Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Confession of a snobby fish eater : grilling perfect salmon

It should be a sin to overcook a fatty, unctuous pink salmon slab into dry, stringy meat flakes that smell like cat food. Yes, I agree grilling or cooking salmon is much more troublesome than grilling a steak for several reasons. Fish tends to stick to the pan or grill, creating a nightmare ritual of attempting to pry the fish off the cooking surface — usually destroying the fish in the process. Second, the skin can sometimes fail to crisp up.

My method will yield the most succulent coral pink belly within and the crispiest skin for a great textural contrast. Salmon, though fatty, can sometimes taste bland. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with this tangy, chimichurri sauce. This is one sauce recipe you’ll want to memorize because it’s so versatile and can be served over almost anything grilled — vegetables, poultry, or beef. Sometimes, I even slather it over a bowl of spaghetti and eat it in front of TV. Pure bliss.


5 Fool-proof Tips For Grilling Salmon

1. Let salmon come to room temperature and pat dry. If the flesh is wet and/or cold when it hits the cast iron grill, the temperature of the grill will dip rapidly. As a result, water cannot evaporate as fast, causing the protein to form chemical bonds with the grill, ultimately sticking to the pan.

2. Make sure the cast iron grill is well-oiled and hot. I’m not talking about hottish — I’m talking oil-shimmering, on-the-verge-of-smoking hot. Contrary to popular belief, this step also ensures the fish won’t stick to the pan.

3. Use a spatula and a fork to flip the steak. Salmon, especially when cooked, can be fragile. Metal tongs can unintentionally flake the meat.

4. Always cook the skin side first. The ample fat reservoir on this side allows slower heat conduction, and thus, gentler cooking.

5. Be sure to salt the salmon (or any protein) before you cook. Under-seasoned meat is a major life disappointment.

Grilled Salmon with Chimichurri Sauce
1 lb. of salmon (cut into two pieces)
Salt (about ½ tsp. on each side)
2 tbsp. flavorless oil

2 cups of cilantro
1 big lemon
8 anchovy fillets
¾ cup of sultanas or golden raisins
2 tbsp. of water
½ cup of olive oil
3 cloves of garlic

1. Make sure the salmon is at room temperature and pat dry with a paper towel. (Don’t even think about skipping this step, or you will end up with a sticky situation later.) Brush oil on the cast iron grill and turn the heat to high. When the oil starts shimmering and is hot as can be, place the salted fish, skin side first, on the grill. Place the panini press on top of the fish as soon as the skin hits the grill. This seemingly extra step is essential to prevent the skin from curling up, and ultimately helps the skin crisp up.

2. Cook with the skin side down for about 3-4 minutes for a courageous eater who likes medium rare — by that, I mean the inside will be warmed through but still retain that bouncy raw pinkness. If you are a bit squeamish, try cooking for about 5 minutes, but never more. Then, flip the salmon and cook for about 10-15 seconds on the flesh side. The salmon skin should now be crispy and perfectly cooked throughout.

3. Place all the chimichurri ingredients, except the oil, in the food processor and blend. Stream the oil into the processor as it’s mixing, then pulse an additional thirty seconds after adding the oil. It’s now ready to serve over the grilled salmon (in addition to hot English mustard if you’d like an added kick). The chimichurri can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Currently Butcher Box is offering an exclusive deal, where you can get free 2 lbs. of high quality salmon for first time customers. I have been a die-hard fan of Butcher Box since I started using it last year. The quality that you get from Butcher Box is unparalleled. Moreover, you know you are eating the meat that is sustainably and humanely raised - not some factory-raised in cruel environment.

Here are the details:

  • What: Get 2lbs of Free Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon
  • Deal: New customers will get 2lbs of Free Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon
  • Dates: Starting Tuesday, January 1 - Thursday, January 31st 
  • About our Meat: We offer grass-fed and grass-finished beef, free range organic chicken, heritage breed pork, and here to stay - Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon!
  • About our Salmon: ButcherBox's wild salmon comes from the pristine waters of Bristol Bay, Alaska. We've partnered with fishermen who uphold strict fishing and handling practices to guarantee an unprecedented level of quality, which guarantees unblemished, rich-tasting, firm flesh – wild salmon at its absolute best!
How to get it. Here is the LINK.  Just enter your email and claim the offer. 


  1. This looks amazing. I definitely will try the chimichuri sauce! For the sauce, you say use “one big lemon”. Do you mean the juice or the whole thing, pulp and all?

    1. Sorry about the confusion. Just the juice :) No pits or pulp

  2. Interesting approach to the subject, it's all good, you keep going!
    I'm just looking for something like this, can anyone help?
    What a good approach to the subject, also think so.
    Great option, would go on!

  3. The tour is the best time during which everyone gets excited. This is the feel of the joy and happiness. The planning of the tour is also seems so much exciting. The tour includes so many things like transportation, sight seeing, stay at the destination and so more.

  4. Hi Soe,

    I hope you'd be doing great. :)

    Not only this fish recipe, but all other recipes on your blog are hygienic and delicious.

    Fish is one of the greatest foods around the world, its full of nutrients and beneficial for various health issues.

    Fish contains Vitamin D, proteins, and omega-3 fatty acids along with many other healthful compounds, which are excellent for boosting brain health and overall health.

    Another food I know which has great health benefits is Maca root. Maca is the name of a plant which mainly found in Peru.

    People of Peru are using maca roots for many years because of its incredible health benefits.

    Maca root powder or capsules can be easily found online. You can use the powder in different food recipes to boost overall health.

    You can purchase Organic maca root capsule amazon at low rates.

    This health supplement is perfect for both men and women. Eating maca root capsules daily is useful for enhancing energy, endurance, stamina, and sexual wellness.

    In short, eating natural food is the secret behind living a happy and anxiety-free life.

    Anyhow, thank you for maintaining and running a great food blog. I wish you good health and loads of success.