Marinating salmon adds a textured flavor palette to an entrée that already holds pride of place in the grilled fish arena. Salmon is more robust than many other types of fish, making it a perfect choice for the grill. Adding a delicious marinade will create an dish that will become a staple of your backyard barbecue repertoire.
Creating a Grilled Salmon Marinade
You can buy a marinade, of course, but if you want to exhibit your culinary prowess, a homemade marinade gives you the opportunity to try a variety of different spices and flavors. Start with an olive oil base, add an acid like citrus juice or vinegar, and season with any spices you like. The salmon should remain in the marinade for 30 minutes to an hour at the most. If you leave it any longer, the fish will become mushy.
You can save the marinade to use as a sauce if desired; just be sure to heat it to a boil before using in order to kill any bacteria left from the raw fish.
Create the marinade of your choice and pour into a wide, shallow dish. Place fish into the marinade for about 30 minutes, turning once. You can also put the marinade and fish into a zip top bag. Refrigerate the fish while marinating. When the marinating process is finished, remove the salmon and place immediately onto the grill over medium heat. Grill for six to eight minutes on each side. If you want grill marks, increase the heat for the last couple of minutes and cook for one or two additional minutes per side.
Grilled Salmon Marinade Recipes
You can create any marinade flavor you wish to lend just the right touch to your grilled salmon. Try these ideas to get you started, but don’t be afraid to experiment!
Lemon Herb–Combine 2 Tbsp olive oil, the juice from 1 lemon, and 1 tsp of fresh thyme or rosemary.
Soy and Ginger–For an Asian flavor, begin with 1/4 c. olive oil and 3 Tbsp. soy sauce. Add 1 Tbsp. finely chopped ginger, 2 cloves finely chopped garlic, and chopped scallions if desired. Add any additional herbs you like. You can also add sesame seeds and a tablespoon of sesame oil for a slightly different Asian taste.
Pineapple and Brown Sugar–Whisk together 1/4 c. brown sugar, 1/4 c. pineapple juice, 1 tsp. dijon mustard, 1 Tbsp olive oil, and 2 cloves finely chopped garlic. If desired, make a delicious pineapple salsa using grilled pineapple. Serve over salmon after grilling.
You can tweak these recipes to suit your own tastes (try adding some soy sauce, honey, or ginger to alter the flavor slightly), or create your own from scratch. Sweet marinades and glazes complement the flavor of the salmon beautifully, while savory or spicy ingredients will add some flair to your dinner.
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