Saturday, July 3, 2010

Grilling Salmon

Get nice fillets of salmon from the store
(Remembering Alaska-caught is best).
In Tupperware (or bags, if you're hardcore),
Let marinate (that means to let them rest).

Light up the grill!  Put on your fine fillets!
I caution you -- don't let them overcook
Nor get engulfed in flames, outright ablaze
(Grills have a lid under which you should look).

Sear salmon for five minutes on each side
And revel in the smells that start to waft--
Like soy sauce and brown sugar on a tide
Marooned on shores of fish so moist and soft.

O, once you've tried a bite of your success,
No fried McFish exists with which you'll mess.
Last week, my dad's cousin came to visit us from China.  It wasn't entirely clear whether he was here for business or for pleasure -- he spent a lot of time shopping around for American things for his family, but he also spent a lot of time inside, glued to his computer or reading carefully over many sheets of paper.

It finally came out that he was studying for his citizenship interview.  When he wasn't out shopping, he spent all day indoors memorizing the amendments of the Bill of Rights, the names of the California senators, and the faces of those presidents featured on money.  After about a week with our guest, my mom started struggling to come up with new things to cook for him, so I volunteered to try.  I also decided to try to use the grill in the process, since I haven't had one at school and have thus never used one in my life before.

I found a recipe on Let's Dish for some sick-looking soy sauce and brown sugar grilled salmon.  (It's probably obvious by now that I really like seafood.  I don't really crave other types of meat too much -- the exceptions occur mainly on special occasions or if it's In-N-Out -- but I love fish.)  Followed the marinating instructions faithfully, oiled the grill grate, lit up the grill with caution, and set my lovingly marinated fillets on top.

It was only natural that at some point several minutes into my first grilling experience, everything caught on fire.  I think I'd set the heat for too high, or maybe positioned the salmon too directly over the flame.  Anyway, my dad and I saved the fish before it was too late, I lowered the heat to medium, and the rest of the grilling process went perfectly smoothly.

Our Chinese-inspired dish, flavored with Asian aromas but grilled outside over hot hot heat in the tradition of true Americans, ended up being the first meal we served to my dad's cousin after he passed his interview.  He was so happy!  I imagine much of this happiness was due to his impending citizenship...but he liked the fish a lot, too.  He's coming back in a month or so to get sworn in as a citizen of the United States of America.  I'll have to think of something absurdly patriotic to serve him then.

Have a happy Independence Day, everyone!

Soy Sauce and Brown Sugar Grilled Salmon
adapted (for the most part, blatantly stolen) from Let's Dish

  • 1.5 lbs salmon fillets
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


In a small bowl, mix the pepper, garlic, salt, soy sauce, brown sugar, water, oil, and juice from half the lemon until the sugar is dissolved.  Place the salmon fillets in a large ziplock bag and pour the mixture over them.  Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Oil the grill grate and set the grill to medium heat.  Grill the fillets for about 5 minutes on each side.  Setting aside some thin lemon slices for garnish, squeeze the remaining half over the fish.  Eat and enjoy outside with family, friends, and fireworks.

I served mine with bok choy and garlic-cilantro fried rice, a recipe for which I'll probably post at a later time.

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