Monday, July 18, 2011

Grilled Salmon with Ginger and Sesame

I think this recipe is definitely one of my new favorites! The ginger adds a very unique dimension to the salmon that turned out to be quite delicious. Use more or less ginger depending on your preference. Personally, I love ginger, so I loaded up! I’ll probably add even more next time I make it.:-) Not only is this recipe very easy to make, it's really fun to show off when you’re having dinner guests!
While I usually prefer wild salmon, most wild caught is sockeye; which doesn’t work well with this recipe. I’ve found that the next best thing to wild is responsibly farmed salmon. While responsibly farmed salmon is not always as easy to find (depending on where you live), it is well worth the effort if you can locate a supplier in your area. If you have a Whole Foods within driving distance, even better! I recently made the very pleasant discovery that Whole Foods carries only responsibly farmed seafood.

Not only does Whole Foods prohibit preservatives such as sodium bisulfite, sodium tri-polyphosphate, and sodium metabisulfite in their seafood, they go above and beyond that. While there are a growing number of seafood standards out there, none are as strict as Whole Foods. They cover all the bases; from synthetic chemical use, feed, environmental contaminants, water quality, and pollution prevention, predator control and traceability. And this is just a subset of what their standards cover.

“There is no doubt that Whole Foods Market’s aquaculture standards are the strongest among all grocers. Producers who want to supply farmed salmon to Whole Foods Market must be dedicated to moving the salmon industry in the right direction. We are proud to be a part of that move.”
–Johan Andressen, Villa Organic, Norway

4 Salmon Fillets (6-8 oz. w/skin on)
Pickled Ginger (available in the Asian section of most grocery stores)
2 T Dijon mustard
3 T Brown Sugar or Succant
2 T Soy Sauce
1 t Sesame Oil
3 T Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, combine the mustard, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and olive oil along with a dash of fresh ground pepper. Set aside a small amount of the marinade to brush on top of the salmon before grilling. Also, remember to soak your skewers for at least 20 minutes to avoid burning. I forgot this step and as you’ll see, my skewers burned to a crisp!

Pour marinade over salmon and completely coat.

Turn skin side up and use a soft spatula to work the marinade underneath the filet. Allow to marinade at least 20-30 minutes.

Discard marinade and arrange salmon fillets skin side down and use a sharp knife to make slits crosswise in the flesh. Be careful not to cut through the skin.

Stuff each slit with as much ginger as you like.

Thread each fillet lengthwise to keep the ginger from falling out. One skewer is fine for a smaller fillet (this one was pretty big so I used two).

Brush remaining marinade on and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Lightly oil grill grates to prevent ginger from sticking and heat to med/high. Allow the fillets to rest while you’re waiting for the grill to get hot.

Place fillets on the grill skin side down (the skin will fall off when you turn them over).
Cook for about 3 minutes on each side. Keep in mind that the cook time will largely depend upon the heat of your grill.

Remove skewers and serve with a fresh salad or the side of your choice.
As always, take care and bon appetit!  

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