“Nearly Naked” Baked or Grilled Salmon Fillet

Whether baked or grilled, this salmon recipe reveals the true flavours of a wild Sockeye fillet.

Here’s one for the purists. Why “nearly naked”?  Because you can, my dear!  Sockeye is such a richly flavored fish it really doesn’t need all that much dressing up.  Choose this recipe when friends drop in:  you won’t spend long in the kitchen and they’ll love it.

For those who have tried our “Pinks in Kimono” recipe, note: this is “good naked.”

This takes no time at all, so if it’s dinner time, put the oven or BBQ on now!  If it’s not yet dinner time, that’s fine too: this gets better if it sits for a bit before you cook. Just cover it and leave it on the counter for up to an hour. If you’re leaving it longer, put it in the fridge but bring it up to room temperature before you cook. Your single fillet at about 4-6 oz per person, one side of sockeye will generally feed 4-6 people).

Time to Prepare: About 20 minutes
Nearly Naked Baked or Grilled Sockeye Salmon Fillet

Ingredients

1 whole wild sockeye salmon fillet with skin on (at about 4 – 6 oz per person, one side of sockeye will generally feed 4 to 6 people)
fine sea salt
olive oil
garlic (optional)
dill (or other herb, eg fresh tarragon or chives)

Preparation

This takes no time at all, so if it’s dinner time, put the oven or BBQ on now! (You’ll be baking at 375 degrees, or grilling on a medium-hot BBQ.)  If it’s not yet dinner time, great:  this gets better if it sits for a bit, up to an hour.

Pour a very little olive oil in a small dish.  If you like garlic, smash a clove and add it to the oil.

Lay the sockeye out on a baking sheet and pat it dry with a kitchen towel, wiping off any stray scales.

Finely chop the fresh herb of your choice.  Dill used very lightly gives a nice lift to the flavor of sockeye.

Drizzle or brush the oil onto the flesh side of the fish, coating it lightly.  (Discard the garlic or use it in your salad dressing.)  Sprinkle sea salt lightly but thoroughly over the oil—be sure to use the fine salt so that it melts into the oil and forms a nice glaze.  Finally, an artistic scattering of fresh or dried herbs and you’re done!

If you need to wait before firing it, just cover it and leave it on the counter for up to an hour.  If you’re leaving it longer, put it in the fridge but bring it up to room temperature before you cook.

It shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes to cook, but take a peek around the 8-minute mark:  if you see white specks rising on the surface of the fish, especially near the thicker head end, it’s done for sure.

Served with a salad of mixed sweet and bitter greens dressed in vinaigrette and crusty French bread, this makes a light and satisfying summer meal.  In winter, I’ll serve it with a rice pilaf or risotto and steamed green vegetables for a heartier meal.

As with many of our recipes, an off-dry, mildly fruity white from a Salmon Safe winery is a great accompaniment.

Diet tags: High protein

Number of servings (yield): 6

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  1. [...] Oh, a little heads-up:  if your salmon recipe calls for Atlantic salmon, ignore it.  The best substitute for Atlantic salmon — which is always farmed — is sockeye, coho or king, which are rich in omega-3 oils.  (For all the reasons why, including the opinions of SeaChoice and the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch on this subject, see Kirsten’s post.) Wild salmon don’t need much dressing up at all, as you’ll read in our ‘Nearly Naked’ recipe. [...]

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