Ginger-Scented Grilled (or Broiled) Salmon

When busy, tired and hungry, the first place to head is your fish market, since with little effort, you can reward your family and friends with maximum taste and freshness. Although this recipe features salmon, this marinade would be equally enhancing to swordfish, tuna or halibut steaks.

This recipe is written to serve six, but the marinade can easily be stretched to accommodate an additional pound of fish or enough for eight servings. Although leftovers are great, if you are serving fewer people, use half the marinade on the fish and pour the rest into some “almost done” cooked rice. Increase the cooking time by one minute, after adding the marinade to the saucepan). Don’t hesitate to serve this fish dish for company, as it’s a real winner.

For the fish

  • 1/2 cup cold-pressed aromatic peanut oil (found in well-stocked supermarkets)
  • 3 tablespoon soy sauce (I use Tamari)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil (keep chilled once opened)
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger root
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup minced scallions (green onions) trimmed white part, and 1 1/2 to 2 inches of the tender green
  • 3 to 4 pounds salmon fillet (preferably wild salmon), cut into 6 to 8 individual servings, or 6 to 8 salmon steaks (allow 8 ounces of fish per adult and 4 to 6 ounces per child)
  • Peanut oil or cooking spray, for grill (not needed when broiling)

Any time I’ve suggested a tool, a piece of equipment, or a culinary term that’s unfamiliar to you, you can go to Learn to Cook for more information.

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Canned & Jarred Goods
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil (keep chilled once opened)
1/2 cup cold-pressed aromatic peanut oil (found in well-stocked supermarkets)
3 tablespoon soy sauce (I use Tamari)

Meat & Seafood
3 to 4 pounds salmon fillet (preferably wild salmon), cut into 6 to 8 individual servings, or 6 to 8 salmon steaks (allow 8 ounces of fish per adult and 4 to 6 ounces per child)

Produce
1/3 to 1/2 cup minced scallions (green onions) trimmed white part, and 1 1/2 to 2 inches of the tender green
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger root
4 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press

Spices & Baking
Peanut oil or cooking spray, for grill (not needed when broiling)

To prepare the marinade

In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients except salmon and the oil for the grill, if using, and mix thoroughly.

To prepare the fish

Gently rinse the fish fillets under cold water and pat them dry. Choose a glass dish that is large enough to fit the fillets in a single layer. Brush the skin side of each fillet generously with some of the marinade and place in the dish (skin side down). Pour the remaining marinade over the fish, using a basting brush to cover each well. Let fish sit out, at room temperature, for 10 minutes or cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 24 hours.

To grill

Before you heat the grill, brush the grate well with oil or spray with cooking spray. Heat gas grill on high, or if using charcoal grill get coals very hot, and place the salmon (with marinade left on) on the hot grill grate. Cook salmon a total of 7 to 10 minutes per inch of thickness, turning once. (When grilling, don't try to turn the fish until it's very crisp on the bottom or you'll tear off the skin. Using tongs, nudge the fish, and if it seems firmly attached to the grill, let it keep cooking.) When done, the salmon will be beautifully seared on both sides. For medium-rare, let the flesh retain a deeper orange tinge at the very center. If desired, cook until pink throughout but avoid overcooking or the fish will be dry.

To broil

Preheat the broiler until very hot with the rack as close as possible to the heating element (taking into consideration the height of your broiler pan. I use the top level). Pat some of the excess marinade off the fish and lay each fillet on a cold broiler pan (skin side up). Broil close to heat source turning once, until crispy and the fish flakes easily but is not at all dry, 4 to 5 minutes per side. (Keep an eye on things when broiling, but be sure to let the skin get crisp and the flesh-side get nice and golden.)

Timing is Everything

The fish can be marinated a day ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator.

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