Grilled Salmon with Ginger and Green Onion Relish
The ginger and green onion relish is based on a Chinese sauce for chicken. Chinese seldom grill fish, except in Taiwan where it is a vestige of Japanese colonial past. However, the marriage of simply grilled fish with this elaborated Chinese sauce is perfect. Darns of salmon (slices of fillet) are preferable, but steaks also grill well.
If using trout, buy whole small trout; trout fillets lose too much taste and are too thin to grill.
Total Timeunder 30 minutes
OccasionFamily Get-together, Formal Dinner Party
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationmain course
Taste and Texturegarlicky, herby, savory, spiced
- 1 green onion, cut into fine julienne
- 6 green onions, finely chopped
- 1 stalk coriander (cilantro), finely chopped
- 2 ½ tbsp (35 ml) grated or finely minced ginger root
- 1 ¼ tsp (6 ml) salt
- 1 to 2 tsp (5 to 10 ml) very finely chopped red chilies
- ¼ tsp (1 ml) white pepper
- 1/3 cup (75 ml) peanut oil or vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) Szechuan peppercorns
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) sesame oil
- 4 darns (each 6 oz (175 g); see headnote) salmon or 7 to 8 oz (210 to 250 g) salmon steaks or whole small trout
- ½ tsp (2 ml) black pepper
- Coriander sprigs for garnish
Soak green onion julienne in cold water. In a heatproof bowl, stir together chopped green onions and coriander; cover with ginger, 1 tsp (5 ml) of the salt, chilies and white pepper. In a small saucepan heat oil with Szechuan peppercorns over medium heat until fragrant; add sesame oil and pour through a strainer over green onion mixture. Stir until well mixed; cool. Pour most of the oil from the surface of the relish and reserve.
Sprinkle fish with remaining salt and black pepper and grill or broil on both sides. For salmon darns, grill skinside first then flip and remove skin. (For trout, baste fish after turning with reserved oil and turn a second time to baste; ensure that skin is crispy.) When just cooked through, remove from grill. Cover each salmon piece with a line of the relish. (For trout, cut through skin with a sharp knife at the bottom of one side from the stomach opening to the tail; carefully peel back crispy skin in one piece and make a roll of it at the back of the fish; put a line of relish along the middle of the trout.) Garnish fish with coriander sprigs and well-drained green onion julienne.
1997 Andrew Chase