets are about 1 1/2 inches thick. Preparing quinoa ahead of time makes this dish even easier. You can serve the quinoa warm or cold.