Maple-Cardamom Glazed Salmon

March 22, 2012

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: Now is as good a time as any to admit my current affair with cardamom. So addicted am I to the sweet-savory spice that I've been incorporating it into dishes wherever possible. Here it partners with one of my favorite ingredients for glazing salmon: maple syrup. The syrup and spice make a deliciously complex coat for the fish -- the glaze strikes a chord between sweet and savory, with smoky paprika and cayenne pepper adding a hit of heat. I cooked it in the oven, but for an even smokier finish, try grilling on a wood plank. alasully

Makes: 1 lb of fish


  • 1 pound wild salmon filet, de-boned
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper
In This Recipe


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a small bowl combine maple syrup, cardamom, paprika, cayenne and a bit of freshly ground pepper. Whisk until mixture is smooth. Adjust to taste.
  2. Arrange salmon filet on a cutting board. Remove the bones (if your fishmonger hasn't already) and cut into pieces, size as preferred. Brush syrup mixture evenly over the salmon filets. Place a large cast iron skillet into the oven and allow it to heat up for about five minutes while the salmon rests.
  3. Place the salmon in the preheated skillet (scale-side down) and cook for about 10 minutes. Brush more glaze onto the salmon and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes until the salmon is cooked to your liking.

More Great Recipes:
American|Cardamom|Maple Syrup|Paprika|Seafood|Salmon|Cast Iron|Entree

Reviews (47) Questions (2)

47 Reviews

Michaelann June 15, 2016
Just made this tonight! Absolutely fantastic!! I've been looking for different ways to use cardamom besides cookies & cakes...this fit the bill!! I actually grilled it outside as it was warm in the Boston area today & worked out well. Made a Caesar dressing, goat cheese/oregano cream to serve with cold romaine leaves and balsamic roasted cherry tomatoes. Delicious!!
Adrienne February 25, 2016
This was a fantastic recipe. I too am obsessed with cardamom and it made the perfect meal with wild rice and sautéed kale.
Alaina C. May 14, 2015
This was very good! Will be making again.
miriamnz April 11, 2015
4 @ 110g serves 257 calories; 3 serves 343 calories
Joetta G. January 28, 2015
Just had this tonight for dinner and it was fantastic! I'm a big fan of cardamom, so it definitely wasn't too much for my tastes. I did set off the fire alarm twice because some of the glaze dripped into the pan and got too smoky, but it was worth it. :) Also, instead of smoked paprika I used 1/2 sweet and 1/2 spicy, which was yummy, and served with roasted veggies and Himalayan red rice.
SarahLloyd January 22, 2015
I found the amount of cardamon much too strong unfortunately. Next time I will cook it without or with a much smaller amount. Otherwise a nice dish, I assumed that this was cooked in the oven by the way not on the stove.
Ticketytwo October 19, 2014
Oops. I forgot to say, I made it with garlic ginger sautéed bok choy and put it on a bed of a quinoa wild rice blend
Ticketytwo October 19, 2014
I just made this and it was delicious! I also love cardamom. Put it in the oven on foil since I don't have a cast iron skillet. I used to, time to get a new one
FoodIsLove October 9, 2014
Loved the flavor. Will make it again. Have to admit that I made it on top of the stove in my cast iron skillet, skin side down(hot here in California and didn't want to heat up the kitchen). Used Costco wild salmon pieces and poured the maple syrup glaze into the pan while it cooked. Needed a bit of liquid so I added apple cider (yum) and finished the sauce at the end with a swirl of butter. Also served it with asparagus.
Nancy H. May 6, 2014
It was great, used Keta salmon, portion sized and baked just 10 minutes. Roasted garlic asparagus with it. Yum.
BadCat May 3, 2014
The flavor was a bit overpowering by itself but chopped up the salmon as an ingredient in a salad helped mellow the flavor.
kayakgirl April 4, 2014
Tasty. But not amazing. easy though. served with braised brussel sprouts and baked sweet potatoes with a yogurt curry sauce. yummy, healthy, filling.
MaggieMayI March 24, 2014
I've been making this regularly since I found the recipe. My family loves it. It's tied for our favorite way to do salmon. The other one is with cajun spices and a Seville orange marmalade-lime juice glaze. Both are outstanding.
ewesterschulte March 23, 2014
I have whole cardamom pods to grind. It's the green, right? Not brown pods.<br />
trefoiles August 1, 2018
Yes, but seed them first and bring just the seeds.
Ashley C. March 19, 2014
This looks amazing! Can't wait to try it. :)
Tim J. March 4, 2014
Not sure why I'm pre-heating my oven to 450 degrees to pan fry the salmon?
Ashley M. March 4, 2014
Step 2 says "Place a large cast iron skillet into the oven and allow it to heat up for about five minutes while the salmon rests."
Ashley M. December 31, 2013
Only had regular paprika and opted for agave nectar instead of maple syrup and it was SO DELICIOUS. I cooked it at 400 for around 20 minutes and it came out perfect (I had some other items in the oven). Thank you so much for this simple, yet extraordinary recipe!
bgavin November 27, 2013
Made this last night. Used a quarter cup of New Hampshire syrup on 0.84 pound of salmon. I only had whole cardamom, used three big pods, smashed in the mortar and pestle. This was delicious and not over sweet, which I was concerned about.
EmHaleVT March 30, 2013
This was delicious. I made it with Vermont maple syrup on wild salmon. I didn't have cardamom and used cinnamon and nutmeg as a substitute. Really good. I'd definitely make this again. Thank you.
Mary E. January 8, 2013
This was wonderful. Thank you. I used canned salmon and just threw it in a skillet with the above spices. I let everything simmer for about 10 minutes. I used sugar free maple syrup since I'm watching my carbs. Great recipe.
kayakgirl April 4, 2014
hmmm. i know i'll come off like a bi%^&h, but sugar free maple syrup is nothing but chemicals with a touch of high fructose corn syrup. nothing redeeming about it at all. true maple syrup is a whole food, with lots of minerals, and far superior to any "product" produced in a factory. eat real food. better to pay the farmer now than the doctor later.
LittleMissMuffin October 11, 2012
Not sure if I did something wrong, but I did not like this at all, and I love salmon, smoked paprika and maple syrup. I used ground cardamom from Guatemala. Very disappointed...maybe cardamom is like curry, some people just don't like it? My kids didn't like it either. Normally I just sear salmon with salt and pepper but its finally cool enough here in soca to turn the oven on, so I thought I would try this
Peter August 8, 2012
For those concerned about carbs, for what it's worth, I've made this recipe about 5 times and have cut the glaze recipe (and in turn, the volume of maple syrup) in half and still have enough to coat the fish thoroughly.
Caprice July 17, 2012
I live in Philadelphia, and no one (markets) sells these cardamom pods or ground cardamom. Any other suggestions? Thanks.
Peter July 17, 2012
I'm 95% sure that Whole Foods would sell Cardamom in some form or another. If they don't, ask any local Indian or Pakistani where Indian groceries are sold -- I assure you that *somewhere* in the City of Brotherly Love one can buy Cardamom. <br /> <br />Alternatively, you can just order it online from Penzey's.
Heinz57v January 20, 2013
Shop rite, acme stores in the main line, super fresh haver town, path marks in diverse neighborhoods and all the Indian grocery store(upper Darby, Bensalem, malvern, all have good Indian groceries the best being royal India in malvern & Patel brothers in Bensalem) also even some Indian owned dollar/convenience stores have them or could tell you where to get it
Diane G. July 16, 2012
Does anyone have an idea of how many grams of carbohydrates are in each serving? <br /> <br />Being a Type i diabetic with an insulin pump a recipe isn't complete without a carbohydrate count. <br /> <br />thank you,
maggiesara August 8, 2012
With all due respect, Diane, I'm a Type II diabetic, and I have long since learned to calculate the carb counts on recipes; if you rely on others to do that for you -- especially others who do not have any particular expertise in diabetes, low-carb diets, or nutritional counts in general -- you are asking for trouble. <br /> <br />That said, the only meaningful cabs in this recipe come from the maple syrup; there are about 54 grams of carbs in a quarter-cup, meaning this recipe would come in at between about 14 and 27 grams per serving, none of it mitigated by fiber. Personally, I would probably use either maple-flavored Whey Low ( my absolute sweetener of choice) or Steel's "Country Syrup" (made with maltitol, and thus a distant second choice for me) to radically reduce the carb-count.
maggiesara August 8, 2012
The discrepancy in carb counts is a function of the number of servings: I would tend to serve a pound of salmon to two people, and assume some leftovers. If you split the recipe among four, you'll get the lower per-serving carb count. <br />
davewave151 July 16, 2012
This might be silly but once you remove the skillet from the oven, do you cook the fish in the preheated pan without a flame under it?
Peter July 16, 2012
Not silly at all. Actually, you put the skillet back in the oven... which should still be on.
cookiemo June 27, 2012
I hate to say it, but my kids didn't like it; they said the salmon was TOO SWEET. Imagine kids saying that! Anyway, I'll stick to the my traditional way of baking salmon using salt and pepper.
Peter May 30, 2012
I know not everyone is in NYC but for those who are, you can buy cardamom *seeds*, not the pods, at Kalustyan on Lexington and 28th. It's $4.99 for 1 ounce and $9.99 for 3 ounces. Considering the whole pods are $2.25 an ounce at Sahadi's this seems like a great price when you consider how much work you save (I'm assuming the pre-unpod-ed but not yet ground seeds will end up just as flavorful as if you do the work to get the seeds out of the pods. If anyone disagrees do let me know.)
Caitlin G. May 26, 2012
The maple sauce added a really delicate flavor that balanced perfectly with the strong salmon flavor. I found that 2 tsp of cardamom to be a bit much, so I added more syrup to balance it out. LIKE!
oregon C. May 23, 2012
We had overnight guests at our vacation home, where I have a limited kitchen so made this in a basic sauté pan. Favors were fantastic & I loved the ease. Copper River salmon's (the best!) season just started -- can't wait to use this recipe again this week (only 2-3 week availability).
rbnyc May 16, 2012
Made this for Mother's Day with fresh King Salmon on the grill with a cedar plank. Used a spice grinder for the cardamom pods. This recipe was so easy and the taste was fantastic. We had these alongside asparagus and a sweet potato/black bean salad ala Mark Bittman. Big big hit. Thanks.
FoodieTina May 12, 2012
delicious! might try marinating it longer or cutting salmon fillet into smaller pieces to deepen the flavor.
Arrxx May 6, 2012
I tried this and mixed in a little grainy mustard. Delicious.
Incognito May 3, 2012
I prepared this recipe last night with a piece of Alaskan King Salmon and it was absolutely delicious (served with tiny new potatoes and steamed fiddleheads). Regarding the cardamom, Penzeys Spices sells small jars of unground cardamom seed without the outer husk. Grind the tiny seeds in your spice mill and you will get the intense flavor you desire with very little effort. An unusual and interesting recipe alasully!
Peter May 1, 2012
Made this last night and it was a big, big hit (served with sauteed ramps in butter and oven-roasted brussels sprouts. My only caveat would that getting the cardomom seeds out of the pods is time-consuming. It turns what seems like 3 minutes of prep into 15. Maybe find the time to de-pod the seeds somewhat far in advance while watching the Daily Show the night before?
srossi April 30, 2012
What would you recommend as sides for this salmon? I usually stick with rice pilaf and a miscellaneous veg to salmon, but wonder if you might have any more carefully curated sides in mind.
waterbabyandrea May 10, 2012
Hi Srossi, I like a mix of long grain brown and wild rice, but the pilaf sounds nice as well. Potatoes also go nicely with salmon. As for veg, pretty much any fresh green veg would be luscious with it, but I have a preference for sweet peas. I grew up eating salmon with peas, because we ate local and they were both in season at the same time. Enjoy!
fiveandspice March 28, 2012
I just recently had cardamom on some salmon for the first time and loved it! This sounds wonderful! I'm definitely giving it a try!
Kitchen B. March 25, 2012
Love it. Love the smoky and sweet flavours and also the slate it's served on! well done
Bevi March 24, 2012
This glaze sounds really tasty!