I saw this meal as a Northwest Fusion, Northwest (US) cuisine with Asian influences. When I visit my sister, Karen, she usually makes a barbecued salmon. I thought it would go well with my wild rice and mushroom soup.
Note: It has been about a week since I posted the other recipes in this meal. Life gets in the way of communication. the other dishes with this salmon were: a Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup, Salt Pickled Cabbage, and Apple Cabbage Salad.
When Karen makes barbecued salmon, she squeezes lemon juice over the salmon and then covers the meat side with fresh slices of lemon and chopped dill. She then barbecues it on a cedar plank directly over the coals. In the past when I have tried to replicate her salmon, I have found that the lemon juice quickly runs off of the meat and the salmon under the lemon slices sometimes comes out a bit under-cooked.
To enhance their flavors, I decided to marinate the salmon in the dill and lemon juice for an hour before I barbequed it. The salmon filet I had was too large for the cedar plank I had, so I tried barbequing without the plank. The first cost of not using a cedar plank was the lost of the smoky flavor added to the fish by the charring wood.
Not using a plank turned out to be a mistake in another way. Beside the loss of the wood smoke, when the salmon was directly over the coals, it allowed the fish oils to drip down causing flare ups that burned the skin. The next time I try this I will build a bi-level fire and put the fish on the cool side. It will take longer to cook, but the skin will not be scorched.
Karl’s Barbecued Lemon and Dill Salmon
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup fresh dill
2-3 lb. salmon filet
Pinch kosher salt
1. Juice a lemon and pour it onto a sheet of foil with the edges turned up to form a tray.
Tip: Have the foil laid out on a shallow-lipped baking tray to make it easier to transport the filet.
2. Chop the dill finely and scatter it across the foil tray.
3. Scale and rinse the salmon filet.
4. Lay the salmon skin side down on the lemon juice and dill.
5. Sprinkle the salmon evenly with a pinch of salt.
6. Turn the salmon filet over and then fold up the edges of the foil to make a sealed packet.
7. Marinate the filet for one hour in the refrigerator.
Tip: If you marinate the filet for too long you will end up with salmon Ceviche.
8. Build a bi-level fire in your barbecue.
9. Barbecue the filet until it flakes easily at the thickest part.
Note: If you have a cedar plank, set the filet on the board and put it directly over the coals. The board protects the skin from the fire and the lack of an edge allows the juices and oil to drain away. You may use the foil to imitate the plank by punching a few holes around the edges of the filet and barbeque the salmon directly over the coals. Your third alternative is to lay the filet on the cool side just off the coals. this will take a bit longer to cook fully, but you will not burn your fish skin.
10. Serve the salmon warm with lemon wedges on the side.
Tip: You may like to cut and skewer the lemon wedges. Barbecue them directly over the coals, while you cook the salmon, for an added boost of flavor.