Wood Grilled Salmon
Omega-3 fatty acids are considered heart healthy oils. These fats lower bad cholesterol and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Omega-3 fatty acids also reduce inflammation in the body which can help to improve athletes’ recovery from training. Salmon and walnuts are excellent sources of these oils.
An easy and delicious way to enjoy salmon is grilled on a barbeque. Cedar plank grilled salmon is derived from the cuisine of the First Nations people of the Pacific Northwest. The idea is to use a water soaked plank to keep the fish moist while it’s cooking on a hot grill. A great cheat recipe for this is to use soaked woodchips packed into an aluminum foil tray that you can place on your grill rather than trying to find an actual cedar plank. The wood chips allow you to replicate the subtle smoky flavour created by the cedar plank.
The key is to use a salmon filet with the skin on which helps it stick to the wood chips. The sugar/salt rub will help you create a nice caramelized crust on the top of the fish while you cook it skin side down.
Ingredients list (serves 4):
1.5 tsp brown sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
4 6-8 oz skin-on salmon fillets (aim for approximately 3cm thick)
2 cups of wood chips soaked in water for 30 minutes then drained
Combine the sugar, salt and pepper to create the rub. I also like to add some red chilli pepper flakes to this to make a spicier version of the recipe. Brush the olive oil onto the flesh side of the fish then rub the sugar mixture evenly among the four fillets.
Make a small tray out of heavy aluminum foil measuring 12 x 17 cm, crimping the edges on all four sides to contain the wood chips. Poke a few small, thin slits in the bottom of each tray. Divide the wood chips evenly among the four trays and place one fillet on each tray, skin side down on top of the wood chips.
Grill on high for approximately 10 minutes or until the center of the fish is still slightly translucent (for medium rare – about 125 degrees). Transfer to a wire rack and rest for 5 minutes. Use a spatula to separate the flesh from the skin to serve.