August 2, 2010

Chinese Wood-Grilled Salmon

I really love grilled food. More importantly, I feel that I have mastered the grill. I have always viewed cooking on the grill as a "man's domain". Hunks of meat over a big perception is really self-explanatory. Growing up, my dad was always THE chief grill operator (I don't think my mom has ever touched a grill in her life); and until just recently, my husband has always been the grill guru in our house. Though, that is not so anymore. Now, a new grill sheriff has come to town (...that's me)! I just decided that I wanted to take the preconceived notion of a "man's domain" and throw it out the window. Okay, not really. I just wanted to be a better cook, and the grill has always slightly intimidated me. I decided to try it...and try it...and burn some stuff...and try it again...and burn some more stuff...and try it some more again. Eureka! It clicked!!! I can grill. Moreover, I can grill up darn good food. This salmon is a fine example of the 'darn good food' that I am talking about. Finally, it seems that I am not only comfortable cooking on the grill, but I have discovered something that the men in my life forgot to share with me...grilling is fun!

Chinese Wood-Grilled Salmon
Adapted From: America's Test Kitchen Light & Healthy 2010 cookbook

1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 skin-on salmon fillets (each 6 to 8 ounces and 1 1/4 inches thick)
1 Tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 cedar plank, soaked for 3 hours

Preheat gas grill to high (about 550 degrees).

Combine sugar, salt, pepper, Chinese Five Spice powder, and cayenne pepper in small bowl. Pat salmon dry with paper towels. Brush flesh side of salmon with hoisin sauce and sprinkle with sugar mixture.

Place seasoned salmon skin side down on soaked cedar plank. Place planked salmon in the middle of the hot grill and close the cover. Cook for 4 minutes, or until fish is firm and sides are opaque. Remove planked salmon from grill and let rest for 2-3 minutes.

TO REMOVE THE SKIN: Slide a metal spatula between skin and flesh of fish and transfer to platter.

Serve and enjoy!

The Result:
My salmon turned out perfectly! Smokey, slightly sweet with a touch of spicy heat, and cooked exactly how I like it. Yum! I loved this recipe and it was really easy to put together. I served our salmon with simple, roasted red potatoes and steamed French-cut green beans. The whole meal was pretty much delicious. I heart grilled food!

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