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Thursday, June 21, 2012

PNW Wild Alaska Salmon, the right way!

Ok everyone! It's that time again- time for salmon season. The time of year that we in the PNW (Pacific NorthWest) start buying that fish fresh again, and finding great new recipes for it! However, now and again you buy something special and Copper River salmon is that "something special." It has a very short fishing season (1 or 2 weeks only), and the fish has distinctively deep red flesh, and tastes fatty even though it's not. It cooks up firm, and juicy, provided you don't leave it exposed to the broiler or the grill too long. If you don't cook salmon often, practice on a lesser piece of salmon first, and then plan to undercook the Copper River salmon just a touch.

This spring, I went with something simple, truly PNW, easy to repeat, and a HUGE crowd-pleaser every time I serve this. You just can't miss with this... and so, I now share it with you. My marinade is really simple, takes very little time to put together, and keeps you from buying those high-sodium sauces on the ends of the aisles at every store around! This is healthier, tasty, and hard to screw up! It's sweet, savory, salty, it's worth it!

PNW Teriyaki Salmon

Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes (8 minutes on the heat, 4-5 minutes resting)

Mandatory Ingredients:

1/2 C Yoshida's Teriyaki marinade (or similar THICK teriyaki)
1/4 C Teriyaki, thin sauce style (even lite teriyaki would work here)
1        Smashed and chopped garlic clove
1/4 C Chopped ginger, or 3 T grated ginger (NO POWDER STUFF!)
2 T     Brown sugar
1        Salmon filet
Mandatory ingredients
Optional Ingredients:

1/4 C Pineapple juice
Crushed red pepper to taste
1 t       Lemon zest
1 T      Chopped chives

  1. In glass or plastic bowl, mix the top 4 mandatory ingredients.
  2. IF YOU WISH, add any of the top 3 optional ingredients.
  3. Dry salmon, and place SKIN-SIDE DOWN in a Pyrex dish or on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  4. Pour 1/2 of your sauce over the salmon, and place salmon in fridge for 1/2 hour, minimum.
  5. Pour the leftover sauce into a small sauce pan, and simmer to reduce by 1/2. Allow to cool, and reserve for people to pour on their salmon at their plates.
  6. Pull salmon from fridge, sprinkle with brown sugar, and allow to sit on counter for about 15 minutes to warm up a bit. Broil or grill your salmon for no longer than 8 minutes! Remove from heat, and let sit for 4-5 minutes for carryover cooking to take your salmon to perfection! It will be fully cooked from the top, and as you get closer to the skin (on the bottom), nearly creamy medium-rare that is in no way under cooked, trust me on this!
  7. As you plate, offer the reduced marinade for your best-est of friends and family to pour on their individual pieces... sprinkle some chopped chives on there too!

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