Diane, A Broad
August 16, 2012

Brown Sugar Salmon

I’ve been living the single life lately. The gentleman’s been off on a trip to the States, so it’s just me in this big ol’ apartment, typety-typing away. (Bizarrely, I buy the same amount of groceries.) There are certain advantages to the single lady life: sleeping spread-out, diagonally on the bed; watching Pride and Prejudice with dinner minus any eye-rolling. But when it comes to dinner, it’s a constant battle against that little voice in my head: “It’s just for you. You’ve got no one to cook for. And you’ve been working all day! You went for a jog! Why not just step out and get something quick to-go?”

This is one of the dishes that’s been helping me battle eating a mountain of falafel every night. Beautifully fresh salmon from the fishmonger’s or the farmer’s market (if there is one that day), marinated in soy sauce, rubbed with brown sugar and baked to rich, caramel-crusted doneness. It’s sort of teriyaki-esque, I guess? Whatever, it makes an awesome dinner with quinoa and spinach, and the pizza place and the Chinese takeout place haven’t seen me in their doorways, makeupless and hungry at midnight, so far.

Brown Sugar Salmon

Yield: 1 serving.

Brown Sugar Salmon


  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 4-6 ounces of salmon fillet
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • coarse ground pepper


  1. In a plastic zip-top bag or other airtight container, combine the soy sauce and mirin. Add the salmon fillet and turn it a couple of times to coat it in the soy marinade. Refrigerate for at least four hours, but overnight is better.
  2. Heat your oven to 400°F.
  3. Remove your salmon fillet and discard the rest of the marinade. Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel. Rub the vegetable oil all over the salmon, then rub the brown sugar all over as well. Place the salmon on a piece of aluminium foil and grind a few grinds of pepper over.
  4. Bake for 10-14 minutes, or until the salmon flakes easily with a fork. Serve with some vegetables and some carbs.


Make sure you bake this on some aluminium foil. The sugar melts off a bit, and it tends to get very very caramelized and sticks to whatever you’re baking on. It’s a pain to get it off your sheet pan.

Inspired by Ezra Pound Cake.


Music to cook by: Through It All [Leftover Cuties // Game Called Life]

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15 responses to “Brown Sugar Salmon”

  1. oliviaflynn says:

    Hi Diane, delicious dinner and a very humorous post. Glad you’re staying motivated to keep yourself well-fed despite the gentleman being away (isn’t that the beauty of blogging?)

  2. Carolyn Jung says:

    I love salmon with brown sugar on it. I sometimes add some Dijon, too, then stick the salmon on a plank on top of the grill. Your plating is gorgeous!

  3. Denise says:

    I love salmon with a sugary mustard crust, but this version looks delicious too! I’m single, so very used to dining alone, but I agree: together is just better:)

  4. kat says:

    YUMMM! I love salmon recipes like this!

  5. Michelle says:

    I’m looking forward to trying this! Do you have any suggestions for how to cook up the spinach? I’ve never tried to cook spinach before, but it looks so pretty on the plate the way you’ve presented it!

  6. […] This is the first meal I prepared after I arrived in Nice. One of the best things and worst things about moving is a new kitchen. Best: it’s so clean! Worst: there’s no food in it! So I ran to Monoprix and came back with the essentials (eggs, pasta, cheese, lemons, bacon, butter, and wine) and some stuff for dinner (salmon, broccoli, parsley). Because apparently, whenever I need to make a single-girl dinner, it ends up being salmon. […]

  7. Sha says:

    Absolutely delicious! Thanks for a new alternative recipe for cooking salmon.

  8. You’re welcome! I’m glad you liked it. 🙂

  9. Oooo, I’ve never thought about doing it with mustard. That sounds delicious. Do you use grainy mustard or smooth?

  10. Rachel Hawkridge says:

    This looks great. Will have to try to adapt to low carb.

    I also coat a salmon fillet in pesto’ and broil. Yum.

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