- salmon fillets
When I was in junior high, my parents went through a grilling phase. It might have had something to do with my father’s health, the great summer weather we were having, or the new grill in the backyard. Whatever the reason, we’d soon eaten everything on the grill – from peaches to salmon on the grill and barbecue chicken breast. The meal that made the biggest impression on us all, and was repeated as often as we could afford it, was grilled salmon steak.
The smell of my father’s spice blends mixing with fresh salmon on the grill is an odor that reminds me of summer. I never asked him what he used to make his salmon, but I’ve learned from most of the dishes he cooks that simplicity is key. He doesn’t get too fancy with the spice cabinet, and instead focuses on bringing out the natural flavors of whatever he’s cooking. He’s also not afraid of using generous quantities of salt – although his salmon somehow missed that addition (can’t say I’m complaining!)
There’s something to be said for a salmon steak with the perfect consistency, smoky flavor, and crisped skin that a good grill provides. A few months after our first salmon on the grill, we tried grilling the salmon on wood planks 1 and discovered yet another delicious summer treat.
If you’ve never tried salmon on the grill, get ready for a special treat. This recipe is one you’ll be happy to indulge in time after time. Loaded with omega-3 fatty acids that strengthen your immune system, may improve eyesight, and keep your arteries clear and your brain healthy, salmon is a go-to food for many health conscious individuals.
Personally, I’m a fan of wild salmon. It’s lower in mercury, and the wild salmon has a nutritional banquet before it that farmed fish don’t have. I’m also a big fan of any meat or fish I eat having had a full and natural life – and wild salmon qualifies. And for those of you who love our planet as much as I do, you’ll find wild salmon an easy choice. Salmon farms are growing a reputation for negative environmental impacts 2.
The debate over farmed vs. wild salmon is a heated one, and although I’m researching it to cover ina blog post later on, I don’t have all the facts yet. I’ve just got opinions. What I can tell you is that salmon is a healthy, ancient, and delicious food source – and wild salmon is what I love. Mabe I’m just a wild child…
Regardless of your preference for farmed or wild salmon, you also need to choose a cut. I’m a fan of skin-on wild salmon fillets (more appropriately called suprêmes), as well as wild salmon steaks and darnes 3. They make grilling easier, and aren’t as likely to fall apart on the grill. If you prefer a skinless cut, you’ll need to grill on a plank. Otherwise, your grill is likely to eat more of that scrumptious wild salmon fillet than you are.
Salmon is a rich and fatty fish with a characteristic flavor that, somehow, isn’t overly “fishy.” The perfect fish for meat lovers, the taste is best when you don’t overdo the seasoning. Although I’m a fan of salmon in all forms, and hold a special place in my heart (and kitchen) for poached wild salmon fillets and ginger, honey, and balsamic glazed wild salmon steaks, I keep it simple on the grill. Once you’ve tried this recipe, you’ll see why…
Scrumptious Wild Salmon on the Grill
Keep in mind that wild salmon darnes have bones in them – it’s not a fillet cut. Don’t remove them before you cook, however. They help hold the salmon together while it cooks and you plate it. There aren’t many bones per cut, and they come out easier after cooking, anyways.
- 1” thick wild salmon darnes (as many as you need to feed your crowd)
- 1 tsp. sea salt per wild salmon fillet
- 1 tsp. fresh ground five-pepper blend per wild salmon fillet
- 1 tsp. raw creamed honey per wild salmon fillet
- 1.Turn your grill on/light the charcoal or wood chips and prep it for cooking. If you can adjust the temperature settings on your grill, aim for medium heat.
- 2.Lightly oil the grill grate.
- 3.Blend the salt and pepper together with the creamed honey.
- 4.Lightly rub the skin and top of each fillet with the mixture.
- 5.Grill the darnes for 6-7 minutes on each side, or until the fish flakes easily.
- 6.Serve hot with your favorite vegetables, and enjoy!
Now that you’ve got that delicious-looking fillet on your plate, I want to tell you a little more about why you should dig into that salmon with delight. You’re already aware of the healthy fats in salmon, but the fish has more to offer than health-boosting omega-3s. The nutritional information for each type of salmon is different, but all make excellent contributions to your diet. For example, wild coho salmon is a phenomenal source of vitamins B-12 and B-6, giving you more than 30% of your daily requirements for each. Rich in protein, and a good source of potassium and magnesium, wild salmon is a healthy part of nearly any diet.
Not a fan of cooked salmon? You can get many of the same nutritional benefits by indulging in wild smoked salmon, wild salmon lox, or wild salmon roe 4, which is also called ikura. It can be difficult to find high-quality, truly wild salmon can be difficult to find in stores, especially during the off-season. Fish and seafood fraud is rampant 5, and the difference to your health and our planets is significant. You can head to the store and cross your fingers that you don’t by fraudulent fish, or you can get real, wild salmon delivered to your door .
Cook it simply, and let the natural flavor of this healthy fish astound you. There’s nothing better than grilled salmon to signal the start of summer.
Image credits: Pixabay
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