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Spice-Glazed Salmon

Salmon should be in every cook’s arsenal. Its rich texture and succulent flavor allow it to pair well with a variety of sauces and seasonings, plus it cooks quickly and it’s very nutritious.

It would be easy to write several paragraphs about salmon’s nutritional benefits, and it could take several: There are five common types of salmon that are available fresh or frozen; not only does the nutrient composition of each type different from the others, but the nutritional makeup of each type can fluctuate depending on the season and the age of the fish at harvest, as well as its habitat.

In general, salmon boasts impressive amounts of B vitamins, protein, potassium and selenium, but the key reason it deserves a place of honor on your grocery list is its high omega-3 content. Omega-3s are a special type of polyunsaturated fat that have been linked to heart health. Omega-3s reduce blood clotting, lessening the chance of fatal heart attacks; they can reduce triglyceride levels; and they can protect the heart from potentially fatal rhythm abnormalities.

Orange juice with salmon isn’t as weird as it might seem; the combination isn’t too far from a lemon wedge with white fish. O.J. gives the glaze a tangy, slightly sweet flair, and fresh ginger provides a bit of a bite that perfectly complements the fish’s richness.

Serve this with a fruity rice pilaf—sauté a chopped shallot or half an onion in a little olive oil, then add rice and sauté for a minute or two before adding broth or water and 1/2 cup of dried cranberries or golden raisins—and braised bok choy.

Makes 4 servings

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 to 3 nickel-sized slices of peeled fresh ginger

1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick

1 teaspoon allspice berries

2 whole cloves

¾ cup orange juice

4 salmon fillets (about 6 ounces each)

  1. Combine the soy sauce, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and orange juice in a small nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until thickened and syrupy, about 10 minutes. Remove the solids (either pick them out with a fork or pour the sauce through a strainer).
  2. Preheat the broiler, with the oven rack 4 to 5 inches from the heating element. Line a broiler pan with foil and spray the rack with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Pat the salmon dry with paper towels. Set the fillets on the rack, skin-side down. Broil 5 minutes. Brush the fish with about half of the glaze. Broil until the glaze is lightly browned and the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Serve with the remaining glaze on the side.

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