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Chancaca-Glazed Salmon with Pineapple Salsa


Chancaca-Glazed Salmon with Pineapple Salsa

Chancaca-Glazed Salmon

Marian Blazes

Chancaca (panela) is an unrefined sugar commonly used in some Latin American countries. It's a molasses-like byproduct of sugar cane processing. You can substitute with brown sugar or molasses, but it's not quite the same - chancaca has a sweet caramel flavor that is milder than molasses and more complex than dark brown sugar. Chancaca is sold in bars or in syrup form, and you can often find it at Latin markets, but you can also substitute molasses or maple syrup for this recipe.

The flavor of chancaca blends well with orange, and together they make a wonderful glaze for salmon. The salmon is marinated and then sautéed, and then topped with pineapple salsa.

Prep Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 1/2 pound salmon, cut into 4 individual portions
  • 1/3 cup packed grated chancaca, or 1/4 cup chancaca syrup
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Pineapple Salsa


  1. Make Pineapple Salsa ahead if possible and chill for several hours to allow flavors to blend.

  2. If using the grated chancaca, place it in a pot with the orange juice and the honey and heat over low heat until the chancaca is dissolved. Let cool slightly, then whisk in the cumin and the chile powder. If using the chancaca syrup, whisk the syrup with the orange juice, honey, cumin and chile powder.

  3. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Place the salmon in a shallow dish and oover with the chancaca mixture. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

  4. Melt the butter and oil in a large heavy skillet (cast iron works well). Raise the heat to medium-high and place the marinated salmon in the skillet.

  5. Sauté the salmon for 2-3 minutes on each side, turning heat down slightly if necessary, until salmon is browned nicely and cooked through.

  6. Remove from heat and let cool slighly. Serve salmon topped with Pineapple Salsa.

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