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Switch Up Your Salmon With This Crab-Stuffed, Hot Sauce-Slicked Recipe

Chef Tia Henry of NOLA’s Cafe Dauphine shows how to make this flavorful salmon

Whether you’ve dressed it simply with lemon and olive oil or tried that thing where you cook it in the dishwasher, odds are you’ve recently made yourself salmon as a go-to lunch or dinner. But you probably haven’t cooked it quite like NOLA chef Tia Henry, who marinates her pink fillets in honey and hot sauce, then stuffs each with a mixture of lump crab and breadcrumbs.

Henry loves to prepare this dish for her family at home, as well as those in her community: As the chef and owner behind Cafe Dauphine, a beloved restaurant in the Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood of New Orleans, Henry has been serving Southern and Creole specialties since 2012, and the following she’s built has come to expect such comforting classics when stopping by.

Henry is joining Eater on Instagram Live as part of our Eater at Home series to showcase her flavorful Creole take on salmon, which she serves with seasoned rice. Check out the recipe below.

Crab-Stuffed Salmon with Honey and Hot Sauce Glaze

Makes 6 servings

1 salmon fillet roughly 2 pounds, or six 3-inch fillets
Salt and black pepper


4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
½ cup honey
1 tablespoon Tabasco Sauce
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Crab Stuffing:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup holy trinity*
1 pound lump crabmeat
34 cup mayonnaise
1 large egg
1 tablespoon Creole mustard
1 tablespoon Tabasco Sauce
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning (to taste)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 to 112 cups plain bread crumbs

Seasoned Rice:

3 cups parboiled rice
6 cups chicken stock or broth
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon blackening seasoning

* Note: Considered similar to mirepoix in most Louisiana Creole cooking, holy trinity is a blend of yellow onion, green bell peppers, and celery.

Start by making the marinade for the fish by mixing the garlic, lemon juice, soy sauce, honey, Tabasco Sauce, olive oil, and 2 tablespoons of water in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Pat the salmon dry to remove excess moisture. If starting with a whole fillet, cut into six 3-inch fillets and season with salt and pepper. Slice a “pocket” into one side of the fillet — this is how you’ll fill the fillet with crabmeat. In a plastic bag, add half of the marinade with the salmon fillets and marinate overnight or for at least two hours.

While the salmon marinates, make the crab stuffing. Starting by draining lump crab meat and removing any shells; set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet on high. Sauté holy trinity for about 3 minutes, then transfer to a bowl to cool. Once cooled, add mayonnaise, egg, chopped green onions, Creole mustard, lemon juice, Creole seasoning, and Tabasco Sauce. Whisk together until well incorporated. Add crab meat to mixture and fold in gently. Add breadcrumbs to bind the mixture, which at this point should be wet but not soggy. If it’s too wet or soggy, add more breadcrumbs little by little.

Once marinated, remove fish from plastic bag(s) and return any excess marinade to the reserved half. Working one at a time, stuff each fillet pocket with as much crab stuffing as desired. Set aside.

Make the seasoned rice by simmering all ingredients for 25 minutes on medium-high heat, while covered.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat three tablespoons olive oil in a cast iron skillet until hot, about 2 minutes. Add salmon skin side down and sear for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and move the skillet to the oven to bake uncovered for 12 to 15 minutes. In a small saucepan, reduce the remaining marinade to baste fish. Serve fillets with seasoned rice. Enjoy.

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