Archive for March 16th, 2012

The fat-rich flesh of salmon is built for the grill. It keeps the meat moist, even if it overcooks slightly, and it helps the fillet keep its shape, even if it sticks slightly. These attributes are enhanced in farmed salmon and diminished in wild-caught fish, which means that the two will have very different cooking times.

Prep: 20 minutes (plus 5 minutes for glaze)
Grill: 10 to 16 minutes.

– Long-handled fish spatula or 2 regular offset spatulas
– Long-handled basting brush.

Gas: Direct heat, medium (350°F)
Clean, oiled grate
Direct heat, medium ash
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals)
Clean, oiled grate on medium setting
Direct heat, medium ash
12-by-12-inch bed, 3 inches deep
Clean, oiled grate set 4 inches above the fire.

¼ cup Ginger-Hoisin Balsamic Glaze
1 to 1½ tablespoons Chinese chili paste with garlic
1 side of salmon, about 1½ inches thick, 1½ pounds
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
Oil for coating grill grate
1 lime, cut into 4 wedges.

1. Heat the grill as directed.
2. Mix the glaze and chili paste (to taste); set aside. Coat the salmon with the sesame oil.
3. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the salmon, fleshside down, on the grill. Cover and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
4. Flip the fish and baste with the chili paste mixture. Cover and grill until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the salmon registers 130°F, about 5 minutes more for wild salmon, 10 to 12 minutes more for farm-raised (until the fish barely flakes when gently pressed). If your grill has a temperature gauge, it should stay between 375° and 400°F.
5. Transfer the fish to a serving platter by sliding the spatula(s) between the skin and the flesh. The skin will stick to the grill grate; let it stay there. You can scrape it off later. Serve with the lime wedges.

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