Salmon – Two Favorites

Salmon – Two Favorites

Salmon is probably my most favorite of all fish. We are spoiled in the PNW as we have beautiful salmon available to us almost all of the time. We do NOT have to buy farmed here (although many are still sold) and it certainly does not have to travel very far to get to our stores. My family is fortunate in that we have a couple of friends who fish for them A LOT and now that we have beef and vegetables on the farm, we have been trading for freshly caught kings, sockeye and more!

I had read a few books over the past year on this great fish and their role in our ecosystem and economy, especially around here. Dams, tribal “treaties,” the weekend anglers, loggers, and more. Let’s just say it is way more of a complex issue than I thought.

If you are interested, I read Upstream: Searching for Wild Salmon from River to Table by local PNW author Langdon Cook (he also wrote some of my other favorites from around here, Fat of the Land – Adventures of a 21st Century Forager and The Mushroom Hunters: on the Trail of an Underground America). Great author and great guy! The other book I read recently on salmon was entitled Salmon: the Fish, the Earth and the history of a Common Fate and was written by internationally acclaimed writer, Mark Kurlansky, who has written books on Salt, Cod and so many other food and cultural history books. He too is one of my favorite authors.

Enough about that. Let’s get to eating them.

There are a variety of recipes out there but for me the goal is to “get out of the way” and let the salmon show itself off with just a little touch of sweet, heat, and not a lot else.

There are many ways to do it and frankly usually the simpler the better but here are two that I like:

Salmon with Brown Sugar and Mustard

1 whole fillet or 8, 6 oz steaks
3 T brown sugar
1 T honey
2 T butter
1/4 cup dijon mustard
2 T soy sauce
2 T olive oil
1 T grated ginger
salt and pepper

Melt the brown sugar, honey and butter together over medium high heat for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the rest of the ingredients.

Brush your fish with your brown sugar mustardy mixture.

Maple Salmon

1 whole fillet or 8, 6 oz steaks
1 cup pure maple syrup
2 T grated ginger
4 T lemon juice
3 T soy
2 coves garlic, minced
Put all ingredients into small saucepan and heat up to a boil and then let simmer while your salmon is cooking. This glaze is for AFTER the salmon is cooked.

Both –

Set salmon out on cookie sheet to prep (if you go into oven you will keep it like this on the sheet, but you can easily transfer the fillets to the grill) and rub olive oil all over.

Salt and pepper the fillets. Roast salmon at 475 degrees for 8-12 minutes and baste with butter or oil and if using brown sugar-mustardy sauce, baste with that. You will know it is done when you can easily pull away the “flakey” part on ends with a fork. Ideally medium rareish (The Japanese regular use salmon in their sashimi!)

If on grill, place on grill over medium to medium high heat (roughly 400 degrees) and you will probably cook for more like 15-20 minutes. Maybe more.

Skin side DOWN and you should not have to flip on either! Serve by itself (mustardy) or with more maple salmon glaze on side.

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