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Eat Your Heart Out

Passport & Plate - Baked maple salmon w sweet & spicy pineapple salsa

Canada | Wednesday, 25 February 2015 | 4 photos


Ingredients
Salmon:

Four medium size salmon fillets

Marinade:

1/4 cup real maple syrup
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt (or sea salt)
Pinch of ground black pepper

Salsa:

1/2 fresh pineapple, cut into tidbits (can substitute fresh pineapple for canned pineapple)
1/2 (each) red, yellow and orange peppers, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
1/2 red onion, diced
2 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped (can substitute for freeze-dried cilantro)
Juice of one lime

Rice:

1 cup uncooked rice of your choice (will yield about three cups cooked rice). My favorite for this recipe is brown rice.
Salt, to taste

 

How to prepare this recipe
Approximate time: One hour 20 minutes. Serves four.

1. Place the salmon fillets in a baking dish. Prepare your marinade by adding the ingredients to a bowl and whisking until combined. Drizzle the marinade over the salmon fillets, cover the dish with plastic wrap, and pop the dish into the fridge to marinate for up to an hour. Flip the fish over halfway through marinating, so that both sides of the fish are coated in the maple mixture.

2. Prepare your rice according to package directions. The brown rice used in this recipe took 45 minutes, but cook times will vary according to the variety of rice used.

3. When the fish is halfway through the marinating time, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

4. Prepare your salsa. Add all of the ingredients to a medium sized bowl and mix until well combined. This salsa can be made a day in advance and will keep in the fridge for about four days. It's super versatile and also tastes great with cod, chicken, or even just tortilla chips!

5. Remove the plastic wrap from the baking dish, and put the salmon in the oven to bake for 14-20 minutes, until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

6. Plate your dish, starting with the rice, then the salmon, and finally topping with the salsa.

7. Enjoy!

 

The story behind this recipe
When I was in high school, I had an incredibly unhealthy diet. My parents always cooked healthy meals throughout my childhood and early adult life and frowned upon fast food. When I first got my drivers licence, I decided to make up for lost time and nearly every lunch break in my first year of high school was spent at a fast food restaurant. I also worked at a Mexican restaurant in the evenings and weekends and, as a supervisor, was given free meals while on shift. Anything I did make "home made" was highly processed and came from a package. The unhealthy diet quickly caught up with me and at the age of 17, my cholesterol and weight were way above the healthy range.

In my second year of high school I took a home economics class with the hope of getting rid of my unhealthy ways and learning to cook quick, easy, nutritious meals. One of our final assignments was to cook any dish we wanted, and to prepare it for the class. At that time, one of my favorite things to eat was sweet & sour pork, so I decided to try a version of that recipe with fish as a lower cholesterol and lower fat option. The recipe I prepared for class was much more simple than this one, and after cooking this dish for the past ten years and taking inspiration from cookbooks and online cooking blogs, it has evolved into one of my favorites, which is the one I've posted here.

I feel this is a uniquely Canadian dish since it's impossible not to love our maple syrup and many species of salmon!

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