The first time I tasted salmon was in elementary school. Our grade was hosting a World Fair where every student was responsible for writing a report, creating a display, and offering a food from the country they were assigned. I managed to get Australia (my mom is from there and I lived there for a year) and we made Lamingtons for the project. On the day of the fair our grade lined up our desks in the hallways of the school, put up our posters, and passed out our foods to the other students and parents who made their way down the loud, colorful, maze of countries.
After running out of Lamingtons and becoming bored with my post I wandered to my friend’s display. I can’t remember what country she was assigned but I remember her offering me a piece of salmon from her project. Having only tasted fish-sticks before, I willingly accepted. I inspected the weirdly pale-pink specimen before taking a bite and promptly spitting it right back out. YUCK. It tasted like a rotten fish. Way too fishy for my child’s palate.
From then until very recently (embarrassingly enough) I’ve avoided salmon with the thought that I despised it. Enter culinary school. Culinary school has been a great introduction to many foods and cuisines I probably would have never tried. Last semester one of our lessons covered filleting a whole salmon. We’ve made gravlax, poached salmon, and sushi. Turns out I don’t hate salmon like I thought I did. So when it was on sale for less than $5 a pound at the market I scooped some up and found this AMAZING marinade.
Taste: The best salmon I’ve tasted. Granted, I don’t eat salmon often because it’s expensive but this recipe is so flavorful and not too fishy-tasting.
Texture: The salmon is slightly charred on the outside while tender and flaky inside. The thick sauce on top brings it all together.
Ease: Very quick and easy. Marinade the night before or morning before you plan to serve. If you don’t have a grill you could always use a grill pan or your oven’s broiler.
Appearance: The light pink salmon with the deep dark sauce and bright green onions is just wonderful.
Pros: The best salmon I’ve made or tasted. Such a great way to incorporate this healthy fish into your family’s diet.
Would I make this again? The next time salmon is on sale!
Yield: 2 (can easily be doubled)
- 2 salmon fillets
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 fresh lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 green onion, chopped, plus more for garnish
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 (1 inch) piece fresh ginger root, minced
- 1/3 cup orange juice
In a small saucepan over medium heat combine brown sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, green onion, soy sauce, olive oil, and ginger. Cook until sugar is dissolved and mixture is fragrant. Remove from heat, stir in orange juice.
Place fish and marinade mixture into a resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate overnight, or for at least 3 hours.
Preheat grill for medium direct heat. Lightly oil grill grate. Remove salmon from resealable bag and pour remaining marinade into a small saucepan. Bring marinade to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer until slightly thickened, 5-10 minutes.
Cook salmon for 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Garnish with reduced marinade sauce and chopped green onion.
Adapted from All Recipes