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Easy Brown Sugar & Bourbon Salmon Marinade Recipe

Savor the rich flavor of salmon glazed in brown sugar & bourbon. This easy bourbon salmon marinade creates a simple yet luxurious dish!

Salmon fillets covered in a brown sugar & bourbon glaze on a white plate with green onion and sesame seeds garnishing the fish.

Using this bourbon marinade for salmon is a great way to mix it up when you’re looking to try a new fish dish. It makes a quick and easy weeknight dinner that the whole family is sure to enjoy!

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This sticky bourbon glaze is absolutely perfect for fish! We love any opportunity to create a delicious meal with salmon.

We often have a freezer full of fresh caught salmon from a summer spent fishing and are always experimenting with ways that we could change up our recipe rotation.

Salmon fillets covered in a brown sugar & bourbon glaze on a white plate with green onion and sesame seeds garnishing the fish.

When recipe testing this dish we all agreed that it has a rich sweet and savory flavour that was a hit with everyone. Be sure to add this bourbon marinade to your menu planning!

We also love this lemon & herb salmon marinade & herb crusted salmon recipe – check them out!

Salmon fillets covered in a brown sugar & bourbon glaze on a white plate with green onion and sesame seeds garnishing the fish.

Supplies

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Salmon bourbon marinade ingredients in clear glass bowls on a white counter.

Ingredients

This recipe uses simple ingredients that can be found at your local grocery store. Full ingredient amounts are in the recipe card below.

  • Salmon fillet, cut into 2” strips
  • Unsalted butter
  • Olive oil
  • Brown sugar
  • Bourbon of choice – we used Kentucky bourbon.
  • Soy sauce
  • Garlic clove, minced
  • Fresh green onion, diced
  • Sesame seeds
Salmon fillet prepared and cut into 2" strips on a white plate.

Instructions

1. Prepare the fresh salmon by removing pin bones with tweezers, removing the skin and cutting into 2” strips.

Bourbon salmon marinade mixed in a clear glass bowl.

2. In a medium bowl combine oil, brown sugar, bourbon, soy sauce and fresh garlic for the marinade.  Mix well.

Two inch strips of salmon in a large freezer bag with brown sugar bourbon marinade.

3. Place salmon fillets in a large freezer bag and pour the marinade overtop.

4. Squeeze the air from the bag and place in the fridge for 30 minutes (up to 60 mins).

5. Heat a large cast iron skillet on medium heat, add butter.

6. Remove fish from the marinade and pour 1/4 cup into the skillet (reserve remaining marinade), turn down to medium and allow garlic to cook for about 1 min until fragrant.

Two inch salmon fillets in a cast iron skillet.

7. Add the salmon to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, flipping once half way through.

Salmon fillets covered in a brown sugar & bourbon glaze in a cast iron skillet.

Tip: the fish is cooked when the color is opaque, fish is firm to the touch and starts to flake off with a fork.

8. Remove the salmon from the skillet and add the remaining marinade.

9. Cook until reduced and garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes.

10. Spoon glaze over the top of the salmon filets.

Salmon fillets covered in a brown sugar & bourbon glaze on a white plate with green onion and sesame seeds garnishing the fish.

​11. Top with green onions and sesame seeds.

Salmon fillets covered in a brown sugar & bourbon glaze on a white plate with green onion and sesame seeds garnishing the fish.

Recipe notes

Any type of salmon will work in this dish. We like to use fresh caught Koho (also called silver salmon) or sockeye salmon whenever possible.

Top with fresh ginger or orange zest if desired.

Substitute maple syrup or honey for the brown sugar.

Salmon fillets covered in a brown sugar & bourbon glaze on a white plate with green onion and sesame seeds garnishing the fish.

Cook until the internal temperature reaches the desired level of doneness using an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the fillet. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of your fillet.

Substitute one teaspoon of garlic powder for garlic cloves.

Leftover salmon can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days.

You can cook this on the grill rack of an outdoor grill, in the air fryer or on a baking sheet in the oven.

Salmon fillets covered in a brown sugar & bourbon glaze on a white plate with green onion and sesame seeds garnishing the fish.

What to Serve With Salmon?

Try any one of a variety of dishes! This marinade goes really well over rice and fresh vegetables.

Salmon fillets covered in a rich brown sugar and bourbon glaze topped with green onions and sesame seeds on a white plate.

If you love this bourbon salmon marinade recipe, click the stars below to give it a five star rating and leave a comment! Please help me share it on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest.

Salmon fillets covered in a brown sugar & bourbon glaze on a white plate with green onion and sesame seeds garnishing the fish.

Easy Brown Sugar & Bourbon Salmon Marinade Recipe

Savor the rich flavor of salmon glazed in brown sugar & bourbon. This easy bourbon salmon marinade creates a simple yet luxurious dish!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Author: Heather Painchaud
Servings: 4 servings
Print

Ingredients

  • 2 pound salmon fillet cut into 2” strips
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup bourbon
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh green onion sliced
  • 1/2 tsp sesame seeds

Instructions

  • Prepare the fresh salmon by removing pin bones with tweezers, removing the skin and cutting into 2” strips.
  • In a medium bowl combine oil, brown sugar, bourbon, soy sauce and fresh garlic for the marinade.  Mix well.
  • Place salmon fillets in a large freezer bag and pour the marinade overtop.
  • Squeeze the air from the bag and place in the fridge for 30 minutes (up to 60 mins).
  • Heat a large cast iron skillet on medium heat, add butter.
  • Remove fish from the marinade and pour 1/4 cup into the skillet (reserve remaining marinade), turn down to medium and allow garlic to cook for about 1 min until fragrant.
  • Add the salmon to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, flipping once half way through.
  • Remove the salmon from the skillet and add the remaining marinade.
  • Cook until reduced and garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  • Spoon glaze over the top of the salmon filets.
  • ​Top with green onions and sesame seeds.

Notes

The fish is cooked when the color is opaque, fish is firm to the touch and starts to flake off with a fork.

Nutrition

Serving: 4servings | Calories: 567kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 19g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 132mg | Sodium: 1181mg | Potassium: 1162mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 0.5g | Vitamin A: 193IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 2mg
about heather

Hello, I’m Heather!

I'm an active mom of twin boys who is always looking for opportunities to inspire creativity through fun crafts, do-it-yourself projects and delicious recipes. This blog has been an integral part of supporting my little family and I am so grateful to have you become a part of our journey! Let's create together... Read more...

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5 stars
Rich & flavourful!