Thursday, May 18, 2006

Grilled Salmon with Avocado and Mango Salsa

Last week, we’ve been eating soup, soup, and more soup. To combat the never ending rain, I went on a soup binge and made every soup I’ve been meaning to try but never got around to: parsnip soup, carrot-lime-garlic soup, and potato fennel soup. Now, I am all souped out, and as the sun came out, so did my craving for something grilled and tropical. I’ve been meaning to try Bea’s sautéed avocados for quite some time, but since I was making grilled salmon and didn’t feel like dirtying a pan, I decided to try grilling avocados. They browned beautifully and made cute little bowls for mango salsa.

I can see you raising your eye-brows now. Didn’t she tell us last week to branch out and try other fish? Whenever I post a salmon recipe, my co-workers and friends, who read my blog, tease me with “Aren’t you supposed to be beyond salmon?” That’s right --beyond salmon, but not against salmon. This is an equal opportunity blog, and every fish deserves its spotlight. Besides, how can I resist the succulent sweetness of grilled salmon -- rich and silky like the butter of the sea.

Cutting up your salmon into chunks and putting it on skewers might be photogenic, but it makes turning more difficult. If you are new to grilling fish, get salmon steaks since they are the easiest cut to work with for grilling and glazing. You can also use salmon fillets cut into 6-8 oz pieces.

Serves 4

For mango salsa:
1 mango, peeled and finely diced
1/4 cup minced red onion
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro or mint
Zest of 1 lime
1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
Salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste

For salmon:
2 Lb salmon steaks (or 4 salmon fillets with skin, 6-8 oz each)
Salt and pepper
2 tsp olive or canola oil, plus more for brushing the grill
1/4 cup duck sauce (or sweet and sour sauce)
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce (or Japanese soy sauce)
1 inch ginger root, peeled and finely grated
1 tsp sesame seed oil

For avocados:
2 avocados, halved lengthwise and pitted (don’t peel)
2 tsp lime juice
2 tsp olive or canola oil
Salt and pepper

Mango salsa:
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, season to taste with salt, pepper, and hot sauce, and mix well.

Grilling salmon and avocado:
The basic idea here is to brown salmon on the grill without the teriyaki glaze to make it “non-stick”, and then continue grilling it until it’s done, brushing it with teriyaki glaze and turning every couple of minutes. Keep the grill covered during the whole cooking time, except for when flipping and glazing. The estimated cooking time for fillets is 6-8 minutes per inch of thickness and for steaks -- 8-10 minutes.

Tips for grilling fish
  1. Preheat the grill to high.
  2. Dry salmon well on paper towels, season lightly with salt and pepper and rub with 2 tsp oil (go easy on the salt since teriyaki sauce is salty).
  3. In a small bowl combine, duck sauce, teriyaki sauce, ginger, and sesame seed oil. Mix well.
  4. Pick up a wad of paper towel with tongs, dip it in oil, and brush the preheated grill. Immediately place salmon steaks on the grill (if using fillets start grilling on the skin side). Cover the grill and cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Dislodge salmon from the grill using a fork, and then flip using tongs. Brush the grilled side with teriyaki sauce mixture. Place avocados on the grill cut side down.
  6. After 2 minutes, turn avocados a quarter turn to create diagonal grill marks. Watch them carefully, as soon as they brown remove them off the grill and set aside. Flip salmon and brush with more teriyaki sauce. Cook 2 more minutes. At this point the avocados should be browned.
  7. Brush salmon with more teriyaki sauce and flip again. After 1 more minute, test salmon for doneness by inserting a knife near the bone. If it slides in easily and you can gently pull the flesh from the bone, salmon is done. Salmon is best when slightly undercooked, so feel free to take it off the heat when it’s still translucent in the center and you encounter a bit of resistance when sliding a knife near the bone.
  8. In a small bowl, mix 2 tsp lime juice and 2 tsp oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Brush this mixture onto the cut sides of avocado. Stuff each avocado half with mango salsa and serve with salmon.


Dianka said...

Helen, what a beautiful dish! So colorful and falvorful looking. Reminds me of my most recent post on pineapple ham steaks, due to the yummy salty and sweet combinations. And you are right.. this is way beyond your ordinary salmon!

Anonymous said...

Yum Helen! I never use mango in salsa, one of those things for some reason I never tried! You give me an idea!
Glad you tried the grilled avocado!

Btw, I managed to find black cod on Friday and I was SO excited! The best fish ever!

Unknown said...


found your site a while ago beautiful recipes! This one was my first to try out since I am a big fan of soy-sauce marinated grilled fish. This recipe is awesome, the fine avocado & mango complete a wonderful experience in taste. I served a gratin of sweet potatoes with it - just wonderful, thanks Helen!

Anonymous said...

I found a variation of this recipe that used Barramundi instead of Salmon. The site referred me back to your site and credited you as the origin of the recipe. I have to say, you have some great recipes and I can't wait to try them out!