Special Sauce Salmon - Tiffany Haugen

Special Sauce Salmon - Tiffany Haugen

Many people have their favorite “special sauce.” Some have a homemade recipe, others prefer certain restaurants that have their own secret recipe and others are happy with something from a jar. Whichever special sauce you prefer, try slathering it on your next salmon fillet.

Marinating the fish in pickle juice (sweet or dill—up to you) and soy sauce gives it even more flavor and may even take the “fishiness” out of a fillet that’s been in the freezer a few months too long. My sauce was created after a place I like to go for sweet potato fries after a day of adventuring the upper McKenzie River watershed.



  • 1 salmon fillet
  • 1/2 cup sweet pickle or dill pickle juice
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce


Special Sauce

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sweet or dill pickle relish
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Garnish with grilled or roasted scallions
  • Lemon wedges


In a shallow dish that’s about the same size of the salmon fil-let, mix pickle juice and soy sauce. Remove pin bones from salmon fillet if desired but leave skin on. Marinate, skin side up, 10-15 minutes at room temperature. Remove salmon from brine mixture and discard brine. Place salmon on a double layer of foil or baking sheet, skin side down.

In a small bowl, mix Special Sauce ingredients until thoroughly combined. Slather evenly over the salmon fillet.

Bake in a preheated, 375º oven or medium-high grill, 12-25 minutes or until fish reaches desired doneness or an internal temperature of 135º-140º. 

To caramelize scallions, brush with olive oil and grill over medium-high heat until grill marks appear. To roast scallions, brush with olive oil and bake in a preheated 375º oven 5-7 minutes or until they begin to brown. Serve with fresh lemon wedges if desired.


Note: For signed copies of Tiffany’s popular book, Cooking Seafood, and other best-sell-ing titles, visit www.tiffanyhaugen.com.

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