three-way (the golden rule)

honey mustard

As an adult, I’ve really grown to love salmon. Growing up, we ate a lot of fish, but mostly the skin-on-whole-roasted-eyeballs-staring-at-you kind popular in Korean cuisine. But I do remember my mom making salmon for us on occasion. She generally pan-fried fillets seasoned lightly with salt and pepper and we ate it with rice and various Korean side dishes.

honey soy

However, one salmon dinner sticks out in my mind. It was when Derek came home with me for a weekend during college (maybe for the first time?) and my mom served salmon for dinner. But she smothered it in some weird ketchup-soy sauce glaze that I could NOT get over (at the time, Derek said he liked it– he doesn’t remember now). Needless to say, after that incident, I stayed away from salmon for awhile.

balsamic glaze

Several years ago, when salmon was declared a “super food” and everyone was hopped up on omega-3s and fish oil, I thought I’d give the orange-y fish another try. Since then, it’s been a welcome addition to our dinner repertoire. I usually season it up, top it with panko breadcrumbs, and throw it in the oven to bake– no muss, no fuss, and perfectly cooked fish every time. The panko gets nice and crispy and is a great accompaniment to the rich, flavorful salmon. Below are three different ways we like to eat it: 1. honey mustard; 2. honey soy; and 3. balsamic glaze.

salmon, 3-ways all done

panko crusted salmon, three ways
printer-friendly recipe
serves: 4

all preparations:
16-24 ounces salmon,  4-6 ounce fillets
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Olive oil and/or non-stick spray
Lemon wedges, for serving (optional)
honey mustard:
2 tablespoons honey mustard
honey soy:
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon vegetable or peanut oil
1 clove of garlic, pressed or minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
balsamic glaze:
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 clove of garlic, pressed or minced

for all preparations:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare baking dish or pan by lightly coating with olive oil or non-stick spray. Season salmon with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cut into four 4-6 ounce portions if not already done. Place the salmon pieces on the prepared dish or pan, skin side down. Top the salmon fillets with your chosen sauce (see below). Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top of the sauce, covering completely. Gently press to adhere if necessary. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil (about 1 tablespoon total) over the breadcrumb covered fillets. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the panko breadcrumbs are golden brown and the fish is cooked to your desired doneness. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon, if using.
honey mustard:
No preparation! Spread a thin layer of honey mustard onto the salmon flesh with the back of a spoon.
honey soy:
Whisk together all of the ingredients. Pour over the salmon– it’s ok if it pools at the bottom of the dish or pan.
balsamic glaze:
Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes and let cool about 10 minutes before pouring over the salmon.

p.s. If you don’t get the reference in this post’s title, watch this. (Fair warning: it’s possibly NSFW…and kind of inappropriate)

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