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Sweet and Spicy Seafood Marinade


The end result of this recipe is a “flavour punch in the mouth” that is sweet, spicy and savoury, says chef Jesse Vergen. This marinade is great with salmon, striped bass and thick scallops.

Recipe courtesy of Jesse Vergen, Smoking Pig Real BBQ in Quispamsis, N.B.


  • up to 2.5 lbs (1.2 kg) salmon, striped bass or scallops
  • 1 cup (250 ml) molasses
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) dark rum
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) finely diced chili peppers (choose a spicy personal favourite)
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) freshly sliced cilantro
  • cracked pepper and sea salt


  1. Place molasses and rum in bowl, mix in chilis and cilantro, season well with salt and pepper.
  2. Marinate seafood for 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the thickness.
  3. If grilling the seafood, keep an eye on it so that the caramelizing sugars don’t cause the marinade to burn.
  4. Cook for preferred length of time, depending on type of seafood and thickness.
  5. Optional. Vergen recommends using an indirect grilling method as opposed to straight grilling. This creates more distance between the food and the heat source. It will take longer to cook the food but reduces the possibility of charring it. One example of indirect grilling is cooking seafood on a burner that is not on, while the other burners are on.

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