It doesn’t seem to go together. Asian flavors such as soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil, with fish. But it’s a winner because Asian barbecued salmon is a full flavored fish and can handle these bold marinade ingredients. This recipe for Asian barbecued salmon isn’t cooked on the grill in the traditional way. The addition of brown sugar gives the fish a barbecue glaze and the secret is to cook it in a hot, dry pan with no added oil or butter. No added fat and full of flavor score one for the home cook!
Wild vs. farm raised: Wild salmon, primarily from Alaska is known to be full of healthy omega -3’s and the best choice when buying fresh salmon. However, if you live on the East Coast, that salmon might not be fresh off the boat, but frozen off a plane. Most Atlantic salmon is farm raised, possibly containing chemicals not healthy for us. However, chances are it will be fresher than the Alaskan variety. Whole Foods sells organic, farm-raised salmon without antibiotics, pesticides or added growth hormones. It’s food for thought that this controversial subject is just not that simple.
Minimal marinating: Salmon is delicate, so the marinating process should be a minimal one. Over marinating is bad for two reasons: 1) the marinade flavors can overpower the fish, throwing off the balance between the fish and the ingredients 2) Acid in marinade, in this case rice vinegar, can break down the fish making it mushy and inedible. This recipe calls for a quick 10-minute marinade, 5 minutes per side, which is also perfect timing or a busy weeknight dinner.
Pantry staples: Stock these marinade ingredients in your pantry so it’s just a fresh salmon purchase and minimal effort when it’s time to cook the dish.
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup rice vinegar (unseasoned)
- ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1-tablespoon sesame oil
- 4-6, 6 oz. salmon fillets with skin
- In a shallow baking dish, combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, light brown sugar, and sesame oil. Add salmon and marinate 5 minutes on each side.
- Heat a large skillet on high heat (do not add any oil. Salmon has enough natural fat). Remove salmon from marinade and pat dry. Place salmon skin side down in hot, dry pan and cook 3-4 minutes. Flip, add marinade, and cook another 5-6 minutes.
- Remove fish from skillet and place on a serving platter. Drizzle cooked marinade on top of fish.