Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sweet and Sour Salmon

I enjoy fish prepared simply, drizzled with a little olive oil and seasonings and then grilled, baked or pan fried.  But the hardest thing about most fish dishes, at least for a working mom, is that the fish really needs to be bought AND prepared AND eaten on the same day.  If by some miracle I had time to make it across town to the fish store on a weeknight, I'd be left with no time (or energy) to actually prepare the fish! :) Trips to the fish store are reserved for weekends and vacation days.

That's why sweet and sour salmon is one of my very favorite ways to prepare fish. It keeps in the fridge for a few days (I've gone up to five without poisoning my family) and in the freezer for a few weeks. Oh, and did I mention that the kids love it? They eat it without a word of complaint and even ask for doubles. That certainly makes a mommy feel good!

Sweet and Sour Salmon
This is my mother's recipe and one I have enjoyed for years. We never tire of it! Make sure not to overcook the fish; uncover it immediately to stop the cooking. 

1/3 cup brown sugar
1 onion, chopped
4 salmon fillets, skin scraped clean
4 bay leaves
1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup lemon juice

Heat a large shallow pot over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and onion, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and the sugar is caramelizing. 

Add the salmon to the pan, skin side down. Add the bay leaves, raisins, and lemon juice. Then add enough water to come about halfway up the sides of the fillets. 

Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook for exactly 17 minutes. Do not overcook. 

Uncover the pot and let the fish cool completely before transferring it to a glass or other non-reactive container. Refrigerate for at least five hours, or up to a few days. (Or, freeze for up to a few weeks.)

Linking this to Ultimate Recipe Swap


  1. Sounds really delicious. My husband with his celiac can't eat gefilte fish with matzah meal so I usually make salmon, for him. I am always looking for new ways to make it. Thanks for another idea.

  2. Sounds great - I plan to try it. I don't expect much fish eating from my kids though... how do you get them to even try it? I only have one fish eater.

    (It's Zeecy - can I post here without signing up somewhere with an ID?)

  3. Thanks Zeecy and Sweet and Savory!
    Salmon is such a nice change from gefilte fish. And it's so nice to be able to make this in advance.
    Zeecy: My kids will eat anything that has sugar in it. I'll put in as much sugar as I need to...if it gets them to eat fish, I'm guilt-free! (You can comment as anonymous or select "name/URL" and it'll ask you for your name. Thanks for stopping by!)

  4. Oh, this makes me so nostalgic. My grandmother used to make this. She used pickling spice in her salmon, not just the bay leaves. She would also make garlic carp. You're right--it does keep well in the fridge. I am a block from the kosher butcher (they sell fish, too), so I don't have to wait to make fish, but still, this is a nice idea for a Shabbos fish course.


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