Saturday, August 14, 2010

Macadamia-Crusted Salmon

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If you read my last post about my Alaska adventures, you may remember that I said I would try to recreate a salmon dish I ate at Anchorage’s Glacier Brewhouse. Above is my attempt at just that – sauteed wild Alaskan salmon encrusted in macadamia nuts, topped with an orange-rum glaze and a tumble of mango-peach salsa. I deviated a bit on the side dishes from the original dish (pictured below), which were rice, sauteed onions, red peppers and spinach.

image  Normally, I wouldn’t have used corn as a side dish because the shape and texture looks too much like the salsa, but much of what I cook is dictated by what I have on hand, so corn it was going to be. I added a little color to the corn with swiss chard from the garden and the red peppers I had recently roasted. Although the rice might sop up some of the sauce more readily, this combo was delicious too.

The salmon in the Glacier Brewhouse’s version was quite piquant since they used sriracha chile aioli to marinate the fish, but  I toned mine down somewhat and used oil flavored with jalapeno instead (again, no sriracha chilis on hand, but jalepeno si.) It still had a spicy tang to it, but the orange-rum glaze also added a slight sweetness to it as well.

Start by cooking the jalapenos for a few minutes in the oil, then let the oil cool down before adding the cilantro and marinating the salmon. This provides a great adhesive for the macadamia crust that gets browned in a mixture of olive oil and butter.

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You can make the mango/peach salsa early in the day.

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The corn mixture is made right before serving, as you’re cooking the fish. Just saute a little swiss chard (or spinach) in a tablespoon of olive oil along with some onion. When it’s nearly cooked, trim the kernels off some fresh corn and add to the saucepan, with a tablespoon of butter. Give it a minute or two, adding salt and pepper to taste, then add the chopped red peppers. It’s a winning side dish with grilled meats or roasts as well as fish.

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Macadamia-Crusted Salmon

printable recipe here

(serves four)

4  5 or 6-ounce salmon pieces (skin removed)

1/2 cup crushed macadamia nuts

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/2 cup olive oil (for marinating)

1 jalapeno pepper

1/4 cup minced cilantro leaves

2 T. olive and 1 T. butter, melted (for cooking the salmon)

Orange Rum Glaze:

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup dark rum

2 T. honey

Mango-Peach Salsa

1 mango, minced

2 peaches, minced

1/2 small green pepper, minced

1/2 jalapeno, seeded and minced

2 T. minced cilantro

juice of 1 lime

dash of salt

Directions for salsa: Mix everything together in a bowl and taste for seasonings. You can make the salsa way ahead of time and keep it in the fridge.

Directions for the Salmon: Cut the jalapeno pepper into about four pieces and place it in a saute pan with 1/4 cup of olive oil. Simmer it for about 10 minutes, then remove the pepper and discard. To the oil that’s been cooking with the jalapeno, add the other 1/4 cup olive oil. This will help to temper the hotness somewhat. If you have a higher tolerance for heat, cook the jalapeno in the entire 1/2 cup olive oil. Place the oil in a plate and let it come to room temperature.

About an hour before you want to cook the fish, place the pieces in the plate with the oil and swish both sides of the salmon in the oil. Let it sit on the counter in the oil while you prepare the rest of the dish.

Place the macadamia nuts in a food processor with the bread crumbs and grind until very fine, pulsing so it doesn’t turn to a paste.

Take the salmon pieces out of the oil and pat into the nut/crumb mixture on both sides. In a heavy skillet, melt the butter with the 2 T. olive oil. Saute on low heat otherwise you’ll burn the outer coating. When it’s browned on one side, flip it over and cook the other side. It should take about five minutes on each side at most.

While the salmon is cooking, make the glaze by putting all the ingredients in a saucepan over high heat. Cook until it’s reduced by about half.

Plate the salmon, spooning some of the glaze on top and finishing with a few tablespoons of the salsa.


  1. I think I'd just go to your house before going all the way to Alaska! This looks wonderful!

  2. Wow! It all looks excellent! I love salmon and you did it perfectly with the macadamia's!

  3. That crust is wonderful! I really like that salsa. Perfect pairing!



  4. This dish is dinner party worthy.
    Delicious and beautiful!

  5. Such a perfect dinner, the salsa and macadamia sounds really delicious.

  6. This really does sound wonderful. The colors and flavors you've used with the salmon are perfect. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

  7. We both posted fish and corn side dishes! I have never tried encrusting fish with any kind of nuts, but I most certainly will. Peaches and mango are combos I never thought of for a salsa, but I love that too. Great dinner.

  8. Macadamia crusted salmon sounds so good! I like that you served it with all of the summery freshness!

  9. This sounds delightful, Linda. I am going to try it. The salsa looks so refreshing...a great accompaniment.

  10. omigoodness!

    I ain't never seen such a dish fer salmon, reckon I must try it now--

    Yore photos of Alaska are pure delight. In 2002 I did a similar trip--cruise the inside passage, the train through Denali...but yore photos is much better'n mine!! We never found a elk... Makes me wanna go back.

    Jes' returned from Italy in July. If I could I go eve'r year. Incredible art and food...sigh.

    Have really enjoyed visitin' yore blog.

  11. Yes to all. I have to get over constantly roasting tomatoes and throwing it onto fiah. This will be my new obsession.

  12. what a beautiful plate!! I love that salsa, and the macadamia salmon, sounds delicious!

  13. splendida questa ricetta e bellissime anche le foto dell'alaska che sono riuscita a vedere solo ora!!! sei stata bravissima in tutti e due i casi. Buon ferragosto ed un baci grande

  14. It is easy to see why you would want to recreate this dish at home!

  15. Wow che ricetta favolosa. E' piacere seguire il tuo blog, io le proverei tutte le tue ricette, complimenti. Buon ferragosto Daniela.

  16. Your salmon dish is just gorgeous - so colorful! I love all of the flavors and the texture of the macadamia crust.

  17. Every single thing I like about a dish. I wish you could cook this for me.

  18. This is such a beautiful way to prepare salmon. It sounds so sweet and flavorful!

  19. This looks so wonderful Linda. I love everything about this colorful dish right down to the rum glaze. It sounds so flavorful!I'll definitely be trying this one! TY for sharing.

  20. Wow, what a nice fish the idea of macadamia and the salsa looks perfect with it :-)

  21. Oh, I thought I commented here, well I certainly gawked at it more than a few times, because you see I love macadamia nuts, so I'm all over this! Yumm

  22. Forget how good that must have tasted, it LOOKS movie star gorgeous. And mango makes anything better!

  23. your salmon dish looks absolutely wonderful! Never thought of oil for the breading, I often use sour cream. We live in Alaska and I just found your blog...will keep reading...

  24. What a gem of a recipe! I've bookmarked it so I can make this sometime. I'm sure it's wonderful! :)