A Celebration of Wild Salmon Plus a Food Gal Giveaway

Grilled salmon with an Asian-style glaze.

Grilled salmon with an Asian-style glaze.

Every summer, I look forward to heirloom tomatoes, peaches, plums, and one other very special item:

Wild local King salmon.

Like fruits and vegetables, seafood also has a season. For California wild salmon, it’s summer. And it ends all too soon for my liking.

Indeed, get your fill now because the season will soon come to a close toward the end of September.

There’s nothing like eating salmon in summer with its bright reddish orange flesh that tastes downright luxurious. To be sure, it’s not an inexpensive ingredient at $25 or more per pound. But it tastes far more expensive than that with its unbelievably lush texture and resonating flavor that just fills your mouth like a dream.

I like to enjoy it simply. Sashimi-style, when you can really taste the fat and freshness. Or grilled, with a kiss of smoke to heighten its robust richness.

“Glazed Grilled Salmon” puts a slight Asian spin on that. The recipe originally appeared in the July 1996 issue of Bon Appetit magazine, and can be found easily on Epicurious.

Stir together dark brown sugar, mustard, soy sauce and rice vinegar to brush on top of salmon steaks or fillets before grilling, pan-frying or oven-roasting. The flavor is akin to teriyaki with the pep of mustard in it. It’s sweet, tangy, slightly piquant, and quite complementary to the salmon without over-powering it at all.

After all, with fish this superb, you never want to do too much.

CONTEST: Anaheim’s Anderson Seafoods offered me a sample of its California Wild King Salmon, which I used in this recipe. Shipped overnight, it arrived in perfect condition in a styrofoam ice chest, and ready to throw on the grill. One lucky Food Gal reader will get a chance to try the salmon or any other seafood of your choice with a $250 gift card from Anderson Seafoods.

Entries, open only to those in the continental United States, will be accepted through midnight PST Aug. 23. The winner will be announced Aug. 25.

How to win?

You’ve already heard me talk about my favorite seasonal ingredient — salmon. Tell me what seasonal item you most look forward to each year — and why. Best answer wins the prize.

Glazed Grilled Salmon

(Makes 2 servings)

3 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar

4 teaspoons prepared Chinese-style hot mustard or Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon rice vinegar

2 (7- to 8-ounce) salmon steaks or fillets

Prepare a grill on medium-high heat. Combine brown sugar, mustard and soy sauce in a medium bowl; whisk to blend. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the glaze to a small bowl; mix in rice vinegar and set aside. Brush 1 side of salmon steaks generously with half of the glaze in medium bowl. Place salmon steaks, glazed side down, onto barbecue. Grill until glaze is slightly charred, about 4 minutes. Brush top side of salmon steaks with remaining glaze in medium bowl. Turn salmon over and grill until second side is slightly charred and salmon is just opaque in center, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer salmon to plates. Drizzle reserved glaze in a small bowl over salmon and serve.

Adapted from a recipe in the July 1996 edition of Bon Appetit


More Asian Seafood Recipes to Try: Malaysian-Style Stir-Fried Turmeric Shrimp


And: Masala Shrimp


And: Pan-Fried Fish, Green Onions and Chiles


And: Watermelon and Seafood Curry

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  • Delicious! This is a tasty combination.



  • One of our favorite seasonal items is amaebi- sweet, sweet shrimp served as sushi or sashimi. It’s raw and so sweet and tasty there isn’t anything like it. It’s pretty rare in our parts, so we stalk our favorite sushi restaurant that time of year to see if they have gotten any in. My husband’s favorite part though- the heads! They fry them up and hand ’em over. Definitely an acquired texture as they are quite crunchy from the shell and the antennas. Needless to say, he usually ends up with our heads, plus the heads from everyone sitting near us.

  • Tomatoes are my favorite seasonal ingredient. Especially now, as I’ve gotten older, I go to the farmers market and see all of the amazing varieties and their associated colors…red, yellow, orange, green, purple even! Summer is now generally the only time I’ll buy a tomato, because they are phenomenal when they are in season, as opposed to their mealy, pale, unflavorful grocery-store counterparts the rest of the year. Juicy, dripping, sweet, bright. And so much to do with them! Soup, salad, put them on sandwiches, make pasta sauce, pizza sauce, served alongside burrata, roasted…the list goes on and on. But my favorite prep as of late? Roasted in some olive oil with garlic, thyme, and basil, then serve on couscous with reserved oil mixed with some fresh thyme and lemon juice, topped with a nice hunk of salmon.

  • I’m a dessert girl, so for me, when there begin to be upwards of 10 varieties of apples in the market, I freak out. The possibilities are endless, and the start of comfort food desserts is upon me!

  • I always anticipate when white nectarines are in season, simply because they bring back so many childhood memories. It makes me feel like a kid all over again. I also love when spaghetti squash is in season!

  • Honeydew melon – I rush home, cut it up, and shovel large bites into my face until I’m full. I know, I’m a food dork.

  • In the Netherlands we celebrated the coming of white asparagus, the queen of veggies as we call it, in April with a lots of festivities. And when they’re almost to an end (on June 24th), we’ve already celebrated the coming of the Dutch herring. Eaten raw, “fresh from the knife” at the fishmonger, you hold the fillet at the tail and eat it standing, while you “throw your head in your neck”. If you get the picture. (Sorry, never thought about writing about it in English..) Some people eat it with fork and knife though…
    My Grandmother never ate on the streets, with exception of the Dutch herring! Well, that’s says enough, right?

  • PS Where do you buy this salmon in the South Bay, Carolyn? You really make me want to try it!

  • Hands down has to be watermelon because I can eat one by myself in 2-3 days. I don’t even cut it; just take a spoon and scoop some of that deliciousness out into a bowl! It’d be a waste of effort anyways since I eat it so fast HAHA.

  • ACTUALLY, the thing I look most forward to are peaches/nectarines because then every week my family and I make a point to go to farmers’ market to sample all of them and then pick a few of our favorite ones to bring back home! 🙂

  • Edie: I buy fresh fish a lot of times at the local farmers markets. My friends who live up on the Peninsula also swear by the salmon deals that Sigona’s markets often have during the summer.

  • I always eagerly anticipate the arrival of corn on the cob on roadside stands. My mom grew up on a farm, where they grew corn as well as other vegetables, and she always said you should start the water boiling on the stove before you went to pick the corn!

  • Such a lovely salmon recipe!

  • Thanks Carolyn, I will look out for the salmon on the markets I usually attend. Or try the Sigona’s markets store, it looks lovely!

  • asparagus! It is so tasty and goes well with everything, any meat, spaghetti, in salad. Maybe not tacos… All spring it’s really hard to get any other vegetable.

  • Watermelons ! My Mom and I have tried growing our own before, but they only made it to about the size of an apple and ended up as food for garden critters lol. watermelon is one of my favorite summer fruits so I get my fix from ones grown by professionals at the Farmers Market. This Year I tried grilled Watermelon and oh my … delicious!

  • That’s a really tough choice! Each season brings something that I’ve been waiting for nearly all year 🙂 I guess the most difficult wait, though, is through the winter, for the first really sweet spring strawberries.

  • My favorite seasonal ingredient is Tomatoes! I love them fresh out of the garden w/ some salt or plain, then there’s salsa, and fresh tomato sauce. There is just some many things to do with tomatoes, I just love them!

  • Tomatoes from my garden are the seasonal food I most look forward to.

  • Growing up (in Berkeley) we had peach and nectarine trees in our back yard. I loved eating these fruits right off the tree. Although I don’t have fruit trees currently available to me, each year I eagerly await for when peaches and nectarines come into season.

  • Pingback: Not ashamed about these In paper steamed Halibut with watercress sauce - edie eats

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