Recently I was challenged to prepare salmon for a meal that was low on sodium, not overly spicy yet still flavorful. Low sodium and not overly spicy are two requisites that quickly take me out of my comfort zone. There is no lack of recipes on the internet on how to prepare, season and cook salmon. In fact, there are so many possible combinations that trying to choose the recipe that best suits your needs is nearly impossible.
After looking at a few recipes and steering clear of those recipes that claimed to be “low sodium”, I created the following marinade for one whole salmon fillet. In a bowl, I mixed together 1/3 Cup (80 ml) of Brown Sugar, 1/3 Cup (80 ml) of Vegetable Oil, 3 Tablespoons (45 ml) of Soy Sauce and 3 Tablespoons (45 ml) of Lemon Juice. Mix all of the ingredients thoroughly together until the Brown Sugar has mostly dissolved.
Cut the salmon in half and seasoned the fillet with fresh cracked brown pepper and a liberal sprinkling of garlic powder. I patted these seasons into the flesh of the fillet and then placed them into a large Ziploc bag. Then pour the marinade mixture into the bag, seal (remove the excess air) and then flipped the bag a couple of times to ensure that the salmon fillet halves are thoroughly coated.
At a minimum, the salmon fillets should marinade in the refrigerator for an hour, but two hours allows the flavors of the marinade to do wonders to the fillet. The salmon can be baked, broiled or grilled. For this meal, I grilled the salmon on an outdoor electric grill that I purchased last year. I removed the salmon from the refrigerator about fifteen minutes prior to placing the fillets on the grill.
Prior to placing the salmon fillets on the grill I lightly coated the grill with vegetable oil. The salmon fillets were placed flesh down on the grill and allowed them to cook for nine minutes. The salmon fillets were then flipped and cooked for another eight minutes. Depending on your grill, the fillets should be cooked for six to nine minutes per side. The best indicator that salmon fillets are finished cooking is when you can easily flake the flesh with a fork.
The salmon fillets were perfectly cooked and the brown sugar provided the perfect balance to the buttery flavor of the salmon. The salmon was moist with just a hint of black pepper, lemon juice, soy sauce and garlic. I will admit, I was surprised how much I enjoyed the salmon that had been seasoned with less salt than I usually use in a meal. As with any meal a sign that the meal was enjoyed by all is when there are no leftovers. When I cook this meal again for myself, I will probably add a tablespoon of Sambal to the marinade to give the salmon a little kick of heat. You could also use salmon steaks in lieu of the fillet.