Over the past 2 to 3 years I have become really interested in cooking with bourbon as both a marinade and a sauce. For this Bourbon Glazed Salmon Recipe with Asparagus I used it as both, which I think is kind of the ultimate one-two flavor punch. It’s also fun to cook with bourbon because naturally you get to drink a few swigs while you cook J. Or maybe that’s just me. I was always taught as a rule of thumb that when cooking with alcohol in anyway, if you wouldn’t drink it normally then don’t cook with it. If it’s a nasty tasting cheap bourbon, why would you want to cook with it right? Well this happens all the time, so again be mindful of what kind of bourbon you are wanting to use because remember it’s going to be a bourbon marinade and a bourbon glaze for the salmon so you better like the taste.
When it comes to selecting a bourbon I like to stick with brands I know such as Jim Bean or Wild turkey. For one, I would gladly drink either of those and two you know you are getting a quality spirit. I do also want to say that yes you can absolutely use whiskey for this Bourbon Glazed Salmon Recipe with Asparagus. All bourbon is whiskey but not all whiskey is bourbon. Whiskey is distilled from a grain mash and aged in wooden barrels. There are Irish Whiskey’s, Scotch Whiskey’s, etc. but if you want it to be a bourbon then it must be made in America. Essentially Bourbon is our version of whiskey. Starting to make sense?
Let’s move on to the recipe! The marinade is incredibly easy as it is an equal 3-part combination of bourbon, brown sugar and soy making for the perfect balance of flavor. In addition to these I added some umami flavors like garlic, ginger and scallion to round off the flavors a bit. Add these ingredients to a bowl and be sure to reserve about a half of a cup so that we can turn that into a glaze that won’t be contaminated by raw fish. I can’t tell you how many recipes I see that tell people to reduce the marinade after something was marinated in it. NO NO NO, throw that away unless you have a desire to be sick because that’s exactly what’s going to happen! That’s why reserving it is the better option. You get the great flavor and you’ll avoid the bathroom :-). You’re welcome!
The past year I have really become interested in sustainable food as it relates to growing it, farming it or raising it. Salmon is one of those things on the outside that seems so healthy no matter what. Well unfortunately that’s just not true. One would think it would be so easy for people to head out to sea and catch a bunch of salmon and bring it back ashore. While there are tons of companies that still do that and it is 100% the best way for health benefits, there are several companies, especially in the past 10 years that have been farming salmon. When fish is farmed they are condensed to a small habitat which causes disease and pollution amongst the fish. What it comes down to is that the fish are not healthy simply because living conditions are dense with zero agricultural diversity that lead to a number of problems with the fish. Best advice I can give you is always buy and easy wild caught anything. Yes it may be a bit more expensive but you have to know what you’re putting in your body and that starts with knowing where it is coming from. Oh and not-too-mention it tastes WAY better than farm raised. Once you’ve selected your beautiful wild caught salmon, place it in the marinade and refrigerate it overnight and up to 48 hours! The longer you can marinade the better.
I’ve overloaded you on information as it relates to bourbon and fish, but believe it or not I don’t really have too many thoughts on buying asparagus. I would always say to buy organic and in season, which are the spring months although you can get some pretty tasty tasting asparagus outside of peak season. Cut off the ends of the asparagus and boil them in a large pot of boiling salted water until they are al dente, or slightly crunchy. Strain them, and glaze them with whole unsalted butter and season with Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Simple and ALWAYs delicious.
Last but not least after you sear your salmon until golden brown and to your desired amount of doneness, remove it from the pan and add in the ½ cup of reserved marinade and cook it over medium-low heat until it is reduced by one half. Plate everything up and pour your bourbon glaze over top of the salmon and serve it alongside the asparagus. Enjoy!
- 1 tablespoon of chopped scallions
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic
- ½ cup of Jim Beam or other good bourbon
- ½ cup of soy sauce
- ½ cup of brown sugar
- juice of ½ Lime
- 8 ounce fillet of fresh Atlantic Salmon
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 10 stalks of asparagus
- sesame seeds to coat
- olive oil to coat
- Kosher salt and cracked pepper to coat
- In a bowl add all prepared ingredients for the marinade and mix well, reserve ½ cup of marinade to the side.
- Add in salmon and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. After marinating place salmon in a hot skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sear on both sides. Finish in the oven on 350° for 7-9 minutes.
- In the mean time cut the ends of the asparagus and mix with salt, pepper and olive oil to coat. Grill them on high heat for 8-10 minutes or until desired amount of doneness is achieved.
- Once the salmon is done set it to the side and in that same pan add reserved marinade into the saute pan and reduce in half on high heat.
- Once everything is done plate up the grilled asparagus and salmon. Be sure to pour some of that reduced marinade over the salmon and to finish sprinkle on some sesame seed. Serve hot and enjoy!