Honey Salmon
This delicious lacquer, or glaze, combines delicious honey with healthy salmon for a gourmet treat.





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May 2007

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Fish, Seafood & Caviar

Recipe: Honey Citrus Lacquered Salmon

A Springtime Preparation That Can Be Enjoyed With Other Types Of Fish, Too


This recipe recommends wild salmon. Much of what is available today in supermarkets is farmed salmon. What’s the difference? In general, wild is better.*

*You can read a lot about the differences in many online reference sources, but to sum it up, farmed salmon, although it has more heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids than wild salmon, tends to have much higher levels of chemical contaminants that are known to cause cancer, memory impairment and neurobehavioral changes in children. A 2005 study showed that the net benefits (no pun intended) of eating wild Pacific salmon outweigh those of eating farmed Atlantic salmon, when the risks of chemical contaminants are considered, and concluded that wild salmon is the preferred choice. However, significant differences in farmed salmon contaminants were found by region, with Chilean salmon showing the lowest levels and European (particularly Scottish) farmed salmon showing the highest levels. Farmed salmon from North America would be a second choice if only the farmed variety were available.

This recipe serves 6. Serve with delicious spring vegetables: your choice of artichokes, sautéed arugula, asparagus, baby beets (and beet greens), broccoli rabe, chard, fresh fava beans, braised or grilled fennel, minted green beans, morel and porcini mushrooms, new potatoes, okra, and delicious spring peas: green, snow and sugar snap.

Learn more about honey in our honey information section.


  • 6 fillets wild-caught salmon (about 2 pounds), pin bones removed (use skin-on fillets for grilling)

  • 1/2 cup honey

  • 3/4 cup sweeter-style white wine, such as Chenin Blanc or Riesling

  • 1 tablespoon citrus zest, grated (pink grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange or a combination)

  • 1/2 cup fresh citrus juice (pink grapefruit or a combination of lemon and orange)

  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely minced

  • 2 tablespoons shallots, minced

  • 2 tablespoons mint leaves, chopped

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Optional garnish: chopped green onions or chives


  • Make lacquer: Combine the honey, wine, zest, juice, ginger, shallots and mint in a small saucepan, and simmer over moderate heat until reduced in volume by about half, about 4 to 6 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste

To Broil (In An Oven-Broiler)

  1. Preheat the oven with broiler to 400°F, and place rack in upper third of the oven. Place the salmon, skin side down, in a baking dish in a single layer.
  2. Brush the top of the salmon with the lacquer and bake, basting every 3 minutes, until the fish starts to feel firm to the touch, 6 to 12 minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven (the fish should be slightly underdone), and change the oven setting to broil on high. Baste salmon with any additional glaze, and place it under the broiler until the glaze starts to caramelize and the “lacquer” appears to set up, less than 1 minute.
  4. Scatter the green onion or chive garnish over the tops of the fillets, if desired. Serve immediately.

To Grill

  1. Preheat and prepare a medium-hot grill (see Cooking Tips below).
  2. Brush fish all over with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Arrange the salmon, skin side down, on an oiled grill or grill grid. Brush the top of the salmon with the glaze, and cover with lid.
  3. Grill, basting every 3 minutes, until the fish feels firm to the touch, 8 to 15 minutes. Remove fish from the grill (don’t worry if the skin sticks to the grill).
  4. If desired, brush with remaining glaze if desired and scatter the green onion or chive garnish over the tops of the fillets. Serve immediately.

Recipe & Cooking Tips

  • The lacquer may be made ahead and refrigerated for several days. Warm it briefly before brushing the salmon.
  • Vary this recipe by altering the wine and citrus components. You can even exchange the ginger for garlic or the mint for cilantro: Use different combinations to suit your taste.
  • Honey-citrus lacquer works well on other fish, including char, cod, halibut and striped bass.
  • To prepare a gas grill, preheat the burners on high, covered, for 10 minutes and then turn the heat down to medium.
  • To prepare a charcoal grill, open the vents on bottom of grill, then light the charcoal. Charcoal fire is medium-hot when you can hold your hand 5 inches above rack for 3 to 4 seconds.
  • The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the salmon fillet. If in doubt, peek with the point of a knife: The center should still look slightly moist.


Recipe courtesy of the National Honey Board.

Recipe © National Honey Board. Other material © Copyright 2005- Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved.  Images are the copyright of their respective owners.