Olympia – Jan/Feb 2018

Scarface’s Salmon Baste Recipe from Taku Glacier Lodge

Taku Lodge Salmon cooked

Based liberally with their secret baste, Taku’s salmon is smoky and succulent.

Taku Lodge

Taku is a wilderness lodge outside of Juneau that’s reachable via boat or float plane.

This salmon baste from Alaska’s Taku Glacier Lodge is named for Scarface, a large male black bear that made the lodge his home for more than 19 years. Taku Glacier Lodge is a 15-minute flight from Juneau. From May 15-Sept 15, they partner with Wings Airways to fly guests in for a salmon feast and they use this delightful baste on their fresh wild salmon, which is cooked over an alder wood fire pit. The result is a slightly sweet-smoky salmon that’s juicy and delicious.

Takuy Lodge basting salmon

The baste keeps Taku’s salmon sweet and moist, despite the high heat of the wood fire.

When we visited, after they’d cooked the salmon over the grill and brought it into the lodge, two black bears climbed on the grill to lick salmon juices from the fire pit. It made for a fascinating scene as we enjoyed their delicious salmon.

Recipe courtesy Taku Glacier Lodge from their cookbook “Taku Glacier Lodge Secret Recipes.”

1/3 cup butter

2/3 cup brown sugar

2 Tbs. lemon juice

1 Tbs. dry white wine

8 10-12-ounce salmon fillets

In a medium pan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar until dissolved. Add lemon juice and white wine. Stir and heat through, about 5 minutes.

Place fillets on a well-greased grill or basket skin side down. Grill on uncovered grill directly over coals or wood (Taku uses only alder wood).

Grill 4 to 6 minutes per ½-inch thickness, or until fish flakes when tested with a fork. DO NOT OVERCOOK.

Turn often, basting with each turn.


Check out our Taku Wilderness Lodge recipe for Ginger Cookies.


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Bobbie Hasselbring

RFT founder and the website’s former editor-in-chief, Bobbie Hasselbring has been a travel junkie her entire life. She’s been an award-winning writer and editor for more than 25 years and author of the regional food-travel bestsellers, The Chocolate Lover’s Guide to the Pacific Northwest and The Chocolate Lover’s Guide Cookbook.

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