Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Grilled Keta Salmon with Mango Cucumber Salsa


My goodness, this is really turning into the week where we feed Nate a lot of things he doesn't like, isn't it? I just like to show off. I'm so immodest. It's shameful, really. But there's something really satisfying about taking an ingredient that someone professes to hate, and making something out of it that they love. Like salmon! My crazy husband doesn't like salmon. I know. it's ridiculous. What's wrong with him? Who doesn't like salmon for crying out loud?

Nate, that's who.

Until now, of course. Not that he will admit it, but this? He really liked it. He ate it all up. He said I could make it again if I wanted to. I almost died of shock.

I think the secret to getting salmon into my salmon hating man is that this salmon was wild caught. Typically, I buy the farmed stuff because... I don't want to pay $20 a pound for, well, anything. Sorry. We're cheap like that. However, our local ghetto grocery store somehow managed to purchase and distribute wild caught keta salmon for (gasp!) $1.99 a pound! So I had to buy some. Boy was I surprised when I unwrapped my package to find half a fish staring back at me! I have approximately zero experience in filleting fish, but I did my best not to completely mutilate that lovely fish. Which, by the way, I totally failed at. But that is besides the point.


Because oh. my. goodness. I don't think I can ever eat farmed salmon again. Unlike that bright glaringly orange farmed stuff, this fish was a pale delicate pink, and tasted marvelous. It smelled so heavenly, even when raw: briny and crisp, like the sea, not fishy at all. It melted like butter in my mouth and had a delicate buttery flavor. That's it. I'm spoiled now. I can never buy expensive farmed salmon again, not when the wild stuff tastes so much better and is, uh, cheaper. And also, better for you and more nutritious. No brainer!


Grilled Keta Salmon with Mango Salsa

Apparently, there is a salmon season. I feel a little sheepish that I didn't even know this, but I feel more sheepish that after that first fish I didn't go strait back to the grocery store and buy 20 more pounds of it at that fabulous price. Because of course, it was all gone next time I went and all they had left was the farmed stuff. But I digress.

Salmon season comes in the summer when wild salmon are plentiful (apparently. I'm a Californian and we don't know about these things. Ask me about surfing. I will have a much more informed opinion). You may have some good looking, sweet-smelling, fresh, wild-caught salmon at a store near you, so keep an eye out for this seasonal goody.

Hey, this is real food! You can check out more real food at the blog carnival over at Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

For the Salmon
2-4 salmon fillets
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

For the Mango Cucumber Salsa
1 medium cucumber, peel and diced
1 large ripe (but not overripe) mango, peeled and diced
1/2 a bunch cilantro (about 1 cup packed), minced
1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely minced
2-3 scallions, diced
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a medium bowl, combine 1 diced mango...

... with 1 cup minced cilantro...

...2-3 diced scallions...

...1 small jalapeño, minced...

... and 1 diced cucumber.

Add 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and some salt and pepper to taste (really just a pinch of both).

Mix it all up. Voila! Done. Set aside Can be made up to 4 hours ahead.

In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar. Add 1/2 a teaspoon salt and 1/2 a teaspoon pepper. Whisk to combine.

Let marinate for 5-10 minutes. Grill over high heat, flipping once, and removing when salmon is firm and cooked through.

Top with salsa and serve. Enjoy!


  1. This looks like the perfect outdoor meal. Wonderful photographs.

  2. Looks delicious! Great step-by-step photos.

  3. OMG... that looks fantastic! And really... wild caught salmon is worth it on so many levels. Farmed salmon is awful for the environment, it's full of artificial dye so it's bad for your body AND it doesn't taste good :) This, however, looks awesome!

  4. I am not a fan of salmon either, but that looks yummy! Thank you soooo much for your comment :)

  5. If you liked that you really should try some of the good stuff, like Coho (silver) or King (Chinook) salmon. I hate to ruin it for you, but that Keta salmon is what we in salmon country call Chum or Dog salmon. I wouldn't eat it if it was free even if I smoked it first. But they are fun to catch. Out here the Natives take the eggs and throw away the meat, or turn it into meal. That is, until some marketing genius started selling the things to the unknowing under a new name for cheap.

    Or maybe you've got such a good recipe it makes even 'Keta' salmon taste good. In which case I really need to try it with some of my 'good' salmon.

    1. I recently purchased a bunch of keta salmon for $6.99 a pound. I was so excited because we eat salmon often. We usually pay about $15.99 per pound or higher so, this was a steal! First of all, it did not tast like salmon. The texture was weird and the skin was much worse. Gave me a headache, nausea, and abdomninal cramps. Never again!

  6. this recipe really does do good things to Keta Salmon! I recently started buying sockeye salmon (even thought it costs approximately 3 times as much!) and it is much, much better :) I think this recipe could only get better with a higher quality salmon!

  7. Wow, we found Salmon 'snobs' LOL

    Nothing wrong with Keta salmon for those not (un)fortunate to live in Alaska

    It also travels better than other types so more likely to be in better condition on your supermarket shelf.

  8. The recipe looks really good and yummy now if you like another quality of salmon, you can replace it. But the thought of the Blogger to share with us her recipes is something like a gift to each of us.

  9. Excellent post. This article is very helpful for the people and also for me. I get the some useful knowledge in this post. Thanks for sharing the informative topic, by the way
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