I'll never forget visiting with a retired doctor while at a wedding and newly pregnant. He grabbed my hands and looked closely at my fingertips to determine the health of my pregnant body. He quickly asked me if I was eating salmon regularly. Because I was pregnant with my first child, I happily answered that I was consuming salmon often as it was a favorite craving. This sweet doc went on to extol the amazing benefits of salmon consumption from strenthening muscles, tissues and the heart and emphasized that my regular consumption would make this baby-in-the-making "brilliant" (thanks to the Omega-3 fatty acids)!
I didn't need to hear much more. I already loved salmon so I set out on a mission to propel my interest in salmon to a new level of passionate consumption. I tried recipe after recipe, experimenting. Most were good until I found the grand champion of salmon recipes from Ina Garten.
This recipe, hands-down is the best. Honest. When my hubs and I met, he was not a lover of seafood, especially salmon. I couldn't fathom how he couldn't like seafood and made it my quest to teach him to love it. This recipe did the trick!
Salmon's health benefits include improving memory, helping your brain strength and funciton better; protecting your nervous system from the deterioating effects of aging, serving as a natural anti-depressant; lowering your risk of developing Alzheimer's and Parkinson diseases; lessening your chances of having strokes; speeding up your metabolism and lowering your risk of developing diabetes. Salmon's Omega-3 fatty acids and selenium also bring healthy skin (great for teenagers), shiny hair and bright eyes along with a full day's required amount of Vitamin D - (in the Pacific NW where the sun rarely shines in the fall-winter-spring, we crave our Vitamin D). Seriously - do you need more benefits?
Pair this recipe with the sweet and charming romantic comedy, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen for a perfect date night.
Quote from the 2011 movie's character, Fred Jones "When things get tricky in my life, I talk to my fish."
Asian Grilled Salmon
Recipe adapted from the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten
4- 6 Tab. olive oil (I typically go on the light side here)
3 Tab. soy sauce
2 Tab. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. to 3 spoonfuls of garlic (I go heavy on the garlic personally)
1 side of fresh salmon (Wild Alaskan is our favorite), skin on but boned
1 lemon cut in slices, optional, for grilling the salmon on
Whisk the mustard, soy sauce, olive oil and garlic together. Don't miss this part. Put half of the marinade on the salmon and set half aside to drizzle over the cooked salmon. Let the marinade soak into the salmon for 10 minutes. (It won't hurt it if it marinades longer.)
I learned a little trick to slice up a lemon or two and to position the slices on the grill. Plop the salmon directly on the lemon slices and the lemon infuses your salmon while it grills. This also prevents the salmon from sticking to your grill.
The grilling time truly varies, depending on the thickness of your salmon. We grill at about a 375-400 degree level but we use a Traeger Grill/Smoker. The original recipe suggests grilling for 10 minutes but I have found that it typically needs closer to 20 minutes. Keep in mind that the salmon will continue to cook as it sits, off of the grill. A good rule of thumb is to check if it flakes with a fork prong poke.
Drizzle the reserved marinade on the salmon and let it sit for another 10 minutes.
“Faith is the cure that heals all troubles. Without faith there is no hope and no love. Faith comes before hope, and before love.(Sheikh Muhammad ibn Zaidi bani Tihama)”