Indian Style Grilled Salmon

As you can imagine, we eat a fair amount of fish in our household – halibut, blackcod, rockfish, lingcod, tuna, and the occasional odd item that Zed brings home like octopus or wolf eel.  But the one fish that I never get tired of is salmon.  I could eat salmon every day… well maybe not every day, but at least once a week.  I love it!!!  And although it tastes fantastic with just some salt and pepper, I like to get creative and try something different every time I cook it.  I also love Indian food, so when I had friends over for dinner the other night I got out one of my favorite cookbooks, Relax, Honey from one of my favorite chefs, Vikram Vij and his wife Meeru Dhalwala.

Vikram Vij is the owner of Vij’s restaurant in Vancouver, BC (GO THERE if you ever have a chance).  He has a magical way of melding traditional Indian dishes and spices with more local, sustainable Pacific Northwest ingredients like salmon, blackcod (sable fish), and halibut.  I have both of his cookbooks and I have never made a dull meal from either of them. I picked a salmon recipe that looked amazing, and I wasn’t disappointed!  So I thought I’d share the recipe with you here, with a few little tweeks (I’m posting the recipe with the same tweeks I used myself, plus, I don’t want to break any copyright laws).  And when I was looking up more info online I found this video of Vikram cooking this very meal!  So you get an adapted recipe and an instructional video… it doesn’t get much better than that.

Grilled Wild Salmon in Green Onion Broth

For the marinade: In a large bowl whisk together 1/3 cup oil, 1/3 cup lemon juice, 2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 TBSP paprika, and 1 TBSP garam masala (or ground cumin).  Take a salmon fillet (about 2 lbs) and either cut it into serving sizes and stir them into the bowl with the marinade, or do as I did and leave it whole and pour the marinade over the salmon in a pan.  Cover with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for around 3 hours.

For the broth:  In a pot with 6 cups of water, add 2 medium sized potatoes (peeled and quartered), and 6 TBSP finely chopped ginger.  Bring to a boil on high, then turn heat down to low, cover and boil until potatoes are soft.  Set it aside, but do not drain the potatoes – you want the liquid.

In a heavy pan, heat 1/2 cup of butter on medium heat until bubbling.   Add 1 TBSP cumin and 1 tsp garam masala, let them cook for about 30 seconds, then add 2 bunches of green onions (white and green parts chopped).  Saute until onions are brown (but not black, careful not to burn them), about 5 min.  Add 1/2 cup chopped tomato (I used canned), 1 TBSP salt, and if you like it spicy add a finely minced jalapeno pepper.  Cook for another 5 min, stirring constantly, then turn off the heat.

Take the potatoes out of the ginger water and mash them in a bowl until they are smooth.  Mix the mashed potatoes into the green onion mixture, then pour the ginger water in and mix.  Add 3 cups coconut milk (about two cans), turn the heat back on medium and stir until it comes to a boil.  Turn heat down to low and stir for about 10 min.

For salmon:  Heat grill to high, place salmon on grill skin-side down and cook until fish flakes apart easily.

Serve the salmon in bowls with about a cup of broth each.  I sprinkled some chopped green onions on top to add some color and a little fresh crunch.

Don’t get intimidated by the number of steps in this recipe, it is actually pretty easy to make, it just takes a little time…  Trust me, it’s well worth it.  And if you like Indian food, I highly recommend you get one or both of Vikram Vij’s cookbooks.

I’m always on the lookout for new seafood recipes, so readers, please share your favorites!

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