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Recipe: How to make Salmon with a Mustard, Brown Sugar and Pecan Topping

Updated on February 1, 2014

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: 4 ounces per person

Sweet and Healthy Salmon Recipe

Everyone wants to eat healthier, but sometimes we run out of ideas. This salmon recipe is a new way to dress up your healthy salmon. Get all of the health benefits of salmon–lean protein and Omega-3s–without sacrificing on taste. This recipe is a sweeter take on the savory flavors of salmon and the topping can be used on chicken and pork as well as on salmon. The mustard and sugar helps to keep the moisture of the fish in while it cooks. Many kitchens will already have these ingredients on hand. If you do not have Dijon, regular mustard will work. If you do not have pecans, substitute blanched or roasted almonds.


2 salmon .25 lbs. fillets

2 tbs. of Dijon mustard

1 tsp of honey

1 tbs. of brown sugar

1/4 cup of chopped pecans

Salad greens

1 lemon

First, thaw the salmon completely. Then, in a bowl combine the Dijon mustard, brown sugar, and honey. Place the salmon fillets in glass or Pyrex bake ware. Coat the top of the salmon with the mustard and honey mixture. I like to use a generous layer of the topping rather than brushing it on. Finally, top the fillets with the chopped pecans. Place in a 350 degree oven and cook until the salmon reaches 145 degrees and is fully cooked. Baking times will vary based on the thickness of your fillets.

If you would rather grill the fillets, begin by heating up your grill to 400 degrees. Then thoroughly clean and oil the grilling surface. Place the fillets with the topping side up and skin side down. Since you will not be turning the fish over, it's important to close the grill and turn down the heat to medium-low. This will help the fish cook through without burning the fish. As always make sure the fish is cooked to 145 degrees in its thickest part.

When the fillets are done, plate them on a bed of greens and squeeze fresh lemon over them to cut the sweetness of the dish. Serve with a piece of fresh baguette or a dinner roll.

How to Select the Best Salmon Fillets

When you are cooking this or any other salmon recipe, it important to select the best fillets for your recipe. Most of all you want two fillets that are roughly the same cut, size, and thickness. They are going to cook together so it is important they cook at the same rate. Keep in mind that thicker pieces take longer and thinner, tail pieces are prone to over cooking.

If the fish is fresh, the flesh should have resilience to your touch. If the salmon is farm-raised keep in mind that some farms add artificial coloring to the feed, so the fish develop a deeper red color. Redder is not necessarily better.

Always try to find responsibly sourced fish. You can always ask your local grocery store about where they get their fish. They will have varying levels of knowledge and forthrightness about their sources.

Mustard, Brown Sugar, and Pecan Pork Chops

The same recipe can be used to top pork chops.

Mix up the topping as described above. Add that topping to some thick cut or center cut pork chops and bake until done. The result is a juicy chop with a lot of flavor.


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