Like, really easy. This is the kind of carefree dinner you make when you:
1) don’t have a lot of ingredients
2) don’t have a lot of time
3) don’t have a lot of energy
4) crave a seriously good dinner
Which is every single night of the week, am I right? Who knew dinner could be so awesome, checking off this many lifesaving positives. 6 ingredients, on the table in 35 minutes, and approximately 2 dishes to clean. This salmon is a total game changer and it’s nearly impossible to screw up. → There! Another positive!
This easy maple sesame salmon is 85% what I’ve been eating lately and the other 15% is a mish-mash of leftovers and peanut butter sandwiches. I currently live in two different places as we slowly move into our new house. All good and incredibly exciting stuff (our first home!), but I haven’t had a normal week of cooking and baking in awhile. I’m out of my groove. And I miss it! Long story short: I’ve been trying to sneak in home cooked dinners when I can, so 6 ingredient maple sesame salmon has been on regular rotation. Makes me feel like I have my life together!
Another positive to this easy maple sesame salmon (do we even need more?!): it’s clean eating at its finest getting most of its flavor from pure maple syrup. None of that imitation breakfast syrup stuff. Feel good meal right here. All we have to do is whip up a quick 4 ingredient marinade combining pure maple syrup, sesame oil, soy sauce, and garlic.
Here’s how I always marinate fish and meats:
It’s pretty glamorous, isn’t it? The only way we do it around here.
You can let the salmon marinate for anywhere between 10 minutes to 8 hours. Obviously the longer the more flavorful and scrumptious, so just stick the salmon into a ziplock bag with the marinade before heading to work. Then it’ll be ready to cook when you get home. Before putting the salmon in the oven, cover it with sesame seeds. The sesame seeds will help lock in the moisture, making the salmon oh-so-flaky inside. And they’re kind of fancy right? Sesame crusted somethings just always sound super impressive to me. I don’t know what it is?
Oh! And the sesame seeds get all crunchy and toasty in the oven. Combined with the flaky salmon… just so many textures happening in blissful harmony right now.
Conveniently, the marinade also becomes the sauce we drizzle on top of the salmon once it’s finished in the oven. We’re not wasting that good stuff! Just let the marinade gently simmer and thicken on the stove as the salmon bakes. Poured over the crisp salmon, it’s lick-your-plate-clean delicious. The perfect balance of salty and sweet, easy and healthy. The kind of sauce you want to drizzle over anything and everything. I mean, it literally is awesomesauce.
If I had my act together, I’d serve this with brown rice or quinoa alongside a beautiful green salad. But guess what. I’m half discombobulated and half hot mess at the moment, so steamed asparagus with an unassuming pat of butter it is!
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Easy Maple Sesame Salmon
- 4 salmon filets, skin removed (about 2 lbs total)
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds (1 Tablespoon per salmon fillet)
- optional for garnish: chopped scallion
- Place the salmon filets in a large zipped-top bag. Whisk the maple syrup, soy sauce, sesame oil, and garlic together in a medium bowl. Pour over the salmon filets, coating them thoroughly. Refrigerate for 10 minutes or up to 8-9 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375°F (191°C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- Line the marinated salmon filets on the baking sheet and top each with sesame seeds. Hold onto the used marinade-- see step 4. Bake the salmon for 15-20 minutes depending on thickness (about 10 minutes per 1-inch inch thickness-- measured from the thickest part of the filet). You can broil the salmon for the last 3 minutes for crispier edges.
- Now, the glaze: Pour the used marinade into a small saucepan or skillet. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat low-medium and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool and thicken.
- Remove cooked salmon from the oven. Garnish with a little chopped scallion and serve with thickened maple glaze. Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for a few days. Reheat to your liking.
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Any super quick, minimal ingredient recipes out there that you love? Do share!