Thai BBQ Salmon
The Asecret@ ingredient in this recipe is a Thai sweet chili sauce. Don=t be scared by the word Achili@ in name of this sauce. It=s a very mild chili sauce with an inviting sweet overtone. Even the timid palettes would not be afraid of this sauce!
Finding this Asecret@ ingredient will be the hardest part of this recipe. The rest is very easy. Thai sweet chili sauce comes in 10 oz. jars and can be purchased at most Asian grocery stores. If there are no Asian grocery store in your area, you mail order from Asian World Enterprises, Inc. at (http://st5.yahoo.net/asianstore/sweetchilsau.html) or try other sources on the Internet (just search for "sweet chili sauce"). Once you have a regular source identified, you=ll want to make this recipe part of your standard repertoire. Some brands of Thai sweet chili sauce may be marked AFor Chicken@. Don=t worry about that restriction. The Thais should discover how great this sauce is on salmon too! Cold BBQ Thai Salmon makes great sandwiches!
Prepare the BBQ Sauce:
In a small bowl, mix together the following ingredients:
1/2 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
1 1/2 TBS freshly grated young ginger root
3 TBS soy sauce
Prepare the Salmon:
Use very fresh salmon, either 4 individual-size pieces or a whole filet (optional to remove the skin), and prepare as follows:
Arrange the salmon (skin-side down if using a filet with the skin on) on a baking tray with very shallow sides, lined with parchment paper. Trim parchment paper to reduce the area that is not covered by the salmon. (This prevents the exposed paper from charring/burning during broiling, but still provides some protection to the pan as the sauce has a tendency to caramelize onto the baking tray.)
Baste the salmon liberally with the BBQ Sauce and let it marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
About 1 hour before serving, remove the tray from the refrigerator and let the salmon come to room temperature on the tray.
Place the tray in the upper one-third of the oven (i.e. one level down from direct heat) and broil for 8 - 10 minutes, depending on the thickness. Do not flip. When the BBQ sauce on the top begins to bubble and caramelize, the salmon should be done (for normal thickness). To test for doneness, press the salmon with the back of a fork. It will be reasonably firm when done.
Remove the tray from the oven and let the salmon rest for several minutes so it will be easier to handle. Serve immediately or cool to room temperature if the salmon is to be used in sandwiches (see Menu Ideas).
As a main course, Thai BBQ Salmon can be accompanied by jasmine rice and any type of stirfried Asian vegetables.
Sandwiches made with Thai BBQ Salmon are fabulous:
Coat both pieces of bread with a mixture of 8 parts Thai sweet chili sauce to 1 part mayonnaise.
Press a few sprigs of watercress on the bottom layer. (Water cress has a slightly peppery flavor that compliments the tang of the Thai sweet chili sauce.)
Crumble a layer of Thai BBQ salmon over the watercress.
Top the salmon with some thinly sliced marinated cucumbers prepared as follows:
Wash the whole cucumbers in hot water and wipe with towel to remove any waxy outer coating. Don=t peel.
Cut lengthwise, and scoop out all the seeds inside.
Using a mandolin (or similar slicer), slice the cucumbers crosswise into paper thin slices.
Place the thinly sliced pieces in a colander and sprinkle very liberally with salt to draw out the water. Place the colander in a deep bowl or in the sink to let the water drain. Let them sit like this for about 45 minutes.
Rinse very thoroughly under running cold water to remove all the salt. By the handful, squeeze out as much water as you can until they feel Adry@.
Place them in a bowl and sprinkle with rice vinegar and finely chopped fresh dill (optional). Cover with plastic wrap and let them marinate at least 1 hour (overnight is better).