There are many ways to grill salmon. Once I developed this recipe/technique, Jana won’t allow me to experiment with any other recipes. This is her favorite and she says “It is perfect. Don’t change it”.
I realize many of you like marinated and/or glazed salmon, cedar-planked salmon, BBQ salmon, etc., and those are all good, but this will be about our “go to” salmon recipe – Kodiak River Salmon. (Note: I will blog about smoked salmon (cold and hot) on another day).
First and foremost, you need a nice, fresh piece of salmon. If it ‘smells’, it’s probably not fresh! I buy my salmon from Duggan’s Seafood in Jackson (truck parked every Thursday and Friday in the DeVille Plaza parking lot, near CVS building). This salmon comes from the cold, Nova Scotia area and is raised in huge, offshore deep-water farms. We prefer skin-on filets – the skin protects the filets from overcooking and the crispy skin is a treat!
Note: If you purchase a whole filet, you should cut the thin belly piece off so it doesn’t over cook, giving you a nice, evenly thick center piece. We save those belly pieces (called Toro) and cook them for appetizers – they are delicious!
This is a 1 pound center-cut filet piece drizzled with a small amount of olive oil and liberally seasoned with Big Green Egg “Kodiak River” seasoning. This seasoning can be purchased at Madison Fireplace & Patio in Madison, MS or at your local egg dealer. The pieces of Toro have a light coating of Kodiak River.
We had torrential rains all day (the lake is coming over our seawall and pier) and since my Mini Egg is under the porch, it got the nomination tonight. I prepared it for a direct cook at 400-450* dome temp.
I carefully scraped the hot grid clean and to further protect the fish from sticking, I swabbed the grid with a small rag soaked in vegetable oil.
I placed the filet and the pieces of Toro flesh down on the oiled grid, then closed the dome for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes.
I used a spatula to flip all the pieces, putting the skin down on the grid. (The spatula works better on the tender salmon filet because it will fall apart when using tongs — trust me)!
After about another minute, I removed the Toro pieces and we ‘dug in’ to these very tasty (high fat content) appetizers.
When the filet reached 120-130* internal temperature, I removed it from the grill. I always try to let it rest, covered for a few minutes, but that doesn’t always happen!
I divided this filet lengthwise into 2 servings and plated with roasted bacon & brussel sprouts and roasted chayote squash.
This technique is great for a quick weeknight meal. The salmon has a nice crust from the rub and the flesh-down sear, but it is flaky and juicy inside.
Try it – it might become your only salmon recipe also!
Addendum: Weeknight cook: 1# salmon filet plus an appetizer piece of Toro from Duggan’s fish truck. Kodiak River rub plus a light dusting of sea salt. 450* on Grill Grates -( Buy at Amazon ):
Done at 120* internal temp. Plated over pan-roasted Brussel sprouts, mushrooms and bacon:
Serves 2 Prep and cook time: 30 min.
1 lb fresh salmon filet, skin on
Big Green Egg Kodiak River rub
Prepare Egg for a 400-450* direct cook
Clean salmon filet, trim off (and save) thin belly piece to get a filet of even thickness. Drizzle a light coating of olive oil and spread it around (to hold the rub better). Liberally coat the filet with the rub and allow it to ‘melt’ onto the filet for 10-15 minutes.
Clean the hot grid carefully and swab with a rag or paper towel soaked in vegetable oil. Lay the filet and any Toro pieces on the grid – skin down.
After 2-2.5 minutes, using a spatula, flip the filet and Toro so the skin side is on the grid.
Remove any Toro pieces after another minute and continue to let the filet cook until it reaches 120-130* internal temp.
Cover and rest for 5-8 minutes, then serve.