Salmon- my new obsession

Prior to starting this journey, I wouldn’t touch salmon with a ten foot pole. I don’t know if I just never had it prepared well, or if I was just too scared of fish to really give it a fair chance, but literally…the pole would have had to be ten feet, at least.

Alex and I went to O’Charley’s one night with some friends at the beginning of my healthy eating revolution, before I was really comfortable ordering off of a menu at a restaurant. Since I knew salmon is supposed to be super healthy, and the meal only came with a side of broccoli, I figured it would be a pretty safe (and healthy!) bet (minus all of the additional sodium that I feel is in pretty much any meal that I don’t prepare myself…)

I tried their cedar-planked salmon, and I have not turned back since. O’Charley’s is not my favorite restaurant, and some of their food is slightly strange, so I was definitely a little nervous. But both of the friends that we went to dinner with either previously worked at O’chuck’s, or currently work there, and they both stood by the salmon as one of the highest reviewed and biggest selling dishes they offer. So I gave it agao, and it was love at first bite.

I can’t fully describe the absolute succulence that pours through every taste bud with this dish, but I knew that I had to learn how to replicate it at home. Alex and I picked up a four pack of cedar planks at our local Kroger, and got them soaking in some salt water. Essentially what I have learned is to let them song as long as possible. Our package said at least 1 hour in salted water, but everything I read online said the longer, the better. We settled on about two hours since we didn’t have much more time to prepare, and while I don’t think the fish even needs a strong marinade when cooked on the plank, the recipe below was one of the most delicious pieces of fish I have eaten, ever. Bar none. I’ve peaked, it will never, ever get ANY better than this salmon. On a side note, you can use cedar planks in the oven, but it’s 80 degrees in March, so we used the grill, damnit!

Cedar-Planked Asian Salmon
2 mid-sized salmon fillets, skin removed (this is kind of difficult pre-cooking, but do it.)
1/2 cup soy sauce (I use low-sodium Kikkoman)
Dried mustard (I don’t do measurements when I cook…)
Grated ginger (see above…)
Granulated garlic (see above…)
Granulated onion (see above…)

I split the fillets into four equal pieces, and stirred the marinade together in a bowl. Once the ingredients were well-mixed, I placed the fillets inside and refrigerated them for 2-3 hours. During this time the planks were also “marinating” in the salt water.

When everything else is getting ready to go (you want to be out 20 minutes out from everything being ready) fire up the grill. You want the grill right around 350-400. Heat the cedar planks on the grill for 3 minutes, then flip and place salmon fillets on heated side. Close the grill lid and let salmon cook without flipping at all for between 10 and 15 minutes depending on the size of your fillets.

We paired these with some baked potatoes and roasted asparagus for one of the most succulent, juicy, smoky meals that grill has ever produced. Each bite was like walking one step further into heaven. The salmon was smoky, meaty, and full of Asian flavor. It paired perfectly with the potatoes and asparagus, and even had my salmon-hating mom’s mouth watering!

If you’re skeptical about salmon, give this recipe a go- you’ll never doubt it again!

I don’t have caloric information for the entire meal, but the Salmon breaks down like this: 199 calories per serving, 4g carbs, 9g fat, 27g protein, 1g fiber. The recipe claims a large amount of sodium, but you don’t drink the marinade, so you don’t really get as much as it says (so much so that I won’t list it here!)



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Who says healthy can’t be tasty? « firstdayoftherestofdays

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