Salmon can be grilled in your oven. Then, it’s referred to as broiling. It can also be grilled on the barbeque, or carefully over a campfire.
During our lengthy winters broiling is the usual method at our house, but occasionally I dig the snow off the barbeque and ask myself why I am standing out in the cold.
Salmon is a very forgiving fish. Even when it’s over-cooked it is still flavourful. Although, that can be due to the marinade or sauce used in its preparation. A plain, unadorned fillet or steak is easy to ruin; overcooking it will dry it out.
If you are fortunate enough to catch your own Pacific salmon, (king, sockeye or coho), or if you buy it fresh from late summer fish vendors, you can choose between dressing the fish in steaks, fillets, or sometimes leaving them whole.
I prefer fillets cut into mealsized portions and vacuum-sealed. When done properly, fi llets are completely boneless. Steaks are usually prepared bone-in, but the bones can easily be removed after cooking.
Whether fillets or steaks, the pieces can be sealed with a marinade in a bag for an hour or so prior to grilling. Different pieces can be in separate bags to try different marinades or to please someone with a particular taste. Instead of a marinade, pieces can be brushed with a sauce an hour or so prior to cooking. Whole fish can be stuffed skin-on, with or without being wrapped in aluminum foil. Fillets or steaks can also be wrapped in tinfoil with the sauce, in which case it’s steamed, not grilled.
If broiling, the tray should be covered with an adequate-sized piece of tinfoil with lots of holes poked through it to allow the juices to run off. If barbequing, the skin is better left on the fillet, and the rack liberally brushed with olive oil to minimize sticking, which results in broken fillets.
Steaks can be placed right on the oiled racks, and turned over very gently with a large spatula. A fillet is not turned over whether using a barbeque or the oven broiler.
The very least you should do is brush the piece (fillet or steak) with olive oil and sprinkle on ginger, lemon pepper, or garlic.
An easy marinade is teriyaki, a few tablespoons of rye whisky and chopped or powdered garlic.
SALMON SAUCE OR GLAZE:
¼ cup mayo
2 tbsp. Dijon
2 tsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. lemon juice
½ tsp. dill
¼ tsp. pepper
• Stir it all together and brush/spoon onto upper side of fish. Cook 10-12 minutes per inch of thickness with barbeque lid down to keep the heat in.
• Whatever your choice of sauce or marinade and cooking method, always make lemon wedges available (or lemon juice) to sprinkle on the fish. That and a chilled glass of white wine are the perfect combination.