Fresh Copper River salmon is one of the pleasures of our long, cool, Northwest spring. When we have a guest over for dinner or a special occasion, we buy salmon and a few other items for the grill and fire it up. Check out the price I’ve been paying for never-frozen Copper River sockeye. Don’t hate me for it:
Here’s the salmon in the ginger-garlic-tamari-rum marinade we use. The recipe comes from our good friend Christina. This time I didn’t cut the fish into individual portions before marinating, though my husband prefers that on the grounds that it helps get every part of the fish exposed to the marinade.
Ready to grill. My husband has cut the salmon into portions to make the fish easier to flip on the grill.
Knowing when the salmon is done is tricky and honestly, we don’t always get it right. Being mostly vegetarian, we have a tendency to think of food safety and err on the side of getting the salmon cooked all the way through– which results in a fish that is too dry. You should be able to flake the salmon apart even in the middle when it’s done enough, and the salmon will be beginning to become opaque.
But it won’t be completely opaque yet in the middle, there should still be a little transparency. It cooks a little more in the first couple of minutes after you take it off the grill, and you have to account for that. Seattle Local Food has a detailed post on how to cook salmon perfectly: other than that, my best tip is to watch it carefully and don’t be afraid to pick it apart to check the middle. You can always eat the piece with the hole in it yourself, it’s better than overcooking the whole salmon.
Here’s the Copper River sockeye on the table with grilled asparagus, grilled pineapple, and black (forbidden) rice:
Dessert was a strawberry rhubarb crumble. Here’s the salmon recipe:
- ¼ cup gluten-free tamari
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup rum
- 1 Tbsp. peeled and minced ginger
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 Tbsp. unrefined brown sugar
- 1½ to 2# wild Pacific salmon filet, cut into 4-6 oz portions
- 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame or canola oil.
- Cut salmon into individual portions before marinating to increase exposure of the fish to the marinade. It’s also helpful for grilling because it’s easier to move the fish around on the grill when it’s already cut.
- Add first six ingredients, then the salmon, to a gallon ziplock bag, seal.
- Refrigerate for several hours to 1 day, turning several times if possible.
- Preheat grill to medium, 350 F.
- Lightly coat the filet in the oil, then place the filet on the grill flesh side down.
- Cook for 5 minutes, turn over onto skin side and cook for an additional 4-6 minutes.
- Cooking time will vary based on the thickness of the fish– cooking time for salmon tends to be slightly less than the 10 minutes per inch that you usually hear for fish– maybe 8 or 9.