Evening Star Salmon in a Sauce of Scotch and Shiitake

May 10, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This is a 4 star luxury dish that I created for a dinner party based on a Scottish theme. My approach was to add a different Scotch whiskey to each dish, and this salmon was the star of the evening, with people asking for the recipe for weeks after the event. Use a Scotch that you love to drink, because the flavor will permeate the dish most delightfully. The sauce can be prepared ahead of time, and the fish can be prepared up to the point of popping it under the broiler up to an hour in advance, making this a super-easy party dish. - Abra Bennett —Abra Bennett

Test Kitchen Notes

Scotch and salmon are a great match and this sauce doesn't hold back on the Scotch, so be sure to use a good one to get the most out of this rich sauce. The salmon gets lovely caramelized edges from the honey and the lemon adds a nice fresh touch. - Stephanie —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 4 salmon fillets, preferably wild salmon
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 cups shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup Scotch, the best you can afford
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided use
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Saute shallots and shiitakes in 3 T of the butter over medium-high heat until they release their liquid, it evaporates, and they are golden and slightly crisp. Stir in the cream, Scotch, parsley, and a bit of salt and pepper and simmer gently to reduce while you prepare the salmon.
  2. Remove any pin bones from the salmon. Rub coriander, salt and pepper gently into the salmon. Melt the remaining butter. Remove from heat and add the honey and lemon juice to the butter. Brush this mixture over the salmon. Place the salmon on a foil-lined broiler pan, skin side down, and broil just until done, without turning over, about 6-8 minutes.
  3. Spoon the sauce over fillets. Serve this with a very simple side dish, sugar snap peas are nice, to let the salmon take center stage. And you'll need a good bread for mopping up the sauce, because people won't want to leave a drop on their plates.
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  • ChefJune
  • Abra Bennett
    Abra Bennett
  • monkeymom
  • WinnieAb
  • Rivka
I love to cook and create recipes!

15 Reviews

Debora M. December 1, 2013
One of the things I love about this recipe is that it's simple to prepare while still being impressive (not to mention delicious). I've always used Irish whiskey instead of scotch, specifically Tullamore Dew because I like how it tastes (don't be too upset with me haha!). I'd love to try it the proper way one day, but we always seem to have Irish whiskey on hand.
ChefJune July 25, 2010
I'd say Laphroig would be too peaty. and probably the best Scotch for this sauce would be a blended Scotch, like Chivas Regal or Dewars.
TinaMiB July 25, 2010
This is a great recipe. I plan to use the salt, pepper, ground coriander with the butter, honey, lemon glaze on several other recipes with sauce. The glaze is so good, I want to eat the salmon without the sauce.

Abra B. May 12, 2010
Good point, monkeymom. I like to cut the salmon into individual portions before cooking, so that you get a nice clean edge and a better presentation. I'd say a 5-6 oz portion will make most people happy.
monkeymom May 11, 2010
Hi Abra, How big should the salmon fillets be?
Abra B. May 11, 2010
Lizthechef, and anyone else,of course I'd love feedback!
ChefJune May 11, 2010
Omigosh, does this sound outrageous! I will be trying it soon. ;)
monkeymom May 11, 2010
Wow! Can't wait to try this!
WinnieAb May 10, 2010
This looks incredibly fantastic!
Abra B. May 10, 2010
Oh dear, I'm sorry. The dinner was before I moved to France, and I wiped the menu from my hard drive, never imagining that I'd need it again. I do remember that there was even Scotch in the salad dressing, and a bread pudding with a Scotch sauce, and a soup of some seafood with Scotch, and some lamb appetizer brochettes with a Scotch marinade and glaze, but the details are sadly lost to history. This was the recipe really worth keeping though, and that's why it survived two international moves.

I do think Laphroaig would be too peaty, personally. I don't think the salmon would survive the intense and somewhat medicinal flavors it has.
Lizthechef May 10, 2010
I forgive you - your recipe has me enchanted as it is - want feedback after the weekend? I am definitely down to test it informally - this is a winner.
Rivka May 10, 2010
Um, yes. Yes, yes, yes. This looks wonderful!
Lizthechef May 10, 2010
My McPherson roots have me jumping with joy over your delicious-sounding recipe. Just let me at the Famous Grouse and I will give this a go this weekend. Thumbs up!
Lizthechef May 10, 2010
ps I would love to know the rest of your dinner party dishes for the Scottish theme...
saenyc May 10, 2010
That sounds like one heck of a dinner party! Wonder if a Laphroig would be too peaty....