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.
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 complimentary 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